Gov. Rick Scott wanted Florida to have the lowest public university tuition in the United States by the time he left office.
During his 2014 re-election campaign, he set goals to keep Florida universities competitive, including a $10,000 STEM degree program and the goal of raising public university rankings.
As his tenure as governor comes to a close, we checked Florida's public university tuition ranking. Did Florida make it to No. 1?
In 2014, Scott signed HB 851, which curbed the "tuition differential" universities would use to increase tuition, excluding the University of Florida and Florida State University. The same bill reduced UF and FSU's tuition differential increases from 15 percent to 6 percent.
From Scott's re-election campaign to his two-year halfway mark, Florida jumped from sixth to fourth in lowest average public four-year tuition and fees. According to the College Board, accounting for inflation, cost dropped from $6,813 in the 2013-14 academic year to $6,716 in 2015-16.
Besides the tuition differential curb, the Scott administration also expanded need-based financial aid and Bright Futures scholarships by covering 100 percent of tuition and fees for top-performing "academic scholars," Brittany Wise, the Florida Board of Governors spokeswoman, wrote in an email.
Academic scholars were also able to use Bright Futures for summer classes in 2018, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Scott's goal was within reach by 2016. Florida's average tuition and fees cost of $6,360 was behind three states: Montana at $6,351, New Mexico at $6,355 and Wyoming at $4,891.
The average cost continued to steadily decrease in the meantime. By the time school was in session in 2018, the average cost at a Florida university had dropped by $183.
In current dollars — which does not account for inflation — the average cost of tuition and fees at a four-year Florida university has been about $6,360 for the past four academic years, according to the College Board.
To this day, Wyoming clings onto the title as the cheapest state to go to a public institution, with an average four-year tuition of $5,400. Utah comes in third with $6,990.
In 2014, Scott promised the cheapest tuition in the nation. He wants Florida to be No. 1, but he'll have to settle for second place. Today, the difference between Wyoming and Florida's average costs for a four-year education is exactly $960.
While it is unlikely Florida's tuition costs will dip below Wyoming's before Scott is inaugurated as a U.S. senator, the state's low tuition ranking jumped from sixth to second place. Because the original promise is mostly or completely fulfilled, that's enough to get Scott a Promise Kept.