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USM regents approve tuition increases

The University System of Maryland Board of Regents approved a systemwide tuition increase of up to 5percent for in-state undergraduates Wednesday and imposed an additional fee on students in three majors at the University of Maryland, College Park.

The undergraduate tuition increase will apply to both in-state and out-of-state students. Graduate school tuition will increase up to 13.1 percent for in-state students and 5.4 percent for out-of-state students.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County will increase tuition for resident undergraduates by 7 percent, because that campus deferred a 2 percent tuition hike approved in January, according to the university system.

The board also approved a differential pricing plan for students majoring in business, engineering and computer science at the University of Maryland, College Park. Those majors have a higher cost of instruction, are in high demand by students and have high placement rates and salaries upon graduation, according to the university system.

Rather than spread those higher costs among all students using the “one-tuition-fits-all approach,” differential pricing will help fund those three programs without reallocating funds from other departments.

Under the plan, juniors and seniors in those three majors will pay an additional premium in addition to their annual standard tuition and mandatory fees.

In fiscal 2016, the additional price will be $700 per year; that additional cost will increase to $2,800 per year in fiscal 2018, according to university system document outlining the plan.

The differential rate is projected to bring in an additional $16 million per year, which will pay for smaller classes, more faculty and new technology in these programs, as well as help fund increased enrollment and more financial aid.

“Differential pricing can go a long way to closing the quality and reputational gap and improving the value of the undergraduate business experience we can offer,” Alexander J. Triantis, dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business, wrote in a letter to the regents last week. “The additional funds would allow us to properly invest in high-quality faculty instruction, building up or full-time faculty.”