Two Republican governors in recent years have championed big cost cuts in higher education, pushing their particular states to offer a four-year bachelor’s degree for a tantalizing $10, 000.
Now Maryland is forging into this price-slashing discussion having a plan that will enable students to get a bachelor’s degree from a public university for $20, 000.
This week, the University of Maryland University College announced a discount for graduates of the state’s local community colleges. The UMUC Completion Scholarship will cut $4, 440 off the price of a bachelor’s degree with regard to students who transfer into the general public online university with an associate’s degree from one of Maryland’s 16 local community colleges.
Figuring that the two-year degree costs an average of $8, 000, according to a UMUC speaker, the price of the remaining credits to finish the bachelor’s degree would be about $12, 000 for eligible students. College students would be guaranteed that rate for up to four years in all of the university’s undergraduate programs.
Total cost: $20, 000.
That doesn’t include other scholarships or grants that the student might obtain for monetary need or academic merit.
“Community college graduates really are a solid investment because they have already invested in themselves, ” UMUC President Javier Miyares said in a statement. “The new UMUC Completion Scholarship provides a well-deserved incentive to keep going and earn a four-year degree which will pay even greater dividends in the future — whether that is a new job, a promotion, or a whole new career. ”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and Florida Gov. Ron Scott (R) have pushed their particular states to develop pathways to a bachelor’s degree priced at $10, 000. Experts say such a low price undervalues exactly what colleges and universities do and threatens in order to undermine quality. But some analysts declare $10, 000 is a reasonable target for a no-frills degree.
Now Maryland has determined that the bachelor’s degree at twice that will price is a good idea.
“Together, with our highly-regarded community colleges and UMUC’s innovative leadership, we will still expand opportunity and ensure Maryland students are not only able to compete nationally, but globally as well, ” Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) said within a statement.
How many students will take advantage of the discount is certainly unknown. In 2012, nearly 14, 000 students earned associate’s degrees at Maryland community colleges. Many local community college students who transfer to four-year schools want a full campus encounter rather than the online education that is UMUC’s specialty. But working adults often choose the flexibility of online courses.
A community college advocate said the UMUC price cut might spark competition from other schools.
“I think there’s more in the future, which is good news for students, ” said Bernard Sadusky, executive movie director of the Maryland Association of Local community Colleges. “There’s going to be a great deal of initiatives. I think you’ll see some other colleges doing the same thing. Competition may drive innovation. ”
UMUC, based in Adelphi, has 39, 557 students in the United States and countless numbers more overseas. It is the nation’s largest public online university and a member of the University System of Maryland. The domestic enrollment fell about 6 percent this year.
Frostburg State University, in western Maryland, offers a similar scholarship to local community college graduates who had a N average or better. The scholarship, worth $2, 500 a year, has been announced in late 2011. With it, the price of a Frostburg State bachelor’s degree for some students could also be about $20, 000 or less.
The lowest price at a four-year university in Maryland, according to College Table data, is at Coppin State in Baltimore. There, tuition and charges for Maryland residents total $6, 252.
If that will price were frozen for four years — which is unlikely — a full-time Coppin State college student who paid the full rate can earn a bachelor’s degree for about $25, 000, not counting housing, food, books and other expenses.
Baltimore has the least-expensive local community college in the state, with tuition as low as $88 per credit hour. A graduate of Baltimore Town Community College who paid full price for an associate’s degree and then transferred to Coppin State might be able to obtain a bachelor’s degree for about $20, 000 or even less.
In the Region of Columbia, a student who acquires a full-price associate’s degree from your community college within the public University of the District of Columbia and then obtains a bachelor’s degree through UDC might pay slightly more compared to $20, 000.
The College Board data indicate that Virginia does not offer a way to obtain a $20, 000 bachelor’s degree for students who pay the full in-state cost at public colleges.
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