University System of Maryland leaders announced Friday that they will freeze tuition and room-and-board rates for all students next year.
The system’s dozen campuses will maintain the same tuition and room and board rates as the 2019-2020 academic year.
The USM Board of Regents acknowledged that providing some sense of certainty in next year’s tuition rates can help relieve students’ and families’ anxieties caused by the unexpected changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The board’s decision today allows the system to show support for our students and families by holding tuition and room-and-board rates steady so they can better navigate what we know for many has been great economic hardship,” said Linda Gooden, the Regents chair.
However, additional costs for essential services like frequent cleaning in residence halls and health centers, as well as for enhanced training for remote learning, made this decision difficult, officials said. Like many other higher education institutions across the nation, USM has faced financial losses. But officials said they are committed to supporting students and families in this time of economic uncertainty.
“We recognize that these students have faced unprecedented challenges — financial, physical, emotional and academic,” USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman said. “By freezing tuition for the upcoming year, we’re trying to ease the financial strain on our students and families, while continuing to offer the highest quality academic experience, an experience that defines our University System institutions.”
Each USM campus has also processed partial refunds to students for the 2020 spring semester, which was upended by the pandemic.
The USM institutions plan to return to campus this fall “in a hybrid fashion,” which combines in-person instruction with remote learning. Each campus will develop its own timelines for the start and end of the fall semester, in accordance with general guidelines made by the USM Return to Campus Advisory Group and public health guidance.