State cuts at public universities could create tuition hike for fourth year in a row

FAU could lose $47 million in state funding

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Florida Atlantic University as well as state universities across Florida could lose up to one-third of their state funding. A Senate budget panel voted to slash budgets, and for FAU that means a cut of $47 million.

Some students like Freshman Daniel St. Louis have multiple jobs to put themselves through school. The state drastically reduced FAU's budget for the past three years and is threatening to do it again.

St. Louis fears another tuition hike will follow.

"Hearing that they're cutting more funding is devastating, because it makes me re-evaluate my future and what path I wanted to take," says St. Louis.

Same goes for others who say they can't afford to pay more for their education.

"I have grants, loans, scholarships and two jobs and I'm not making ends meet," says Christopher Fisher who is double majoring in Psychology and English.

"You have to choose either to have to work more, which puts a damper on your studies, or having to take out more loans, which are hard to pay off later," says Krystena Greer, a senior at FAU.

The Vice-President of Financial Affairs at FAU says increasing tuition is most likely how FAU will make up a shortfall in state funding. While lawmakers suggest the school use reserve funds to close the gap, he says the money can't be used for that.

"It has allocations and some are legislatively earmarked from prior years. It shows a lack of understanding of how the funding methods have been used," says Dennis Crudele, FAU V.P. of Financial Affairs.

Crudele says over the last five years the state has cut close to 30% from public universities. That leaves students like St. Louis in a familiar but unfortunate spot.

"Us students will have to pick up the slack and pay out of our pockets a lot more," says St. Louis.

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