Press Release - Maryland Colleges and Universities Receive Top Grades
November 30, 2000
Maryland's Colleges and Universities Receive 'Top Performing' Grades
in National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education's First Report
Maryland's public and private institutions of higher learning received
generally very good grades - including "A's" in the level of
and benefits to the state's economy - in the National Center for Public
Policy and Higher Education's (NCPPHE) first state report card, Measuring Up
2000, issued earlier today.
The report card measures the performance of higher education in each of the
50 states in six performance categories - preparation, participation,
affordability, completion, benefits, and learning. Maryland and its
institutions received an A for participation (percentage of the population
ages 18-24 enrolled in education or training beyond high school) and an A
for benefits (a high percentage of college graduates strengthens a state's
economy), a B+ for preparation (the way a state readies high school students
for college), a B- for completion (graduation rates), and a D for
affordability (tuition levels). Along with every other state in the nation,
Maryland received an "incomplete" mark for measuring the educational
performance of its college students. NCPPHE noted that the incompletes
"highlight a gap in our ability as a nation to say something meaningful
about what students learn in college."
Reacting to the report card, USM Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg said,
"Maryland compares very well with other states, which is due in no small
measure to the strong support from Governor Glendening and the General
Assembly. The objectivity of the NCPPHE and the apparent soundness of its
methodology lend credibility to the report, which will be a very useful tool
for educators, state leaders, and the public at large."
It's one thing for our individual institutions to do well in rankings by a
U.S. News or a Kaplan," Langenberg continued. "But this survey looks
state's total system of higher education, including public and private
institutions, and then measures performance, not reputation. Yes, it is of
vital importance that we attract research dollars, brilliant faculty, and
inspired students. But to know how good a job we are doing, we must also
measure how our graduates are benefiting Maryland, and how our entire
educational system, K-16, is serving students. Thanks to Measuring Up 2000,
we can now compare our performance to that of nearby states, or other states
where we have peer institutions."
Virginia, for example, earned B's and C's on the 2000 report card.
Pennsylvania earned one A, in completion. New Jersey received A's in
preparation and benefits.
Nathan A. Chapman Jr., chairman of the University System Board of Regents,
said he was pleased with most of Maryland's grades, but noted that the state
must do more to make tuition affordable for a greater percentage of the
"I believe the institutions in the USM generally are affordable for a good
percentage of the state's population, but as this survey indicates, we have
more work to do. We must increase the availability of scholarships, and we
must reach out with financial aid packages to every eligible student. We
know this money will be well spent, as shown by the 'A' we received for the
benefits our graduates make to the state's economy. Providing greater access
to higher education through financial aid begins a cycle with a wonderful
end result. Our Governor recognizes this, and with his continued support we
Chapman said the USM already is examining ways to close the gap in the
graduation rates of African-American students and white students, as noted
by the NCPPHE. According to the report, for every 100 African-American
students enrolled in Maryland colleges and universities, 10 receive a degree
or certificate. Comparatively, 16 white students out of 100 are graduating
in the state.
"Particularly for African-American students, the graduation rate must
improve and this is a key component of the strategic plan the USM recently
adopted," Chapman said.
The NCPPHE was established in 1998 with a founding grant from The Pew
Charitable Trusts. It is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization
not affiliated with any government agency, political party, or educational
institution. The purpose of its studies and reports, including Measuring Up
2000, is to "stimulate public policies that will improve the effectiveness
and accessibility of higher education."
The report, as well as state-to-state comparisons, can be viewed at