O'Malley Proposes Tuition Freeze for Higher Education for Third Consecutive Year

BALTIMORE (Jan. 14, 2008) – Governor Martin O’Malley, joined by Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, University System of Maryland Chancellor Brit Kirwan, and UMBC President. Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, today announced a proposed tuition freeze for higher education in Maryland for the third consecutive year.

O’Malley announced plans to provide funds in his proposed FY 2009 operating budget to freeze tuition for the 2008-2009 academic year. Governor O'Malley also announced a 12% increase in community college funding, and $81 million to improve academic facilities on 13 community college campuses statewide. O’Malley will introduce his proposed operating budget for FY 2009 on Wednesday.

“An educated workforce is essential for economic growth in our State, yet Maryland families have seen college tuition rates soar almost 40% since 2000. Its my hope that this third consecutive tuition freeze will help Maryland students and families make the dream of college degree a reality,” said Governor O’Malley. “With the newly created Higher Education Investment Fund (HEIF), we are able to make stabilizing college tuition costs a top priority for this Administration and our State.”

In addition to the in-state undergraduate tuition freeze at Maryland’s four-year public institutions, including Morgan State University, Governor O’Malley announced an increase in funding and financial aid for Maryland's Historically Black Colleges and Universities and an increase in support for research institutions to help build Maryland's economic future.

In Governor O’Malley’s FY 2009 budget, $54.9 million from the Higher Education Trust Fund is dedicated to the University System of Maryland, Morgan State University, and the Maryland Higher Education Commission:

-- $16.3 million to freeze tuition at USM institutions and Morgan State University;

-- $11.5 million to expand enrollment by 1,529 students at USM institutions and 90 students at Morgan State University. USM enrollment projections suggest that by FY 2016, undergraduate enrollment will increase by 30%, from 98,000 to 127,000 students, and graduate enrollment will increase by 43%, from 37,000 to 54,000 students.

-- $1.5 million to narrow the achievement gap between low-income, first generation students and students of color compared to college students as a whole; and

-- $18.5 million for workforce/research/economic competitiveness to help meet the demand for graduates with professional degrees in nursing and other health fields, engineering, science, and math.

Governor O’Malley’s budget increases the State’s investment in local community colleges by $26.6 million and provides Baltimore City Community College an additional $1.4 million in State funding. Moreover, the capital budget includes a record level of capital funding for the community colleges—$81 million to improve academic facilities on 13 community college campuses, including a new Science Center at the Montgomery College-Rockville Campus and a new library at the Community College of Baltimore County.

This past year, Maryland’s community colleges experienced the most growth of any higher education sector at 2.6 percent, or 3,057 students, accounting for more than 53 percent of growth statewide.

The Governor’s proposed FY 2009 budget also includes $201.8 million in capital funding to improve facilities at Maryland’s public four-year higher education institutions.

Source: Governor O’Malley’s Office

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