SU enacts 2 percent tuition increase

To help offset state budget cuts of more than $1.5 million, Salisbury University will increase tuition 2 percent for the spring semester, which begins Monday.

Full-time undergraduates will pay $62 more and part-time undergraduates will be charged an additional $5 per credit hour, said SU President Dr. Janet Dudley-Eshbach, who issued an e-mail announcing the increase.

The budget deficit will cost all Maryland universities an estimated total of $40 million, with SU’s share at $1,504,566.images

Betty Crockett, SU’s vice president of administration and finance, said a mid-year tuition increase is not unprecedented, but “very rare.” The last time it happened was January 2003.

“As you may be aware, the State of Maryland faces a significant budget shortfall,” Dudley-Eshbach wrote.

“A structural budget deficit preliminarily estimated to cost the University System of Maryland $8 million has now ballooned to five times that number, a more than $40 million reduction in funding for the USM.  Such a sizeable cut has significant implications for the current and future fiscal years,” she wrote.

Crockett said officials were “very surprised,” adding it’s not known if there will be additional cuts.

So far, she said, there have been few comments from students.

“Official notification went out (last) Friday. For those few from whom we have heard, although they are disappointed about the timing of the increase, for the most part they have been very understanding. Part of the tuition revenue increase will be set aside to address the needs of low-income students,” she said.

Dudley-Escbach said billing to collect the increase is now being determined, as well as how financial aid will be affected.

While she regrets the hike, she said it “represents a small part of a comprehensive plan.”

The university will also save $525,000 by delaying hiring, $341,000 from the tuition increase, $300,000 from construction fees, $275,000 from delayed facilities renewal and $63,566 from the fund balance reduction.

 The president offered assurance that university officials “will do all that we can to minimize the impact of budget reductions as they affect our students, faculty and staff.”

Crockett agreed.

“Salisbury University is consistently ranked a best value campus in such publications as Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Forbes, Washington Monthly and others, with a reputation for using its resources efficiently to provide a quality education,” she said.

“SU’s faculty and staff have historically made every effort to protect the quality of instruction provided to students. That will not change.”

 

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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