Florida National University (FNU) is a higher education system, where the purpose is to “contribute to the education of a population of diverse, presently predominately Hispanic, cultures,” (Mission Statement). The purpose of the university is to make it easy for Hispanic immigrants to have access to higher education and prepare them for employment in the United States. It offers classes on mainly on the business and medical fields. There is a large program in the university that teaches English as a second language to further help international students get situated in the United States. Because of this, the university offers the same tuition fees to international students as they do to national US citizens. This does not seem to exist in thousands of universities across the US. However, it makes tuition very high for US citizens local to Miami. If the university wants to have a more diverse group of students, then it should lower the tuition rate for local students to encourage more attendance, although there is no way to make it easier for international students to afford to go to college here.
The cost of getting a Bachelor’s Degree at FNU is 525 dollars per credit hour (Program Cost and Fees). This is the same for international and local students. In comparison, Florida International University (FIU) charges about 205 dollars per credit hour to in-state students, and 618 dollars per credit hour to out-of-state students (Costs & Aid). Looking at this data, tuition at FNU is twice the amount of tuition at FIU, despite that they are both located in Miami, Florida. For further comparison, Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee charges about 215 dollars for in-state, and 721 dollars for out-of-state (Tuition); and the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville charges about 210 dollars for in-state, and about 953 dollars for out-of-state (Cost of Attendance). All of this data is estimated based on a 15-credit hour semester per year and that international students pay the same tuition as out-of-state students. By looking at these numbers and comparing the tuition rates of universities across Florida, the tuition rates for FNU are extremely high for local students, but comparatively lower for out-of-state or international students.
This is because FNU is a private university, and is part of a large list of private and for-profit universities that that “fill a need in the higher education system and that strict regulation would close programs, cutting off access to postsecondary education for those who need it most, including low-income and minority students,” (Morgan, 2010). This is in response to a call in the Department of Education to stop giving loans to for-profit universities. An economic analysis shows that to save some educational programs from closing in universities like FNU, “colleges would only have to cut tuition by a few thousand dollars a year,” (Morgan). Then there is the question of whether the degree earned at a for-profit university is really worth the cost of it. Considering this information shows that there really is no reason to charge students such high tuition rates after all.
This is largely due to keeping tuition so cheap for international students, since universities offer cheap tuition to citizens at the cost of international students. In actuality, “foreign students in the United States contribute about 21 billion dollars a year to the national economy,” (Lewin). The amount of revenue that universities make is large, enough to be able to give low-income citizens “a free ride” (Lewin) into the university. For many Hispanic immigrants who have not yet received their citizenship or residency, this can be a problem if they wanted to pursue education in a university outside of FNU. It would be too expensive for them, and FNU offers a cheaper education for them. Again, though, degrees at for-profit universities may not be worth much the money spent anyway (Morgan), which leaves thousands of students in huge debt to the American government.
This leaves us with the question: what should be done about tuition rates at FNU? A solution would be to lower tuition rates to local students so that is competes with other universities. It does not have to be as drastic as the rates that other universities offer. As discussed before, tuition at FNU for local students is twice the amount of tuition rates offered at FIU, FSU and UF. They can offer to charge local students around 200 dollars less – it would still be more expensive than the other universities, but it wouldn’t be nearly as expensive as it is now. If the university needs to make up that money, it can charge international students just 100 dollars more, so that they are not alienating international students from getting the education that they need. Since Morgan states that for-profit programs can stay active by cutting tuition if the government chooses to stop giving loans to students enrolled in such programs, then FNU should have no problem cutting the tuition rates anyway. It would be very good for students already enrolled in the university, and would encourage students to stay as well. FNU offers nursing programs and Master’s program, which require students to attend full-time. This means that students in these programs cannot find part-time work to pay. Cutting the tuition rates for them would help them take care of themselves and take out less student loans.
“Costs & Aid.” Florida International University Undergraduate Admissions. n.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.
“Costs of Attendance.” University of Florida Division of Enrollment Management. n.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.
Lewin, Tamar. “Taking More Seats on Campus, Foreigners Also Pay the Freight.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 4 February 2012. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.
Morgan, Julie Margetta. “The Real Cost of For-Profit Education.” Center for American Progress. Center for American Progress, 30 September 2010. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.
“Program Cost and Fees.” Florida National University Admissions and Financial Aid. n.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.
“Tuition.” Florida State University Controller’s Office. n.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.