UM System tuitions, fees will increase New charges become effective in 1997-1998 despite more state aid

'Reasonable, predictable'

Regents' raises range from 5.1% at Coppin to 10.5% at UMBC

August 24, 1996|By Mike Bowler | Mike Bowler,SUN STAFF

Tuition and fees in the University of Maryland System will increase by as much as 10.5 percent in 1997-1998, despite a 3 percent increase in state aid.

The university's Board of Regents approved the increases yesterday, a year in advance. They range from 5.1 percent at Coppin State College to 10.5 percent at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

In-state students at UMBC will pay $4,570 in tuition and mandatory fees in fall 1997, up from $4,136 this year. College Park's undergraduate charges will move from $4,169 to $4,460, up 7 percent, while Towson State University's charges will move from $3,822 to $4,103, a 7.4 percent increase.

The regents buried some large increases in the approved list of charges. For example, they raised University of Maryland Eastern Shore tuition by only 3 percent but raised student fees by nearly 22 percent, resulting in a net increase of 6.7 percent. Frostburg State University increased its athletic fee from $188 to $240 and created a $20 "transportation fee."

University Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg called the tuition structure "reasonable, predictable and competitive."

Even with the increases, he said, UM tuition is on the low side compared to neighboring states.

Langenberg said the university was "exceedingly grateful" for the 3 percent increase in general funds included in Gov. Parris N. Glendening's 1997 budget, especially when other state agencies have had to cut spending by 7 percent. But for many years Maryland and other states have been shifting the cost of public higher education from taxpayers to tuition payers.

Only 31 percent of the university's revenue comes from the state, prompting one official to joke that public universities are shifting from "state-supported" to "state-affiliated" to "state-located."

Langenberg said the university is planning tuitions four years in advance in an effort to help the university and its students with planning. He predicted that the 11 UM campuses could hold four-year increases to less than 20 percent by the end of the century.

Also approved at the regents meeting at the University of Maryland at Baltimore were 1997-1998 increases in law and medical school tuition. UMAB law students will pay $9,219, a 4.6 percent rise, University of Baltimore law students $8,352, 10 percent more, and in-state medical students $12,439, a 7.4 percent increase.

The tuition and fee changes are part of a $1.9 billion UM System budget, also approved yesterday.

About a dozen people stood silently at the back of the room, displaying signs protesting the regents' decision last month not to extend benefits to the domestic partners of university employees.

Pub Date: 8/24/96

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