- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 23, 2003

ANNAPOLIS Students attending Maryland public universities are bracing for a midyear tuition increase that will cost them as much as $300 more for the spring semester.
"It is unfair to increase the tuition in the middle of the year," said Kristina Dowtin, a New York resident at the University of Maryland's College Park campus. She will pay $333 more for the spring semester and about $14,000 a year in tuition after the increase.
"It makes me regret going out of state because my mom pays my tuition and it's costing her more money," said Miss Dowtin, a 20-year-old English and education major. "Maybe I should have stayed in New York."
Undergraduate students paying in-state tuition will pay about $100 more for the spring semester.
The increase was the last resort after eliminating jobs and making other cuts to make up for a midyear reduction in state funding, said William E. Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland.
He also said the universities had no alternative to a tuition increase after the second round of midyear cuts hit last week to reduce a $500 million shortfall in the budget year ending June 30.
Another tuition increase and layoffs might be necessary to help next year's budget, which will cut the university system's funding to 2001 levels.
"We thought that when we got the cut in November it was the cut for the year," Mr. Kirwan said yesterday at a joint meeting of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and a House Appropriations subcommittee. "Raising tuition in midyear is the last thing we would consider."
He said schools already have eliminated 198 vacant positions and could furlough some employees for up to four days. Mr. Kirwan said $7.8 million was cut from operating expenses and $2.7 million from facilities-renewal projects before increasing tuition.
To help close the $500 million shortfall, former Gov. Parris N. Glendening cut $30.4 million from the system's $867.9 million budget before leaving office. Last week, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. ordered another $36.6 million in cuts.
Tuition for undergraduates at eight state universities will increase by about 5 percent for in-state and out-of-state students. Graduate students will pay about 3 percent more.
Tuition for state residents attending the University of Maryland's College Park campus will cost $114 more for the spring semester. The increase will boost their annual tuition to $4,800. Students from out of state will pay $333 more for the spring semester, for an annual tuition of $14,002.
Undergraduates paying in-state tuition at Bowie State University will pay $78 more for the spring semester. Their annual tuition will go up to $3,258. Students from out of state will pay $236 more this spring and $9,910 a year.
The smallest increase for undergraduates will be at the University of Maryland's Eastern Shore campus, at which state residents will pay $76 more this spring, for an annual tuition of $3,181. Undergraduate students from outside Maryland will pay $189 more, for an annual tuition of $7,945.
There will be no tuition increase at Coppin State College, a historically black college at which the majority of students receive financial aid, and at University of Maryland University College in Baltimore, which mostly offers adult education courses to part-time students.
Mr. Kirwan said that next year officials are considering more tuition increases, systemwide layoffs and elimination of 302 jobs, including faculty positions.

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