Regents approve housing rate hike

Costs will go up at all but one state school as tuition stays level

April 08, 2006|By LIZ F. KAY | LIZ F. KAY,SUN REPORTER

Although tuition will stay the same, students at Maryland's public university campuses will pay up to 8 percent more for housing next year.

The university system's Board of Regents approved charges for room, board, parking and other services at its meeting yesterday at the University of Baltimore. Charges for room and board will go up at all but one of the state campuses that offer housing. There will be no increase at Bowie State.

The housing increases vary depending on the campus and the type of room. At the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, the cost will go up $50 to $100, an average increase of 2.9 percent. Prices will rise by 8 percent for all housing at Towson University. Students living on campus there will pay an additional $334 to $418.

Meal plan increases range from 2 percent at Towson to as much as 4.5 percent for one plan at Frostburg State. In addition, parking rates will go up at the University of Maryland, College Park, Towson and Salisbury universities.

The "network and communication fee" at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County will increase by 5.1 percent to $288.

The budget passed by the Maryland General Assembly last month held in-state undergraduate tuition at its current rates for the next school year. Tuition went up an average of 5.8 percent this year and by nearly 30 percent during the previous two years, when schools received no increase in state aid.

Room, board and parking are "self-supporting" services at state university campuses, said Joseph F. Vivona, chief operating officer and vice chancellor for administration and finance. Fees are set so the schools neither make a profit nor run at a deficit, he said.

Increases typically stem from inflation and debt service on bonds sold to raise money for new buildings, he said.

Bowie State President Calvin W. Lowe said that only a small debt service remains on one residence hall and the school has made no changes to its food service contract. As a result, the university covered costs with current fees.

Most of Bowie State's buildings are older, Lowe said. One was built 80 years ago.

But Towson President Robert L. Caret said the age of some buildings on his campus drove up the room rates. Older buildings can require more maintenance, he said - and last year, dorm fees were "kept lower than we wanted."

liz.kay@baltsun.com

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