The University of Maryland, anticipating less state aid than originally counted on, decided yesterday to increase student tuition by 13.1 percent for the 1983-1984 academic year.
The increases will mean that for the first time Maryland residents will have to pay more than $1,000 to attend the state university. Maryland residents now pay $997 in tuition and will pay $1,128 next fall. Out-of-state students will see tuition bills jump more than $400, from the current $3,115 to $3,523.
The tuition increase was adopted at an emergency meeting of the university's Board of Regents. That meeting was called after Gov. Harry Hughes instructed state agencies to scale down previously submitted budget requests because of an uncertain state revenue picture.
Several months ago, when revenue projections were more optimistic, Hughes told the departments and the university to prepare budgets that included more modest increases of 3 to 4 percent. At that time, the regents decided on a 9 percent tuition increase.
Three weeks ago, Hughes told the agencies to reduce their budget requests by 1.5 percent.
Like many other states, Maryland has felt the recession's impact through reduced revenues from its sales tax and other fees. Budget officials are predicting that unless cutbacks are made, the state could face a deficit as high as $61 million in fiscal 1984, which begins next July.
Hughes, who returns from a post-reelection vacation today, will be considering a variety of proposals for dealing with the projected $61 million shortfall.
The 13.1 percent tuition increase is only part of the university's effort to cut 1.5 percent from its budget request.
"It'll be a nibble here, a nibble there, a nibble all over the place," said former acting governor Blair Lee III, a member of the Board of Regents and head of its finance committee. The university's administration "has come up with a rather elaborate plan that would get 60 percent of the money from program cutbacks and 40 percent from tuition."
According to Lee, several high priority programs, such as additional money for faculty merit raises and funding for an engineering research center at the College Park campus, will not be affected by the trims.
Lee said that although the additional tuition was unfortunate, he thought that the university is "in good shape, relatively" in comparison to the tuition costs of other institutions. "The cost is going up more than I'd like it to go, but the same is true right from Maine to California."
In the Washington area, Maryland has been in the middle of the spectrum in tuition costs. Georgetown, American, Catholic and George Washington universities this year charge $2,000 to $3,000 more per student than Maryland charges for its out-of-state students. For in-state students the difference is generally even greater. Howard University and the University of Virginia, however, cost less.
Maryland's increase is the fifth in as many years, according to university budget officials.