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Average Cost of a Degree Continues to Decline for State University System of Florida Students

JACKSONVILLE— The average cost of a bachelor’s degree at one of Florida’s state universities has dropped to a historic low.  Due to the emphasis on affordability, the average cost to the student for a four-year degree in the State University System is less than $2,000, including financial aid, showing a decrease five years in a row.  Florida has held tuition and fees flat since 2014-2015 compared to a 17 percent increase nationally, making Florida the second lowest state in the country for tuition and fees for 4-year public institutions.  

“The Governor, legislative leaders, and the Board of Governors have continued to prioritize low tuition and fee costs to the students, even as they rise across the country,” said Brian Lamb, chair of the Board of Governors.  “Lower cost to the student translates into less debt when graduating and gives our students a leg up as they start their professional lives.  This success is just one of the reasons why Florida has been named the top state in higher education in the country by U.S. News and World Report for the last five years.”

While the national conversation surrounding a large amount of student debt continues to make headlines, Florida’s 12 public universities are bucking the trend.  Within the State University System, over 17,000 fewer resident undergraduate students took out loans in 2020-21 compared to 2019-20, while 75% of resident undergraduate students did not take out any loans. 

Increased financial aid, such as Bright Futures and the Florida Student Assistance Grant, summer funding of Pell Grants, increased graduation rates, and consistent low tuition has resulted in fewer resident undergraduate students taking out loans and lower loan default rates.

“The State University System is focused on lowering the cost to students while providing them the best higher education in the country,” said Marshall M. Criser, III, chancellor of the State University System of Florida.  “I am thrilled that the State University System is continuing to see a downward trajectory on student borrowing and student debt load.”

Additionally, the Board emphasized its position on the tenure and accreditation changes stemming from the 2022 legislative session.  Engaged oversight, enhanced regulations and accountability have long been key elements of the System’s governance model, and the Board of Governors takes this responsibility very seriously.  Board staff have been working collaboratively with university leadership on both tenure and accreditation to develop a path forward that crystallizes our pivotal role in the oversight of the State University System of Florida.

In other meeting highlights the Board:

  • Recognized outgoing Governor H. Wayne Huizenga.
  • Confirmed the appointment of Ms. Rhea Law as president of the University of South Florida.
  • Confirmed the reappointment of Dr. Randy Avent as president of Florida Polytechnic University.
  • Approved the Civil Discourse recommendation update to the 2025 Strategic Plan.
  • Approved the following updates to Board of Governors’ regulations:
    • Regulation 3.005, Examination and Assessment Instruments
    • Regulation 10.015, Institutes and Centers
    • Regulation 8.011, Authorization of New Academic Degree Programs and Other Curricular Offerings
    • Regulation 8.013, Limited Access
    • Regulation 4.001, University System Processes for Complaints of Waste, Fraud, or Financial Mismanagement
    • Regulation 4.002, State University System Chief Audit Executives
    • Regulation 4.003, State University System Compliance and Ethics Programs
    • Regulation 4.004, Board of Governors Oversight Enforcement Authority
    • Regulation 14.001, Definitions
    • Regulation 14.002, Reserves for New Construction
  • Approved the revised 2025 Strategic Plan for Online Education.
  • Approved the estimated 2022-2023 operating budgets for auxiliary facilities with bond covenants requiring Board approval.
  • Approved the authorization of a resolution approving the issuance of debt by the Florida State University Research Foundation, Inc. (FSURF) to provide funding to FSU to finance a portion of the construction of the Interdisciplinary Research and Commercialization Building (IRCB).

For more information, consult the meeting’s official minutes at  The Board’s next in-person meeting is June 28-30, 2022, at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.


Facts about the State University System of Florida and the Board of Governors

The State University System of Florida is a constitutional body led by the 17-member Board of Governors.  The System has 12 universities and more than 420,000 students, making it the second-largest public university system in the nation.  Responsibilities include defining the distinctive mission of each institution and managing the System’s coordination and operation.  The Board appoints a Chancellor who serves as the System’s chief executive.  For more, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.