Beginning with fall 2009 semester, tuition at the College of Southern Maryland will increase $2 per credit hour for residents of Calvert, Charles and St. Marys counties. In-county residents will now pay $100 per credit and the comprehensive fee will remain 23 percent of tuition. For a full-time student enrolled in 12 credits, the increase in tuition will amount to $26. Tuition for other Maryland residents outside of the tri-county region will increase to $174 per credit and for out-of-state residents, $225 per credit.
CSMs budget is primarily supported by funding from the state, the three counties of Southern Maryland and tuition and fees. The budget reflects an overall increase of 2.7 percent over FY09.
According to Dr. Brad Gottfried, CSMs President, the increased county and state support moderated the tuition increase. At one point, we were projecting a $5 per credit increase, but reduced it to $2 per credit because of the support of our elected officials, he said.
In presenting the recommended budget to the trustees, CSM Vice President of Student and Instructional Support Services Bill Comey noted that while the college has taken multiple steps to contain costs, increases in utilities and other fixed costs and decreases in miscellaneous and investment income have resulted in the college needing to increase tuition. He also indicated that while support from local county governments has remained strong, state aid currently makes up only 21 percent of the colleges budget. It would have been lower, and the tuition hike higher, had not the legislature provided additional funding to the states community colleges at the last moment.
Gottfried noted that the state reduced funding to CSM by almost $450,000 last year, and it is conceivable that a similar rescission could occur during the new fiscal year.
Comey added that the colleges Financial Aid Office and the CSM Foundation are exploring additional scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students struggling during these poor economic times. CSMs tuition and fees may be paid over a four-month period through CSMs Tuition Payment Plan which is available to students enrolled with six or more credits. Since the plan is not a loan program, there is no debt, no credit search and no interest or finance charge assessed on the unpaid balance. The only cost is a $35 per semester non-refundable enrollment fee.
The college also offers a new online program that helps students to easily identify and apply for potential scholarships. The CSM Scholarship Finder is a quick, easy and free service that helps Southern Maryland students match their backgrounds and financial needs to dozens of local scholarships in a wide variety of academic programs.
For students pursuing a bachelors degree, attending CSM for their first two years of college amounts to a significant reduction in college costs when comparing CSM to four-year public institutions or a private college or university. For instance a student who attends CSM for two years before transferring to an in-state university for a bachelors degree could save approximately $15,000 to $20,000, with savings even greater when combining two years at CSM with two years at a private college.
For information on the payment plan, contact the Bursars Office at 301-934-7712 or 301-870-2309, 240-725-5499 or 443-550-6199, ext. 7712 or visit www.csmd.edu. To use CSMs Scholarship Finder visit http://www.csmd.edu/financial/scholarships/. For information on scholarships and financial aid assistance at CSM, call 301-934-7531 or 301-870-2309, 240-725-5499 or 443-550-6199, Ext. 7531.