CSM to hike tu­ition by 1.6 per­cent

In­crease will not af­fect stu­dent ser­vices, out­go­ing pres­i­dent says

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAC­QUI ATKIELSKI jatkiel­ski@somd­news.com

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.

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