State reverses cuts to scholarship funds

December 02, 1992|By Thomas W. Waldron | Thomas W. Waldron,Staff Writer

With budget cuts smaller than they once feared, state education officials yesterday reinstated $1.85 million in scholarships for students attending out-of-state colleges or going part time to Maryland schools.

The scholarship cuts were made in September "in anticipation of a larger hit to higher education than we ended up getting," said Jeffrey R. Welsh, spokesman for the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

J. Henry Butta, the commission chairman, yesterday announced that the programs would continue.

That means 1,058 Maryland students attending out-of-state colleges will receive the grants they had been promised. The grants, totaling $1.2 million, range from $200 to $1,250 for the school year and will go to students attending 129 colleges, including Harvard and Yale.

Mr. Butta said the state would also award $650,000 in grants to part-time students attending Maryland institutions, mostly community colleges. The state had frozen $750,000 in grants for part-time students in September.

The program will provide grants of up to $1,000 a year for more than 1,000 part-time students.

At the time the money was frozen, state officials were contemplating a cut of as much as $100 million in higher education funding. Gov. William Donald Schaefer's final cut was $25 million.

The out-of-state grants face an uncertain future next year. The commission voted to suspend the program after this academic year until the state's budget situation improves, Mr. Welsh said.

The program offers scholarships to Maryland residents attending colleges and universities in just seven states -- Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont -- and the District of Columbia. These states have similar programs that help their students attending college in Maryland.

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