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New College of Florida

The House Education committee is considering a plan to merge Florida Polytechnic University with the University of Florida, and New College of Florida with Florida State University. The proposal was filed Monday and is being met with  mixed reactions.

The Florida House Education Committee will hear a bill Wednesday that would merge the state’s two smallest and youngest public universities with its two oldest ones – and that’s not sitting well with some.

Under Brevard County Republican Rep. Randy Fine's proposal (PCB EDC 20-03), Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland would become part of the University of Florida, while New College of Florida in Sarasota would become part of Florida State University.

On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, students and faculty at New College of Florida swung their sledgehammers Friday and knocked down a replica of the infamous wall, which they'd built on campus in September as a way to study the history of the era and how societal divisions persist today.

With a student population just under 900, New College of Florida in Sarasota has plans to grow to 1,200 students by 2020, and now they have the money to do it. This summer the school started phase one of its growth plan with $5.4 million on funding- another $45 million is expected to be spent on new buildings, forty more professors, and expanding enrollment.

A small number of universities are starting to go against the grain, reducing amenities and frills in favor of keeping the costs relatively low.

Neil Theobald is the president of Temple University, which recently began offering students $4,000 per year in grants — if they promise to limit the number of hours they work during the school year and graduate on time.