Editorial: Tuition policies can backfire on earnest students

The top headline on our front page the other day said: "Strained program squeezes students."

The little headline above it said: "Bright Futures."

And the little headline under all that said: "Free tuition can't cover annual hikes."

Those blurbs do a pretty good job of summing up what the story is all about.

While we abhor the situation, we welcome the opportunity to make the point again: state scholarship programs that purport to reward good work in high school need to keep up with tuition hikes enabled by the same Florida politicians who rush to take credit for recognizing our best and brightest.

Scholarship programs that once funded 100 percent of tuitions now can cover about half.

That can mean students and their families who have heeded the call to try hard in high school still have to reach into their own pockets for $4,000 — just for tuition.

"Bright Furtures'' strains the concept of truth in advertising.

"Dubious Futures'' is more like it — until Florida's higher education compass matches its political rhetoric.

Politicians have to keep in mind that every time they pull back on subsidies in favor of letting

universities fill in the gaps, the burden falls to students — on and off scholarships.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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