by BREANA BACON
The cost of a college education has risen in the past few years, causing some to question the true value of their secondary education. According to collegecalc.com, the University of Maryland was ranked 16th of all national universities in Best College Value.
The cost of attendance for 2014-15, including fees, at UMD was approximately $21,290 for in-state students and $41,483 for non-residents of Maryland, and the university’s Board of Regents voted this spring to raise tuition costs for the current academic year by five percent. The board also approved proposals to increase the tuition of students majoring in certain studies such as business, engineering and computer science.
Despite the spike in tuition, Maryland’s public university tuition has risen more slowly than any other state as of, according to an article in the Washington Post, partly due to the four-year tuition freeze implemented by former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley (D). The article explains that Maryland’s rate of increase is 46.7 percent, while the state with the highest rate of increase is New Hampshire, at 162.4 percent.
Although the cost of tuition and fees is lower than public universities in other states, some students and faculty members feel like there could be more benefits at UMD than what are currently offered, for what students are paying.
“I believe that all ethnicities and races of students should be represented in the classrooms for what students are paying to go here,” said Anne Reese Carswell, associate director of the Nyumburu Cultural Center. “For as much money as the university is receiving in endowments, donations and tuition, there should be no reason any race should feel underrepresented in the staff make-up.”
Carswell also pointed out that while there are numerous amenities available for student success, things such as lack of air conditioning in some dorms are luxuries that should be included in tuition.
Along with numerous scholarships awarded by the university and the various colleges, the office of financial aid does have many options to expand students’ experiences so the money they spend to attend is going to more than just an on-campus education.
“We try to get students involved in lots of things through the financial aid process with programs such as Federal Work Study, and we have found that students in that program are more likely to graduate. Also, we hope to enrich students’ experiences by offering scholarships through the study abroad program so students are able to gain knowledge outside of the campus and the United States,” Monique Boyd, director of financial aid, said.
The office of financial aid plays a major role in making attending UMD more affordable for all students, in and out of state, and for some students the removal of that financial burden has helped them better appreciate all UMD has to offer.
De’Ja Geter-Jackson, junior family science major was awarded a full scholarship covering her tuition, room and board, renewable each academic year upon her acceptance to UMD. Geter-Jackson credits the scholarship program to her love of the university and all it has to offer, but does have a few qualms with the school itself.
“I feel like I’m kind of getting my money’s worth because my scholarship takes care of all the money I’d have to pay for school and a lot of my teachers are really smart and know what they’re doing but I think they definitely should try to be closer to the students and show them that they care about their success. That would make this school really be amazing for me,” Geter-Jackson said.