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Florida Leads The Nation In Higher Education Reform With Targeted Tuition Relief and Transparency

Naples, FL—Over the past two decades, Florida leadership has created the nation’s most affordable, transparent higher education system. Using targeted tuition relief, investments in higher education and earnings transparency, Florida lawmakers and Governor Ron DeSantis are helping students make better career decisions.

Targeted tuition relief reforms have lowered the cost of higher education at Florida’s public higher education institutions by roughly 23 percent since 2001. While the rest of the country experienced skyrocketing tuition over the same period, Florida has done away with automatic tuition increases while expanding tuition relief. Last year, Florida built on those efforts with four specific reforms that will ensure Floridians continue to experience the lowest tuition in the nation for public four-year institutions.

  • “Buy-One, Get-One” waivers for high-demand fields allow students enrolling in certain science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses to receive an equivalent STEM course for free.
  • Certain out-of-state students with grandparents residing in Florida who meet standardized test qualifications will receive in-state tuition at a Florida state college or university.
  • Up to 1,000 veterans and active duty service members are eligible for one free online course at a Florida state college or university and discounted tuition for additional courses as long as they remain enrolled.
  • Clarification that individuals who turned 18 while in the custody of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) are eligible for the full fee waiver offered to those who were in DCF custody.  

Additionally, a recently deployed transparency dashboard is helping Florida students and families better understand potential earnings and typical loan amounts for different fields of study across different colleges and universities.

“Florida leaders have modernized the higher education system to ensure it best serves students across the country. With the leadership of Gov. DeSantis, lawmakers have ensured that higher education reforms provide greater affordability and transparency to students and their families,” said Hayden Dublois, Deputy Research Director at the Foundation for Government Accountability. “Other states should model their higher education systems after Florida’s to improve access and affordability for their communities.”


The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) is a non-profit, multi-state think tank that promotes public policy solutions to create opportunities for every American to experience the American Dream. To learn more, visit


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