Governor O'Malley Talks with Students about College Affordability
Governor discusses fourth straight year of tuition freeze and the challenges ahead
TOWSON, MD (April 23, 2009) – Today, immediately following the official vote by the University System of Maryland Board of Regents unanimously approving the Governor’s proposed tuition freeze for the fourth consecutive year, Governor Martin O’Malley sat down with students at Towson University to discuss the impact the freeze will have on the University System community.
“I want to thank the members of the Board of Regents for working with us to make Maryland the only state in the nation that is able to freeze in-state college tuition for a fourth straight year even in these tough times,” said Governor O’Malley. “Investments in Maryland’s workforce are more important now during a national recession than at any other time, and that’s why our budget included this tuition freeze and why the Board of Regents just affirmed the importance of this action.”
The freeze in in-state college tuition moves the University System of Maryland from the sixth highest tuition in the nation in 2004 to an anticipated 18th.
“With the Board freezing tuition for the fourth year in a row, we have something very important to celebrate,” noted William E. "Brit" Kirwan, chancellor for the University System of Maryland. “We are providing direct and seriously-needed relief to the middle class. This is relief that other states simply are not providing.”
Four Maryland institutions now rank among the best values in public higher education according to Princeton Review and USA Today – Salisbury University, Towson University, University of Maryland Baltimore County, and St. Mary’s College. Governor O’Malley’s budget and legislative priorities sought to maintain and improve upon this distinction.
“Today’s action by the Board of Regents would not have been possible without the tremendous leadership of Governor O'Malley,” said CliffordM. Kendall, Chairman of the Board of Regents. “The O’Malley-Brown Administration and the General Assembly have made affordable access to higher education a priority and have made the necessary funding available to achieve that goal.”
The O’Malley-Brown Administration is putting Families First, not only by freezing college tuition for the 4th consecutive year at every Maryland public four-year college and university, as well as Morgan State University, but also by successfully leading the fight to reauthorize the Higher Education Investment Fund, Maryland’s first-ever dedicated funding source for higher education. Since it was originally proposed by the Governor in 2007, the HEIF has invested more than $100 million in Maryland’s institutions of higher learning, with more than $46 million being provided this year alone to help keep tuition affordable in Maryland and to make critical investments in higher education and workforce development possible across our State.
This year, the O’Malley-Brown Administration has secured more than $266 million for Maryland’s exceptional community colleges, a 3.8 percent increase that brings the three-year commitment to community colleges to over $760 million, nearly 40 percent more than the prior administration invested in the comparable time period. In addition, the O’Malley-Brown Administration secured the largest capital investment in Maryland history for community colleges across our State, bringing the three-year investment to $235 million, more than the prior administration’s entire four-year commitment to capital projects at community colleges.
In three years, the Governor O’Malley has provided a record $355 million for student financial assistance to help students and families across Maryland realize their dreams of receiving a world-class higher education, including more than $2 million in financial assistance for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.