By NATHAN VALDES
SGA’s February forum presented the estimated tuition raises for the fall semester of 2018.
Interim Vice President of Administration and Finance Marvin Pyles explained that the in-state tuition is only expected to be raised by 2 percent next year.
Despite that raise, Salisbury University will remain one of the cheaper options for obtaining an education within the University of Maryland system.
In comparison, SU has the least expensive out-of-state tuition and is lower in price amongst in-state Frostburg and University of Baltimore.
Pyles stated his focus concerning the raise.
“The takeaway is that we are below the system. We operate within our budget and as a thank-you, we are told that we don’t need the extra money,” Pyles said. “We are one of the tightest [schools] in student aid. If we are funded better like the other schools, then we can help the students with more financial aid.”
However, SU’s room and board will remain the same. For making successful money-saving tactics as those described by Pyles possible, Pyles acknowledges the work of dining manager for Guerrieri Commons Owen Rosten and the cost efficiency of dining.
One major cost-cutting plan was Commons’ integrated tray-less system. According to Pyles, this has saved the amount of food that used to go to waste, which has lowered the departments’ food cost.
Associate Anthony Pasquariello explained how the process concerning tuition raises takes place.
The University system tells the schools to budget for a certain percentage increase in their tuition. As a result, this year’s case is a 5 percent tuition increase.
The budget approval’s process begins with the Department of Budgeting and Management, and it is then reviewed by the State Administration for their proposed budget.
Finally, the legislative branch votes on the budget request. This process involves multiple changes before they finalize the proposed amounts of money.
Pyles stated that Governor Hogan has planned to budget a government buy-down to cover the 3 percent of the 5 percent estimated tuition hike, leaving 2 percent to be covered by next year’s students.
Despite the cost of tuition going up, there is an ongoing effort by the university to keep prices down and to help students with financial aid.
According to Pasquariello, there is a goal to increase institutional financial aid for students by 10 percent.
When asked about what students can do, Pyles and Pasquariello alluded to the fact that the budget will be finalized later this spring and highly recommended talking to the state legislators and the governor’s office.
“Students are the best advocates for increased funding from Annapolis,” Pasquariello. “Wherever you vote, talk to your legislator and write the Governor about putting more money into SU.”