BALTIMORE, MD (January 14, 2008) – Governor Martin O’Malley, joined by Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, University System of Maryland Chancellor Brit Kirwan, and UMBC President. Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, today announced a tuition freeze for higher education in Maryland for the third consecutive year.
O’Malley announced plans to provide funds in his proposed FY 2009 operating budget to freeze tuition for the 2008-2009 academic year. Governor O'Malley also announced a 12% increase in community college funding, and a historic $81 million to improve academic facilities on 13 community college campuses statewide. O’Malley will introduce his proposed operating budget for FY 2009 on Wednesday.
“An educated workforce is essential for economic growth in our State, yet Maryland families have seen college tuition rates soar almost 40% since 2000. Its my hope that this third consecutive tuition freeze will help Maryland students and families make the dream of college degree a reality,” said Governor O’Malley. “With the newly created Higher Education Investment Fund (HEIF), we are able to make stabilizing college tuition costs a top priority for this Administration and our State.”
“There are few places where our goals for a brighter future intersect more clearly than Maryland's colleges and universities,” said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. “Because of the leadership and vision of Governor O'Malley and our partners at every University System of Maryland institution, we will make college a possibility for more Maryland students.”
In addition to the in-state undergraduate tuition freeze at Maryland’s four-year public institutions, including Morgan State University, Governor O’Malley announced an increase in funding and financial aid for Maryland's Historically Black Colleges and Universities and an increase in support for research institutions to help build Maryland's economic future.
In Governor O’Malley’s FY 2009, $54.9 million from the Higher Education Trust Fund is dedicated to the University System of Maryland, Morgan State University, and the Maryland Higher Education Commission:
“Governor O'Malley is continuing his remarkable commitment to higher education. His proposal enables the University System of Maryland to keep tuition flat for in-state undergraduates while maintaining quality, serve more students, and enhance our ability to advance workforce creation and development as well as competitiveness.”
The Governor’s proposed FY 2009 budget also recognizes the unique role that community colleges play in educating our students. This past year, Maryland’s community colleges experienced the most growth of any higher education sector at 2.6 percent, or 3,057 students, accounting for more than 53 percent of growth statewide.
Governor O’Malley’s budget increases the State’s investment in local community colleges by $26.6 million and provides Baltimore City Community College an additional $1.4 million in State funding. Moreover, the capital budget includes a record level of capital funding for the community colleges -- $81 million to improve academic facilities on 13 community college campuses, including a new Science Center at the Montgomery College-Rockville Campus and a new library at the Community College of Baltimore County.
The Governor’s proposed FY 2009 budget also $201.8 million in capital funding to improve facilities at Maryland’s public four-year higher education institutions.
Last year, working with the General Assembly, Governor O’Malley created the Higher Education Investment Fund, the first of its kind to dedicate a revenue stream to higher education. The purpose of the Fund is to keep tuition affordable for Maryland students and families and to invest in public higher education and workforce development.
January 14, 2008