Maryland Colleges & Universities

Colleges in Maryland offer educational opportunities for a wide range of budgets, and may give you the boost you need to succeed.

Discovering Maryland Colleges: When making choices about where and how to continue your education, it's important to consider your options carefully. The numerous two-year and four-year colleges in Maryland provide a wide variety of programs to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Public and Independent Colleges in Maryland: Public Maryland schools offer comfortable educational environments to students from all walks of life. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), average tuition and fees at four-year universities for the 2007-08 school year was $13,424. The cost of many public colleges in Maryland comes in well below this average. Take a look at these 2009-10 tuition and fees figures for some large public Maryland colleges, reported by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC):

  • • University of Baltimore: $3,585.50
  • • Morgan State University: $6,548
  • • Salisbury University: $6,618
  • • Towson University: $7,418
  • • University of Maryland, College Park: $8,053

Independent Maryland colleges tend to be less affordable than their public counterparts, but also tend to offer more intensive and specialized instruction. The NCES reports the average 2007-08 tuition and fees at independent universities nationwide as $30,393, and independent Maryland schools fall on either side of this average:

  • • Hood College: $35,700
  • • Maryland Institute College of Art: $34,090
  • • Stevenson University: $20,644
  • • Lincoln College of Technology: $14,560

As you can see, independent schools in Maryland sometimes concentrate their teaching efforts on a particular field of study. This can be helpful to know if you're certain of the path you wish to take with your education. What's more, scholarships and grants are available to help you afford the school you choose.

Community Colleges in Maryland: If you have limited time or a limited budget, or if you want to test the waters of higher education before committing to a long-term plan, then these two-year Maryland schools might be right for you. Tuition and fees are generally lower at two-year institutions, and credit hours earned can be transferred to most universities when you're ready to make the jump.

Some community colleges in Maryland have enrollment numbers in the tens of thousands. Here are the 2009-10 attendance figures for Maryland's largest two-year institutions, according to the MHEC:

  • • Montgomery College: 24,452
  • • Community College of Baltimore County: 20,673
  • • Anne Arundel Community College: 15,149
  • • Prince George's Community College: 12,110

Continuing your education at two-year schools in Maryland can allow you to stay within your budget while placing you in the company of like-minded people, all for a fraction of the cost of a four-year university.

Maryland Colleges and Your Future: The job market has been unpredictable since the recent economic recession, and many professionals have returned to school to strengthen their job security. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics compiled unemployment data for people at various education levels, and the numbers likely won't surprise you:

  • • Less than a high school diploma: 14.6% unemployed
  • • High school graduate: 9.7%
  • • Some college, no degree: 8.6%
  • • Associate's degree: 6.8%
  • • Bachelor's degree: 5.2%
  • • Master's degree: 3.9%

With a national unemployment average of 7.9% for all workers, it's plain to see that continued education can make a positive difference in your working life. Take the time to learn more about Maryland colleges and explore the many advantages of a professional education in today's workforce.

Justin Boyle.

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