By andrei Blakely
ANNAPOLIS – The University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents next month is expected to change the policy on out-of-state tuition in response to a Monday Court of Appeals opinion, a system spokesman said.
The Board of Regents will make the law conform to the ruling as soon as possible, said Chris Hart, university system spokesman.
The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that in some cases, students living in Maryland could receive financial support from an out-of-state source and still receive in-state tuition rates.
An estimate of students impacted by the policy change is still being gathered, said George Cathcart, spokesman for the University of Maryland College Park.
“We get petitions every semester making a case of residency and tuition,” he said. “It is not a matter of being unfair to people from out of state. It is a matter of being fair to people in state.”
No decision has been made on whether previous claims would be reconsidered or compensated, he said, because the court failed to specify how to obtain relief.
Tuition for University of Maryland College Park out-of-state undergraduate students is $6,334 per semester compared to $2,568 per semester for in-state undergraduates.
The university system is made up of 11 colleges and universities throughout the state that use the same tuition policy.
In 1998, 24,000 of 107,000 total students had out-of-state residency, with about 11,000 from the College Park campus.
The case decided by the high court involved Jeremy R. Frankel, who grew up in Maryland. When his parents divorced, he moved to Rhode Island with his mother.
Upon choosing the University of Maryland, he established residency with a driver’s license and voter registration. But, his tuition was partially paid by his out-of-state parents. The school denied his in-state tuition request.
“Theoretically it is still possible that (Frankel) will not qualify for residency,” said Cathcart.
Now, for an out-of-state student to qualify for in-state tuition rates, that student must establish financial independence and provide proofs of residency, including place of residence, voter registration, property ownership, the state to which income taxes are paid, driver’s license, motor vehicle registration, public assistance and legal ability to reside in Maryland.
The case has a wide impact. The ruling sets Maryland apart from many other states that have similar policies regarding out-of-state tuition, Cathcart said.