By andrei Blakely
ANNAPOLIS – A recommended new residency policy for the University System of Maryland allowing in-state students to pay for college with out-of-state money could have the greatest impact on the state’s largest campus, a spokesman for the University of Maryland College Park said.
In 1999 there were 590 petitions for in-state tuition at the university, of which 356 were approved, 170 were denied and 64 are still pending, said George Cathcart, university spokesman. It is not known how many of the 170 denied petitions would qualify under the proposed guidelines.
The Board of Regents’ Committee on Finance Monday approved its draft of a new residency policy during a special teleconferenced meeting. The proposed policy abolishes the blanket rejection of residency petitions from students who receive money from an out-of-state source and adds the requirement of state residency for reasons other than education.
The University System of Maryland is changing the policy in fast response to the Court of Appeals Nov. 6 judgment in the case of Jeremy R. Frankel.
Frankel moved out of state with his mother after his parents divorced. Upon coming back to Maryland for college he was charged out-of-state tuition because he received money from his mother even though he had a Maryland driver’s license and voter registration.
The court’s decision allows students like Frankel to be judged under broader qualifications.
“We are all intent on resolving the issues of the (high court decision) and we want to get it done expeditiously,” said Chris Hart, spokesman for the University System of Maryland.
The final vote from the 17 regents on the policy changes should be made next week.
Presidents of the 11 universities and colleges under the University System are evaluating the policy.
One long-term impact of the proposed changes is schools may lose money.
The College Park campus would be affected by any significant change in the number of students receiving in-state tuition. Full-time, in-state students pay $2,568 per semester, while out-of-state students pay $6,334 per semester.
The campus receives $170 million each year in tuition revenue with about $84 million coming from its out-of-state students, Cathcart said.
“This is a big university,” he said. “The impact on revenue will be determined over time.”
The changes will give students more leverage to appeal.
“I think it is going to put a greater burden on the office of residency. There are people who are living in Maryland solely to go to school,” said Cathcart. “They could meet a lot of the requirements.”