CSM to hike tuition by 1.6 percent
Increase will not affect student services, outgoing president says
College of Southern Maryland students should expect an increase in tuition when they start classes in the fall.
The College of Southern Maryland Board of Trustees approved May 18 a 1.6 percent increase in tuition at their meeting, according to a college release. Tuition for residents of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties will increase by $2 per credit to $125 per credit. Tuition for Maryland residents outside of the tri-county region will increase by $4 per credit to $217 per credit, and for out-of-state residents by $5 per credit to $280 per credit. The comprehensive fee remains at 23 percent of tuition.
CSM’s operating budget is supported by funding from the state, the three counties of Southern Maryland, as well as tuition and fees, CSM President Brad Gottfried said in a telephone interview. He said Gov. Larry Hogan (R) promised onetime funding if the community colleges did not
increase tuition by more than 2 percent.
Gottfried said the state, counties and tuition are supposed to bring in a third of the projected revenue each, and lack of state funding has “fallen on the backs of students.” CSM received $280,000 from the state this year, and the colleges did not request more funding from the three counties this year, he said.
The fiscal year 2018 budget of $66,203,592 is based on approved funding by the state and Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. Of the total revenues, tuition and fees constitute nearly 44 percent, county appropriations 28 percent and state funding nearly 26 percent with 2 percent from other sources, the release states.
The college president said the overall increase tuition for a full-time student is $60 a year. “It’s not a big increase,” he said. “This tuition increase is not as much as it has been in some years … with a five to six percent increase.” He said in the release despite the tight county and state budgets, “we were able to craft a budget that minimizes tuition increases and maintains quality services.” CSM continues to be the first choice for college-bound students in Southern Maryland, Gottfried said in the release.
Gottfried said students will not see any reduction of services, though additional — and needed — counselors or tutors will not be available. “This is just not our year” to make those services available to students, he said. “It’s not in the cards.”
CSM has also given a “small enhancement to their salaries” and developed a process to fill less classes for some of the more popular courses, reducing the number of needed adjunct teachers, he said.
According to the release, CSM Vice President of Financial and Administrative Services Tony Jernigan said the operating budget includes funds to operate the recently opened regional Hughesville Campus’ Center for Trades and Energy Training. The budget also includes one full-time and one part-time public safety officer and one janitorial and maintenance staff member, Gottfried said.
The budget also includes 10 additional hours for the community mediation coordinator in Charles County to become full time and the addition of two part-time Community Mediation office assistants due to the significant increased use of the Community Mediation Center since its inception two years ago, the release states. Gottfried said the center is the only one of its kind in Charles County and offers mediation, or a voluntary and confidential process for people involved in a domestic disputes in the community. He said CSM sponsors the center and asked Charles County commissioners for funding. St. Mary’s and Calvert counties have their own mediation centers, he said.
“They saw the promise the center can offer the community” and funded about $50,000 for the fulltime position and the two part-time positions, who would visit schools and detention centers to offer services, Gottfried said.
He noted they did not ask for additional funding from the St. Mary’s County commissioners, but requested a nonprofit coordinator from the Calvert County commissioners, which they did not receive. “We did not ask for additional funding for the college, per se,” he said.
The college’s board of trustees did not craft the fiscal budget, Gottfried said. “My administration and I created the budget starting from September” using projected enrollment numbers, he said. “After we hear back from the state and the counties [about funding], we bring the budget to the board in May and they pick through it with a fine tooth comb.” He said they may modify the budget prior to approval, similar to the process public school boards approve fiscal budgets.
CSM Board of Trustees Chair Dorothea Smith was not available for comment by deadline.
For information on scholarships and financial aid assistance at CSM, call 301-934-7531 or 301-8702309, 240-725-5300 or 443550-6000.