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Md. colleges’ tuition changes reflect recruitment, academic goals

(File)

(File)

Next year, the University of Baltimore will become the latest Maryland institution to let out-of-state graduate students pay in-state prices.

The university is adopting a regional tuition rate for part-time graduate students in its business, arts and sciences and public affairs programs — meaning students from Delaware and Washington, D.C. as well as Arlington, Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William Counties in Virginia and Adam, York and Lancaster Counties in Pennsylvania will be billed the same as Maryland residents.

For students in the College of Arts and Sciences that come from these areas, next year’s tuition will drop by $319, for example.

Since much of the Baltimore region’s workforce comes from those out-of-state areas, the university felt it made sense to expand its reach and enrollment into those regions, said Peter Toran, UB’s vice president of communications and marketing.

The university also wants to boost enrollment in its programs at the Universities at Shady Grove in Montgomery County, where several institutions in the University System of Maryland offer classes, so it’s trying to keeping them affordable, Toran said.

Similar regional tuition packages were approved last year for Frostburg State University, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown.

Officials said at the time that those institutions had the capacity to expand their enrollment and that increased college enrollment would have a positive effect on the surrounding regions.

The system’s board of regents approved the UB regional pricing plan Friday when they set the systemwide tuition rates for the forthcoming academic year.

Differential pricing

Regional rates aren’t the only way by tuition rates are becoming more varied and specified to different programs.

Tuition for three undergraduate programs at the University of Maryland, College Park will see an additional increase thanks to a the phase-in of a differential pricing plan, now in its second year. In order to compensate for the higher cost of the programs, juniors and seniors majoring in business, engineering and computer science will pay a $1,400 premium; last year they paid $700.

Full-time and part-time tuition for the JD program at the University of Maryland law school will increase 4 percent $29,484 for current students, but  the school will modify its rates for students starting in the fall so the overall cost full-time and part-time program are more aligned.

Under the previous system, it was possible for part-time students to take enough credits in one semester to find themselves billed at the higher rate for full-time students, and for full-time students to take few enough credits to be billed the part-time rate, said Donald Tobin, dean of the law school.

The new system is designed to provide more predictability, and ensure the total cost of law school is kept close to what students expect when they enroll, Tobin said.

USM changes approved

The USM regents approved a 2 percent tuition increase for most in-state undergraduate students at its member institutions Friday, while in-state graduate tuition will increase by up to 5 percent. Out-of-state tuition for most undergraduates will increase up to 3 percent.

The fiscal 2017 budget approved during this year’s General Assembly session included the 2 percent increase, but the regents make the final decision. This year’s increases are the smallest the system has seen since a four-year tuition freeze lifted in 2010.

Full-time, undergraduate tuition at the University of Maryland, College Park will increase from $8,152 to $8,315 for in-state students and from $29,300 to $30,179 for out-of-state students; both groups will also pay $1,866 in fees, according to the university system.

In-state tuition undergraduate tuition at Towson University is increasing from $6,430 to $6,560, but out-of-state students will only see a 1.1 percent increase to $18,228; another $2,848 will be charged in fees.

The state budget also calls for a 2 percent tuition increase at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Morgan State University, public institutions that are not part of the university system. Morgan State’s regents are yet to vote on that school’s increase, while St. Mary’s trustees have already approved its increase.