Governor Rick Scott visited St. Petersburg College Monday morning to announce his $10,000 Degree Challenge.
"What I did today was challenge our state colleges," said Scott. "Can they come up with $10,000 degrees for a degree where they know they can get a job?" Scott said.
St. Petersburg College became the first state college to accept the challenge. SPC plans to offer a four-year degree in Technology Management and Development for $10,000 next fall. Currently, that degree costs more than $13,000.
"We just finished a study in the Tampa Bay area of the information technology workforce. There's a huge demand," said Dr. William Law, Jr., president of St. Petersburg College.
Scott says colleges can reduce costs through using more online courses and offering dual enrollment where students can earn college credit in high school.
The average price of a four-year degree at Florida's state universities is around $25,000. Officials at St. Petersburg College say tuition is already 40 percent lower at state colleges than at state universities, and programs like the $10,000 degree will further reduce tuition costs.
A spokesperson for the Florida Democratic party called Scott's challenge a gimmick, noting that the Governor supported $300 million in spending cuts for state universities this year and reductions in Bright Futures Scholarships.