State Freezes College Tuition For Third Consecutive Year

USM Regents Vote to Freeze Tuition for 2008-2009 Academic Year

ADELPHI, Md. (June 5, 2008) — Governor Martin O’Malley, joined by the Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, University System of Maryland Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan, University System of Maryland Board Chairman Clifford Kendall, UMBC President Dr. Freeman Hrabowski and other officials, on Wednesday announced a tuition freeze for higher education in Maryland for the third consecutive year.

“In order to compete in this global economy, now is more important than ever to hold the line on college tuition,” said Governor O’Malley. “That is why, I am proud to announce that for a third consecutive year, we are able to freeze college tuition to help Maryland students and families make the dream of a college degree a reality and to help secure the strength of our workforce as we look toward tomorrow.”

On Wednesday, the University System of Maryland Board of Regents voted in favor of holding in-state undergraduate tuition for FY 2009. As a result of the tuition freeze, Maryland resident undergraduates who entered USM universities in fall 2005 and graduate in spring 2009 will not have experienced a tuition increase during their four years in college.

Since 2004, USM has fallen from the sixth to the 16th highest tuition in the nation, according to analysis of national public university tuition data published by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“Many states are reducing aid to public higher education and raising tuition as a result,” said USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan. “Maryland’s leaders have chosen a different path: strengthening access to college through increased investment in higher education. As a result of the foresight and bold action by Governor Martin O’Malley and the General Assembly in this year’s budgeting process, we are able to hold tuition constant for a third year. State investment in higher education is absolutely vital to keep our state economy strong by keeping education affordable, supporting research, and fostering entrepreneurship and opportunity for our citizens.”

Several public university systems in the U.S. have already announced plans to increase tuition rates for 2008-2009. Increases range from 6 percent for the State University System of Florida and 7 percent for University of Washington campuses to 7.4 percent for the University of California campuses and 10 percent for the California State University and University of Maine systems. According to the College Board, the average tuition increase at four-year public universities was 6.6 percent in FY 2008 and averaged 4.4 percent annually in the decade FY 1998-2008.

“We realize that these are economically uncertain times for many Maryland families,” said Board of Regents Chair Clifford M. Kendall. “In fact, we are serving more and more students who are first-in-family to attend college and for whom cost is a major factor in their decision to complete their degrees or to apply at all. Moderating tuition increases is key to ensuring access to opportunity and a better quality of life for all Maryland citizens.”

University System of Maryland’s 11 degree-granting universities currently enroll more than 137,000 students, approximately 75,000 of which are resident undergraduates. The average in-state undergraduate tuition rate for USM is $5,081 annually.

Source: Governor O’Malley's Office

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