USM Board of Regents Votes to Approve FY 2022 Institutional Schedule for Increases in Student Tuition and Fees
Baltimore, Md. (May 5, 2021) – The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents today voted to approve tuition and fee increases for the upcoming 2021–22 academic year. The request for these increases was put forward by the USM presidents and supported by Chancellor Jay A. Perman. They come following a freeze in tuition and fees for the current academic year, a move undertaken to help students and families experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With this vote, the USM will enact moderate tuition increases that average 2 percent for in-state undergraduates, and 5 percent for out-of-state undergraduates and for graduate students.
“We understand that COVID has taken a devastating toll on students and families, and recognizing the financial fallout, the board voted last year to freeze all tuition and fees,” said Chancellor Jay A. Perman, in comments before the Board of Regents. “It was the right thing to do. It was compassionate and courageous. But it wasn’t easy. Because the System, too, was dealing with financial fallout on a scale few of us had ever seen.”
“The proposed increase is reasonable,” Perman added, “and keeps a USM education competitive with that of our peer institutions, many of which didn’t grant a tuition freeze last year. And even with this increase, the System remains a very good value for the money.”
The increases come as USM institutions continue to grapple with the pandemic’s historic impact. Estimates place the system’s overall budget gap—since the onset of the pandemic—at more than $500 million. This gap is attributable to a downturn in enrollment and loss of associated tuition; steep losses in housing revenue as universities pivoted to online and hybrid learning; increased costs associated with new safety protocols and the pivot to distance learning, including changes to campus facilities and technology improvements; and a substantial cut to the USM’s state appropriation. USM universities met all of these challenges without enacting significant layoffs of faculty or staff, and while addressing students’ climbing financial, mental health, and academic support needs.
While USM institutions received a total of $650 million in COVID relief from the federal government, this one-time-only funding was used to fill key, short-term gaps in priority areas.
The tuition and fee increases approved by the Board of Regents will allow institutions to maintain campus operations; meet their teaching, research, and service missions; and support students facing financial strain with increases in need-based aid. Without the tuition and fee increases, institutions would be forced to reduce faculty and staff levels, and make cuts to academic programs, research and development, scholarships and other financial aid, student services, and community outreach. Even with the approved increases, institutions will be required to make reductions to balance their respective budgets.
USM universities remain competitive with colleges nationwide in terms of cost of attendance. Tuition prices and student-debt levels for USM institutions remain below national averages—in some cases, far below—and rising on-time graduation rates among USM students mean they’re spending less time in school paying tuition. During FY 2020, USM institutions awarded more than $1 billion in undergraduate institutional aid. More than 95,000 undergraduates received aid, with an average award (consisting of some combination of loans, grants, and work-study) of $11,466. Half of undergraduates attending USM institutions graduate without debt.
According to the College Board, Maryland ranks 26th among the 50 states in cost of public in-state tuition and fees. Maryland’s cost is below the national average, and more affordable than neighboring states like Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
The USM comprises 12 institutions: Bowie State University; Coppin State University; Frostburg State University; Salisbury University; Towson University; the University of Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; the University of Maryland, College Park; the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and the University of Maryland Global Campus. The USM also includes three regional centers—the Universities at Shady Grove, the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, and the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland—at which USM universities offer upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses.
Systemwide, student enrollment exceeds 172,000. The USM and its institutions compete successfully nearly $1.5 billion in external grants and contracts annually. USM institutions and programs are among the nation's best in quality and value according to several national rankings. To learn more about the University System of Maryland, visit www.usmd.edu.
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Contact: Mike Lurie