USM Joins National Association of System Heads "College Is Worth It" Campaign

Initiative from NASH Will Raise Awareness of Value of College Education  

Baltimore, Md. (Nov. 1, 2023) – The University System of Maryland (USM) is pleased to be one of 11 college and university systems in the U.S. to support the National Association of System Heads (NASH) “College Is Worth It” campaign.

The campaign, launching Nov. 1, will establish a dialogue with Americans around the value of a college education. More details on the College Is Worth it campaign can be found here. The campaign will include digital advertisements in all 50 states.
A college degree helps to create the pathway to a variety of professions. Today’s job market remains fiercely competitive, and most employers still require a four-year degree and the specialized skills that accompany it. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reinforces this correlation, noting that a degree makes a significant difference in adding to employment prospects and earning potential. 

Beyond its role in job placement, a college education makes a true difference in prospects for mobility in one’s career. A noteworthy 86% of employed millennial college graduates attribute their degrees to helping them secure promotions

A college education also equips individuals with critical thinking skills that are vital for navigating a world that can offer overwhelming amounts of information. An educated society is also essential for the democratic process and informed decision-making.

NASH is overseeing this campaign in partnership with the participating 11 systems. NASH is the association of the chief executives of the college and university systems of public higher education in the U.S. USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman is a member of the NASH Board of Directors.

In 2022, the USM continued to uphold its promise to make higher education affordable for all. With support from the governor and the Maryland General Assembly, average in-state tuition and fees for Maryland’s public, four-year institutions remain below the national average. Among all 50 states, Maryland falls precisely in the middle—25th—for public in-state tuition and fees and is less expensive than the neighboring states of Delaware, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

Debt levels for in-state students completing undergraduate degrees at USM institutions also fall below the national average. In 2021, about 50% of the USM’s in-state, baccalaureate recipients completed their college experience with zero debt and an additional 12 percent of these students graduated with debt levels of less than $10,000.
Colleges and universities serve as incubators for innovation and entrepreneurship. From groundbreaking research to entrepreneurial ventures, college graduates often drive societal progress and economic development.

The value of higher education also underscores the need for consistent efforts to ensure there is equitable access to the life-changing opportunities colleges and universities offer.

Employed millennial college graduates are more likely than their peers with a high school diploma or less education to say their job is a career or a steppingstone to a career (86% vs. 57%).

Bachelor’s degree holders are half as likely to be unemployed as their peers who only have a high school degree and they make $1.2 million in additional earnings on average over their lifetime.

In addition to the USM, other participating systems are the University of Tennessee System; Nebraska State College System; Minnesota State Colleges and Universities; University of Nebraska System; University of Massachusetts; Connecticut State Colleges and Universities; Montana University System; Texas State University System; City University of New York System; State University of New York System.


The USM comprises 12 institutions: Bowie State University; Coppin State University; Frostburg State University; Salisbury University; Towson University; the University of Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; the University of Maryland, College Park; the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and the University of Maryland Global Campus. The USM also includes three regional centers—the Universities at Shady Grove, the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, and the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland—at which USM universities offer upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses.

USM institutions and programs are among the nation’s best in quality and value according to several national rankings. To learn more about the University System of Maryland, visit To learn about the new USM Strategic Plan, “Vision 2030: From Excellence to Preeminence,” visit


Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719