Are UMD Students Getting Their Money’s Worth?

by ELI ZIMMERMAN

While the University of Maryland is still ranked as one of the best value public schools in the country, imposed tuition hikes have bolstered students to question the price of higher education throughout the country.

University of Maryland students’ tuition was increased this year due to state budget cuts that were implemented by the state Department of Budget and Management, according to an email University President Wallace Loh sent out to the campus community in January. Loh recently announced additional tuition hikes for students who are enrolled in the business, computer science and engineering programs.

The $152 increase – $279 for out-of-state students – will be allotted to make up 26 percent of the budget cut, while savings from furloughs and suspension of construction projects will make up the remaining 74 percent. Students and teachers alike are bereft at the actions the University is taking to make up the lost funding, especially with the introduction of the renovation project planned for Cole Field House, a university recreation center on campus.

Junior criminology major Aryeh Kalender believes that this rise in tuition magnifies the United States’ inability to give young Americans an affordable option for education.

“[Students] shouldn’t have to pay this much for an education…all students everywhere are getting a raw deal,” Kalender said.

In a breakdown of what a student’s tuition is paying for, drafted by the Department of Letters and Sciences, the average in-state student pays $1,018, or around 10 percent of his or her tuition towards campus services like maintaining the Stamp Student Union, athletics or transportation services. The cost is the same for out-of-state students, however this only makes up five percent of the total average tuition rate because of the overall higher cost.

Many students were not happy with UMD’s tuition increase including this activist group. Check out our coverage from earlier this year when the news first broke.

While students like Kalender are okay with the allocation of that money, accepting the cost as a necessary fee to enjoy these services, some students do not agree that students should have to pay if they do not take advantage of these options.

Junior plant science major Scott Caris believes that students should only be paying for their education and that all other services should be paid for separately.

“Services like transportation and athletics should be cut from our tuition,” Caris said, “why should I have to pay if I don’t take the bus or go to football games?”

The Bursars Office, located in the Lee Building on campus, was unavailable for comment.