Tuition subsidy being cut Out-of-state tab to rise at UM

June 12, 1993|By Marina Sarris | Marina Sarris,Staff Writer

Maryland taxpayers will stop subsidizing the tuition of out-of-state undergraduate students at University of Maryland System schools under a policy adopted yesterday by the Board of Regents.

Out-of-state undergraduates currently enjoy subsidies ranging from 1 percent to 25 percent, depending on which school they attend. They will pay the entire cost of their education when the policy takes full effect in 1998.

"The argument is that the citizens of the state should not be spending their money to subsidize education for persons who are not residents of the state of Maryland," said system Chancellor Donald L. Langenberg. "The subject has been raised by legislative leaders and taxpayers."

Maryland will continue to subsidize graduate students from other states because ending the subsidies "would price our graduate programs out of the national market," said Anne J. Moultrie, a spokeswoman.

But the policy requires that they pay at least 180 percent of the tuition charged to graduate students who are Maryland residents. That's already the case at the University of Maryland at College Park, but the fees charged to out-of-state graduate students at other campuses will increase under policy.

The new policy represents the first time that the University of Maryland System has had written guidelines detailing a rationale for the tuition charged at its 11 colleges and universities. The policy says, for instance, that undergraduates who are state residents should pay from 30 percent to 45 percent of the cost of their education. Undergraduate tuitions at the schools already fall within that range.

The decision to place more financial burden on out-of-state families follows three years of state budgetcuts and tuition increases. Tuition has gone up an average of 8 percent to 10 percent a year during that time as the recession forced state officials to reduce spending on the system.

Several other states, including Virginia, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, require out-of-state undergraduates to pay the full cost of their education at some or all of their public schools, according to the system's budget office.

The new policy will be phased in gradually over a four-year period that begins July 1, 1994, and it will not affect the tuitions charged during the academic year that begins in September. Officials offered these examples of how tuitions would change were the policy fully in effect in September:

Tuition and fees for out-of-state undergraduates would rise from $8,783 to $9,667 at College Park, from $4,677 to $7,806 at Coppin State College and from $5,114 to $7,603 at the University of Baltimore.

Tuition and fees for in-state students would remain the same: $3,179 at College Park, $2,605 at Coppin State and $2,874 at the University of Baltimore.

The policy is designed to keep tuitions at the state's schools "in the moderate range" compared with public colleges and universities nationwide, Ms. Moultrie said. Before yesterday's meeting, the UM system sponsored public hearings on the tuition issue across the state.

Ms. Moultrie said that the Marylanders who attended the hearings raised three major concerns:

* Families should be informed of tuition increases well in advance so they will have enough time to plan their finances accordingly.

* Students who are academically qualified to attend college should not be priced out of an education.

* The state's colleges and universities should provide a "quality education."

The affected schools also include Bowie State, Towson State, Frostburg State and Salisbury State universities; University College, and the University of Maryland's Eastern Shore, Baltimore County and Baltimore campuses.

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