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Interesting way to attract grad students.....


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USF Recruits Out Of State


The Tampa Tribune

Published: May 30, 2008


TAMPA - Students in a typical University of South Florida classroom, by simple math, share one common characteristic: Most of them live in Florida.

Soon, that may change.

University trustees gave preliminary approval Thursday to a new tuition policy aimed at attracting more students from other states.

Under the proposal, graduate students from outside Florida would pay 10 percent less than the current annual rate of tuition and fees, which is about $21,200.

The undergraduate rate for nonresidents is about $18,000, and it would remain the same.

Although the Legislature sets undergraduate tuition for students who live in Florida, the universities set the costs for all graduate students and nonresident undergraduates.

The changes come as all in-state students prepare to pay more and available seats for anyone are scarce.

As the university works toward national prominence, however, its leaders say they need to expand their geographical reach. Of the 45,000 students enrolled at USF's four campuses, only about 1,125, or 2.5 percent, are undergraduate students from other states. Fewer than 1,000, or 2.2 percent, are nonresident graduate students.

Robert Spatig, USF's undergraduate admissions director, said most other notable public universities have much greater shares of nonresident students.

In addition, more public school campuses nationwide are reducing the costs for out-of-state students to diversify their student bodies.

"From an educational perspective, you want geographic diversity represented in the classroom," Spatig said. "It's a richer exchange of ideas."

Besides, Spatig said, out-of-state students more than pay for themselves, and the revenue they bring in also benefits resident students.

Even with the new policy, though, it won't be easy to attract them. Nonresident undergraduate students at USF pay thousands more annually than at schools in most Northeastern states, where the university has increased its recruitment efforts.

Nonresident graduate tuition at USF ranks near the top nationwide, which has discouraged many high-achieving students from attending, said Tapas Das, USF's associate provost.

A 10 percent reduction in costs for those students would make USF more competitive with research universities in other states, Das said.

Although USF isn't cutting costs for nonresident undergraduates, Spatig said the university will make better use of its own scholarships and tuition waivers to attract more high achieving students from outside Florida.

The university's full Board of Trustees will consider the changes at its next meeting.

In similar business, trustees took the first step toward placing a high dollar value on some school programs.

Graduate students living in Florida would pay 6 percent more in tuition under a preliminary plan, which brings tuition and fees to about $6,100 annually. Those in the College of Business, however, would pay 10 percent more.

There is higher student demand in the College of Business, where programs cost more to administer, Das said.

Trustees also gave an initial OK to a standardized fee for students who take online classes. Previously, students in online classes paid a per-credit-hour fee of $5 to $67. Under the preliminary plan approved Thursday, undergraduate students would pay $35 a credit hour, and graduate students would pay $50.


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Reading between the lines here, I think we simply made it slightly more cost effective to bring in international graduate students in order to meet the growing research needs for grants at the university.  Any student who wanted to come to USF for graduate school is unlikely to make his/her decision based on a 10% tuition break, anyway. 


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