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Update from President Gibralter on Spring Tuition Increase, Open Student Forum
01/16/2015

(Update: Thursday, Jan. 22)

To the FSU community, 

As I promised last week, here is an update on the 2 percent tuition increase that was announced and approved by the Board of Regents last week.

All students are affected. Here are the amounts of the increase for each group of students: 

  • Full-time, in-state undergrad: $58
  • Full-time, out-of-state undergrad: $171
  • Full-time, out-of-state (contiguous counties) undergrad: $128
  • Part-time, in-state undergrad: $5 per credit hour
  • Part-time, out-of-state undergrad: $10 per credit hour
  • Part-time, out-of-state (contiguous counties) undergrad: $7 per credit hour
  • Graduate, in-state: $7 per credit hour
  • Graduate, out-of-state: $9 per credit hour
  • Doctoral, in-state: $10 per credit hour
  • Doctoral, out-of-state: $12 per credit hour

PAWS has been updated to reflect this increase. Overall payment due dates have not changed, but students will have until May 1, 2015, to pay the added amount. Provisions have been made to ensure that no registration holds for spring 2015 will be created by this extra amount. Students, check your PAWS account (Log into PAWS then Self-Service>Student Center>View e-bill) to verify your status. If you encounter a problem, you or your advisor should contact the Billing Office.

Some funds have been made available to assist those students with the greatest need. These funds will be awarded on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid (301-687-4301) for more information.

As promised, the Student Government Association and I invite all interested students to an open forum to discuss this tuition increase and the budget situation on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 6 p.m. in the Lane University Center Atkinson Room (232). Questions will be taken from the floor, but you may also submit questions in advance to rsspahr@frostburg.edu. Please put “Open Forum Question” in the subject line.

Please know that the University did not take this action lightly, but the extent of this reduction was five times higher than we had been told to expect. The tuition increase will only meet about 20 percent of that shortfall. Other savings are being accomplished by the measures outlined in my email last week. Faculty and staff will receive a memo tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 23) offering more details on these other measures.

The new governor and General Assembly will take up the Fiscal Year 16 budget in the coming days, and I urge you to follow these discussions closely, as they will significantly affect FSU in the coming year.

I truly appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding in this extraordinary circumstance. I want our students to know that I and our faculty and staff continue to be committed to your success and to providing you with the best education possible.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Gibralter, President
Frostburg State University

 

(Message from Friday, Jan. 16)

To the FSU community, 

Many of you may already be aware that on Jan. 7, Governor O’Malley announced $400 million in cuts to the current year’s state budget, which included across-the-board cuts to state agencies and additional cuts to higher education. While the University was told to prepare for cuts, the actual reductions are five times what we had been told to expect. This amount represents a nearly 10 percent decrease in our annual level of support from the state of Maryland.

FSU is taking measures to meet these cuts and has received approval from the Board of Regents’ approval for others. Among the measures are deferring maintenance and renovation plans, minimizing travel, freezing hiring for all but critical positions and reducing marketing and enrollment enhancement budgets. I have worked since I came here in 2006 to avoid laying off any faculty or staff, and this plan will allow us to continue this commitment.

Unfortunately, one of the measures that we feel we must take will be a modest, 2 percent tuition increase for the spring semester on all students. Every effort is being made to minimize the impact on students; this increase will translate to an extra $58 on a full-time, in-state student’s total spring bill, for example. We anticipate that this amount will account for approximately 20 percent of the cut that the University will have to make.

All students, undergraduate and graduate, full- and part-time, are affected by the tuition increase. Here are the increases across the different categories of students:

  • Full-time, in-state undergrad: $58
  • Full-time, out-of-state undergrad: $171
  • Full-time, out-of-state (contiguous counties) undergrad: $128
  • Part-time, in-state undergrad: $5 per credit hour
  • Part-time, out-of-state undergrad: $10 per credit hour
  • Part-time, out-of-state (contiguous counties) undergrad: $7 per credit hour
  • Graduate, in-state: $7 per credit hour
  • Graduate, out-of-state: $9 per credit hour
  • Doctoral, in-state: $10 per credit hour
  • Doctoral, out-of-state: $12 per credit hour

We recognize that even this small amount can be a hardship to some students, but the Office of Financial Aid and the FSU Foundation have a plan to assist those with the greatest need.

We are in the process of working out details, including on how to handle billing, avoid registration holds and provide a process for students with the greatest need to seek financial assistance. Those details will be announced next week.

FSU has traditionally maintained a conservative approach to spending, despite some higher costs to us that come as a result of our location. This philosophy has allowed us to have one of the lowest tuition rates in the University System of Maryland, but it also limits our options when faced with an across-the-board budget cut. 

After the spring semester begins, I will meet with Student Government Association leaders and will hold an open forum to discuss the situation with students. We will announce the forum time and location as soon as it is scheduled. I feel bad that we have to do this on such short notice, but the state’s action created an urgency that couldn’t be avoided. 

There is some good news. Our strong enrollment this year helped prevent a much more serious situation. And as the Governor and the General Assembly enter the process of determining next year’s budget, know that FSU’s commitment to providing the best education possible to our students will continue to be our priority.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Gibralter, President
Frostburg State University

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589
E-mail: news@frostburg.edu