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University System of Maryland approves tuition increases across state

Local,Maryland,Education,Ben Giles

The University System of Maryland Board of Regents approved tuition increases Wednesday, the third consecutive year the board has raised costs for students at state colleges and universities.

A 3 percent in-state tuition increase will go into effect at all state colleges and universities in the fall. The board has approved roughly the same annual increase of in-state tuition since 2010, after four years of tuition freezes.

Out-of-state tuition hikes will be as high as 5 percent for students at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

and Coppin State University.

In-state tuition at Maryland colleges and universities
University of Maryland, College Park$6,966$7,1753%
University of Maryland, Baltimore County$6,879$7,0853%
Bowie State University$4,547$4,6833%
Towson University$5,496$5,6603%
Salisbury University$5,260$5,5766%

With additional increases to fees for student activities, transportation and other services, students at the University of Maryland, College Park will see their total in-state costs increase by $253 to $8,908.

Some students say a third straight year of tuition hikes is hard on families.

"It's tough, especially when they increase it every year," said Shaela Davis, a rising sophomore at Towson University. "It's not as bad since we're paying in-state tuition, but it's still difficult."

This year's increase keeps in line with the state's goals of lowering Maryland's once-dismal rankings for tuition costs, while continuing to face cuts in state funding, said University System Chancellor William Kirwan.

The budget plan passed by state lawmakers earlier this month, which included Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposal to raise tuition by 3 percent, calls for $5.3 million in cuts to the University System.

"Absolutely students won't want to see any increase, but given what we've done along the last five years, I think students will see this as manageable," Kirwan said.

Maryland's tuition increases have been modest in recent years compared with those in Virginia and increases nationally, as universities struggle to maintain spending while losing millions of dollars in state funding.

The College of William and Mary plans to raise its in-state tuition by 3.3 percent this fall, while the University of Virginia will raise in-state tuition and fees by 3.7 percent for the 2012-13 school year, or roughly $430, to $12,006.

State funding has plummeted in Virginia over the last decade, and school officials have been left asking students and parents to pick up the slack. General fund appropriations from the state for the University of Virginia shrank by more than $50 million over four years starting in 2007.

For both Virginia schools, the tuition increases are the lowest in more than a decade, officials said.

In-state tuition for four-year public universities increased by 8.3 percent nationally in 2011-12, due largely to a 21 percent increase of in-state tuition fees in California, according to the private College Board.

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