Ehrlich vows `bump' in state funding for universities

11-campus system to get first increase in two years

December 01, 2004|By Jason Song | Jason Song,SUN STAFF

Maryland's public university system will receive its first state funding increase in two years, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. promised last night.

"The university is going to receive a bump this year," Ehrlich said during an appearance on a University of Maryland, College Park radio broadcast.

Ehrlich, who is to submit his budget to the General Assembly in January, declined to say how much money will go to the 11-campus system. "It's premature to give you that number," he told the show's host, Student Government Association President Aaron Kraus, who staged a brief hunger strike last summer outside Government House, Ehrlich's home in Annapolis.

During the past two years, the university system has raised tuition by nearly 30 percent to help offset budget cuts. University of Maryland students who live on campus pay nearly $17,000 annually in tuition and fees, making it one of the most expensive public universities in the nation.

Ehrlich also said he would put more funding into need-based financial aid.

The governor said he continues to believe that the state's higher-education system is doing well academically and economically. "I'm not buying into the notion that times are real tough," he said.

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