JACKSONVILLE, Fla---A proposal drafted by the Governor's Blue Ribbon Task Force could lower tuition for certain majors in Florida in an effort to steer students into science, technology and engineering degree programs.
Even though the proposal is still in the works, it's already receiving mixed reactions from students.
Rob Byther is a Political Science Major at the University of North Florida and is one of many students that would not see a reduction in his tuition if the a state task force proposal is passed. He chose Political Science because he enjoys the social sciences, but fears that if only STEM programs such as science, technology and engineering get lower tuition, it could change the future of education.
"I think it will make it more empty. That's the thing I really like about the liberal arts degrees, it's a very well rounded education where as math is focused on you know numbers and science is specifically focused on the methods and the research," said Byther.
The proposal would lower tuition for majors which would benefit the state, like nursing, biomedical engineering, and coastal biology.
"I think it would definitely improve [state education] because more people would be motivated to go into those majors because it would be easier for them to pay for the tuition and all the other fees that come along with tuition," said Mary Jo Monk, a Coastal Biology Major at UNF.
But not all college students are on board with only focusing on increasing enrollment in certain degrees.
"Without extreme emphasis on the social sciences like history, poly sci, you know psychology, criminal justice, like all those majors play an important role in functioning as a society," countered Byther.
Most of the students who favor the proposal are already planning on pursuing a STEM program major which would have a lower tuition. Others who might be undecided about their major may choose a STEM major if it means no college loans for four years.
"I would actually love that because I'm actually in debt right now so I could definitely use some relief from my debt," said Jose Villaseco, a Music Major at UNF.
There's no word on how much the proposal would lower tuition for the majors in demand, but the task force, which UNF President John Delaney is heading, will meet two more times before making a decision on the proposal.
First Coast News