Nine major Maryland universities, including the University of Maryland (UMD), will increase their tuition by 5 percent for the spring semester to help mitigate massive cuts to their budget that reflect a failing economy that has also negatively affected MCPS and Blair.
The Board of Regents, the University System of Maryland's governing body, approved the boost on Jan 23. This is the first mid-year increase in ten years, adding $114 to the in-state spring tuition of students at the University of Maryland, College Park. The new annual rate will be $4,800.
The system's budget is down from $867 to $800 million after two emergency cuts since November. The first cut came during former Governor Parris Glendening's term, and Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich's proposed budget keeps funding for next year at the same level as it is now.
Career Center Director Sharon Williams attributed the budget cuts to the economic downturn following the Sept 11 attacks. "If 9-11 didn't happen, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in now," said Williams.
UMD President Dan Mote agreed with the board's decision because he believes a tuition increase is preferable to money-saving alternatives such as furloughs or layoffs. A hiring freeze has been in place at the UMD since last summer.
Blair is also experiencing tighter fiscal policies. Since Oct 1, the county has prohibited Blair from hiring new personnel, and MCPS recently froze funds for specific programs, such as Blair's Special Education program, on Jan 26, according to Principal Phillip Gainous.
The current downsizing is reminiscent of similar budget cuts in primary, secondary and higher education in the early 1990s.
Ben Meiselman. Ben Meiselman is a senior in the Communication Arts Program at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. He enjoys playing sports, especially baseball. Ben is seventeen years old, born May 16, 1985. He has played the trumpet since fourth grade when he began … More »