Op-Ed by Secretary James E. Lyons, Sr.
Governor shows commitment to college affordability by
pushing tuition freeze
It takes a bold leader to move forward even in difficult
times. That’s what Governor O’Malley has accomplished by
committing to freezing undergraduate tuition at the
University System of Maryland’s (USM) institutions and
Morgan State University for the fourth consecutive year.
The O’Malley-Brown Administration has kept college
affordable for students thanks to this commitment to our
students and working families. This means students who
entered any of USM’s institutions or Morgan four years ago
will not see a penny’s increase in their tuition from their
first day on campus until they receive their degree. No
other state in the nation has succeeded in doing this,
particularly during these tough times, when it may have been
easy to balance a budget on the backs of college students
and their families.
Governor O’Malley has put families first by fighting for
affordable college, protecting the safety net for working
families, protecting our environment, maintaining fiscal
responsibility in tough times and investing in education.
His brave commitment to the tuition freeze for the fourth
consecutive year has been noted by his colleagues in State
Houses across the country.
Going to college gives both students and their families a
tremendous feeling of pride and achievement. It is a great
dream that most Maryland’s families and children begin to
prepare for years in advance. However, with the excitement
of going off to college come several fears. Will I fit it?
Will I have a productive experience that will prepare me for
a job in the world’s ever-growing competitive economy? How
will my professors react to my ideas, my ideals? And of
course, how will I pay for college?
By freezing tuition for the past four years, Governor
O’Malley has alleviated much of the concern about
affordability – especially during the present economic
downturn. Freezing tuition when the nation is going through
its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression is,
while difficult, an investment that has moved Maryland from
the sixth most expensive state in the nation to go to
college to what is expected to be the eighteenth next year.
It took great vision, leadership, and unwavering commitment
by the O’Malley-Brown Administration to achieve this
remarkable goal for our families.
James E. Lyons, Sr.
Secretary of Higher Education
The Maryland Higher Education Commission is a 12-member
coordinating board responsible for establishing statewide
policies for Maryland public and independent colleges and
universities and private career schools. It serves as an
advocate for more than 325,000 college students in Maryland,
for the State and its needs, and for business and industry