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Higher Education in Maryland

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 in Maryland.


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