BALTIMORE – The University of Maryland Board of Regents voted unanimously to approve a $1.8 billion budget request Thursday, which included tuition increases at nine of the system’s 13 institutions.
The budget request for the 1996-’97 school year must be approved by the General Assembly and the governor during the legislative session beginning in January.
Tuition for the average undergraduate in-state student will rise nearly 7 percent; for out-of-state students, it will rise 10 percent.
University administrators say tuition increases will bridge the gap between the state’s contribution to the system and what the state says must be spent on such items as cost-of-living and health insurance increases.
In 1991, state money made up “around 40 percent” of the University of Maryland System’s budget. In this year’s budget, it will make up around 31 percent, said Donald N. Langenberg, system chancellor.
“The state of Maryland is a large shareholder in our enterprise, but it is not the major shareholder,” Langenberg said.
Of the $1.8 billion budget – a 2.6 percent increase over last year — $1.1 billion will pay salaries and wages, according to documents supplied by the system.
College administrators say the 3 percent increase in state funding that Gov. Parris N. Glendening has promised the university system is earmarked for certain “priorities” chosen by the governor and the regents. These include new facilities, debt service for the Center for the Performing Arts planned at College Park, information technology initiatives and inducement to bring AIDS researcher Robert Gallo to the Baltimore campus.
Langenberg said students he consulted did not react well to the idea of tuition increases. “They would prefer not to see some of the tuition increases we have here,” he said.
But Ann Hull, chairman of the Regents’ Finance Committee, said the increase was unavoidable.
“While we are reluctant to put students into more debt…we had to do it,” Hull said.
Hull noted that the governor has said he will not pay for $19 million in state mandated expenses.
Individual colleges therefore were faced with the prospect of raising tuition, or making deep cuts into programs.
Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland – Baltimore County, said students at his school chose tuition increases over cuts.
“I’ve talked to student leaders about the relationship of tuition and quality of education, and they are very supportive of the plans,” Hrabowski said.
In-state tuition at UMBC is going up 7.5 percent, to $3,400. Tuition paid by non-resident students will rise 2.5 percent, to $8,192.
Tuition at the University of Maryland College Park has increased 103 percent in the last eight years, from $1,724 in 1989-’90 to $3,494 during the 1995-’96 school year.
In 1991, state money accounted for more than 50 percent of the flagship campus’ budget. In 1995, it made up less than 30 percent, College Park spokeswoman Leslie Copeland said. Out-of-state students will feel a dramatic increase. At the University of Baltimore, for instance, they will pay $7,626 beginning next fall — $1,366 more than now. -30-