The Maryland Board of Higher Education voted yesterday to limit the number of out-of-state students at state colleges and universities to 15 per cent of total enrollment, beginning next academic year.

The board said, however, that the quota would be applied liberally, with exceptions permitted where there are space and faculty available. Additionally, it said, graduate schools will not be included in the quota.

The quotas will have their potentially most serious impact on three predominantly black institutions: Bowie State, Morgan State and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, all of which have more than 20 per cent out-of-state enrollment.

Although all three institutions currently have space and faculty for additional out-of-state student, the board voted to hold all state colleges to the 15 per cent guidelines when planning new constructions.

"Under no circumstances will the state build a physical plant to accommodate anymore than 15 per cent out-of-state students," a board spokesman said.

The issue of out-of-state students first arose at last year's session of the Maryland legislature when lawmakers expressed concern that the students might be receiving a subsidy from Maryland taxpayers while denying state residents a place in a state college.

Nonresidents pay extra tuition at all Maryland public colleges. At the University of Maryland, College Park, nonresidents pay $2,148 in yearly tution, while Maryland resident pay $748. Approxmately one-third of all states have quotas for nonresidents in public colleges.