Sunday, February 27, 2011

Strategy 3: Story Ideas

For this assignment, I decided to focus on the state considering block tuition for public universities and colleges.

  1. When will this go into effect, if it’s passed? How much will students have to pay? Will the price of tuition go up? What about part-time students? Will this apply equally to all students at all universities? Could this push students to out-of-state schools? Will it decrease the number of international and out-of-state students? What about graduate students? What will the new money go toward? Are other states considering similar legislation? Do other states already have a similar legislation in place? Why is the state considering this now? How will this affect Bright Futures? Will this apply during the summer semesters?
  2. How will this affect students’ perception of their university and the people who run it? If students begin to feel rushed out, then how could it affect their performance in school? What about participation in non-academic activities? Is this the last time we’ll see changes in students’ tuition and fees?
  3. The University of Florida is known for providing a great and affordable education. Is it possible that implementing block tuition and further tuition hikes could cause an exodus from the school?
  4. Although I’m a few months away from no longer being a student, I still like to read stories about the education system. Education stories that are framed within the context of the economy are also very interesting and relevant because they make the reader think about the long-term impact that current changes may have even after the economy recovers.
  5. If students must pay for 18 credits, then will more students take the maximum amount of credits? How will this affect the amount of time students take to graduate? What about graduation rates? How will different departments and colleges react to this? How will taxpayers- many of whom have children in the state university system- react to paying for ‘invisible’ classes?
  6. An interesting way to consider the people affected by this news would be to talk to the incoming class of freshmen that were recently accepted to UF. The legislation will most likely be decided on in the next four years, and they could end up having to pay block tuition. A reporter could ask them and their parents if they considered block tuition when deciding which colleges to apply to.
  7. WHO- The Florida lawmakers who are backing the legislation, the students who could be affected, the parents who may have to foot the bill.

WHAT-Block tuition that could be implemented at Florida’s public universities and colleges.

WHEN-The next few years or whenever the legislation is voted on.

WHERE-Florida’s public colleges and universities

WHY-Block tuition has been at the center of many on-campus protests and was even voted against by UF’s student body during this past student election.

  1. How will block tuition affect student performance in school? How will the extra money be spent? How do lawmakers plan to weigh the pros and cons in this legislation? How will the price of attending college in Florida compare to the prices in other states? How will this affect the decision of non-in-state students to come to Florida for school?
  2. I think if done correctly, then this story should appeal more to taxpayers and the parents of future possible students. Right now, many of the stories I’ve seen about block tuition focus on current student reaction. This is, of course, an important view to consider, but it is also very short-sighted. This legislation isn’t going to be decided on anytime soon, and to keep it in the minds of the public, newspapers should focus on those who may have to deal with it in the next few years.

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