Florida Governor Rick Scott is challenging state education officials to make it less costly for students to add a college degree to their resume in the future.
Scott wants postsecondary institutions to create a $10,000 4-year degree program as a way to help graduates cut down on student loans, Florida Today reports.
You should be able to work and go to school and not end up with debt, Scott told WFLA TV news during a media blitz to promote the challenge. “If these degrees cost so much money, tuition is so high, that’s not going to happen. I have put out this challenge to our state colleges – we have 28 great state colleges – and say, ‘Can you come up with degrees where individuals can get jobs that the total degree costs $10,000?'”
Officials at Brevard Community College, which will begin offering a 4-year degree next August in organizational management in for those interested in a career in health care administration, were quick to take on the challenge.
We’re going to take a look at everything and see how we can implement it, spokesman John Glisch told the news outlet. “The timing for us is good because we’re going to start offering four year degrees next year.”
According to the Sun Sentinel, the average student loan balance for graduates in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area is $32,330, which is 11% more than the national average.
Scott’s proposal is similar to one launched by Texas Governor Rick Perry last year, which calls on institutions to develop options for low-cost degrees. So far, 10 colleges have responded to the challenge with initiatives that include a 5-year general degree that uses a combination of high school and postsecondary credits.
The Bureau of Statistics reports that professionals with a college degree can earn $1000 more per week than those with a high school diploma or less.