by BREANA BACON
Although America is working to rebuild from the economic recession of 2007-08, paying for college has not gotten easier for some parents of University of Maryland students.
UMD has followed the trend of making up for income losses in recent years, raising tuition by up to five percent this fall. The school also decided to gradually increase tuition for business, engineering and computer science majors in addition to the overall tuition increase.
In 2009, the GDP growth rate for the fourth quarter was -8.9 percent, and household wealth dropped by a margin of $19.3 trillion, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Treasury. In addition to the decline in wealth and GDP growth, the household debt-to-income ratio rose to 130 percent to six percent during the recession and has since only declined to 110 percent to almost three percent in comparison to a ratio of 90 percent to about one percent at the start of the century.
“The economic situation has made it a little easier for my family to pay tuition, but not too much easier. I have a family of six; my parents, my three sisters and me. We all are either in college or aspiring to go so paying tuition for all of us is going to be hard. We have a little wiggle room right now with money, but all that money can’t go to just tuition, we still have bills and stuff to pay for too,” said Britney Sagastizado, junior Communications and Public Relations major.
The country’s economic growth alleviated some financial stresses of UMD students and families, but others are still feeling the effects of the recession.
The school has payment plans including the Terp Payment Plan, which allows families to spread the cost of tuition over the academic year or semester, paying tuition over eight or ten months until the entire cost is paid. UMD also offers financial aid and scholarships.
Angela Ryan, Associate Bursar at UMD says that about 6,000 students on payment plans at the school, and with the recent installment of credit card processing fees and despite the economic incline, students will still choose rely on monthly plans to afford tuition.
Despite payment plans and financial aid, some parents have still found trouble paying for secondary education but have implemented plans to make sure their children are able to get an education.
“We set up a college fund for Sanya and her sisters when they were young, so the positive change in the economy has helped a little, it has been hard finding funds for room and board for Sanya. I’m glad she got a position as an RA, because even though her fund takes care of her tuition, other fees aren’t taken care of,” said Isaac Oluwafemi, father of junior psychology and dance major, Sanya Oluwafemi.
Other students like Andrew Horn, senior journalism major, decided to attend community college before transferring to UMD to save money.
“Even though my mom has tuition remission, I still knew I needed to save up for fees and other things so my parents and I just decided that cutting back on certain things and just going to community college was best and the smart thing to do,” he said.
DISCLAIMER: Andrew Horn is Pulsefeedz’s sports director.