Gibralter Announces University Budget Cut Measures, Tuition Increase for Spring 2015

In an email sent to faculty, staff, and students, Frostburg State University (FSU) President Jonathan Gibralter announced that the university will be taking measures to meet recent cuts made by the Maryland State government.

As a result of these cuts, tuition for all students will increase by two percent in the Spring 2015 semester.

Here are the tuition increases for each category:

Full-time, in-state undergrad: $58; Full-time, out-of-state undergrad: $171; Full-time, out-of-state (contiguous counties) undergrad: $128; Part-time, in-state undergrad: $5 per credit hour; Part-time, out-of-state undergrad: $10 per credit hour; Part-time, out-of-state (contiguous counties) undergrad: $7 per credit hour; Graduate, in-state: $7 per credit hour; Graduate, out-of-state: $9 per credit hour; Doctoral, in-state: $10 per credit hour; Doctoral, out-of-state: $12 per credit hour.

This increase in tuition will cover 20 percent of the university’s anticipated cuts. FSU would have had to make deeper cuts if student enrollment was not as strong.

Other Maryland universities are also increasing tuition costs by two percent, including University of Maryland College Park, Towson University and Salisbury University.

FSU is creating a plan to handle billing, to avoid registration holds, and to provide help for students who need financial assistance. An email will be sent by the middle of next week with the details of this plan.

“We recognize that even this small amount can be a hardship to some students, but the Office of Financial Aid and the FSU Foundation have a plan to assist those with the greatest need,” Gibralter said. An important part of the FSU Foundation’s plan is a program called “Forever Frostburg,” which was created in 2009 with the aim of providing aid to students with the greatest need during times of financial crisis, according to an FSU spokesperson.

These budget cuts come after Governor Martin O’Malley announced on Jan. 7 that this year’s state budget will receive $400 million in cuts.

Gibralter stated in the email that, “the actual reductions are five times what we had been told to expect. This amount represents a nearly 10 percent decrease in our annual level of support from the state of Maryland.”

The university will not need to lay off any faculty or staff because of the cuts, according to Gibralter.

“FSU is taking measures to meet these cuts and has asked for the Board of Regents’ approval for others,” said Gibralter. “Among the measures are deferring maintenance and renovation plans, minimizing travel, freezing hiring for all but critical positions and reducing marketing and enrollment enhancement budgets.”

Gibralter will meet with the Student Government Association leaders and hold an open forum for students to discuss the situation. A time and location will be announced when the forum is scheduled.

“I feel bad that we have to do this on such short notice, but the state’s action created an urgency that couldn’t be avoided,” Gibralter said.

“There is some good news,” said Gibralter. “Our strong enrollment this year helped prevent a much more serious situation. And as the Governor and the General Assembly enter the process of determining next year’s budget, know that FSU’s commitment to providing the best education possible to our students will continue to be our priority.”

This story has been updated.





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