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What does it cost to attend The University of Maryland, College Park?

According to a survey conducted by Sallie Mae, 90% of families believe that their investment in a college education will ultimately pay off both aspirationally and practically. However, while the majority of families believe in its value, about three-fifths haven’t mapped out a strategy for paying for college.


College should be an exciting time that opens doors and creates paths to future opportunities for students. However, a lack of planning can definitely create a few bumps along the road. The same Sallie Mae survey found that about half of the people polled were surprised by the realities of college, many being particularly surprised by the realities of its cost.


Students looking at attending a high-quality, state-run institution like the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) can start preparing for the costs of their education by taking a variety of actions including saving, budgeting, and thoroughly researching college costs.


Why College Costs Are Highly Variable

You can’t rely on the list price, or sticker price, of an institution like the University of Maryland to reliably characterize of the true cost of college. In fact, the majority of college students do not pay full price for college. The cost of attending a large public institution like UMD will vary greatly for each student depending on a host of reasons; the most obvious factor being the difference in price paid by students who reside in the state compared to that paid by out-of-state students.


Another variable that will affect the cost of college is the conferred amount of federal, state, and local aid, along with any grants from the university and merit scholarships awarded. These factors are used to calculate the net cost of a college or university as all the aid and scholarships a student receives are deducted from the list price of an institution. Since net cost more accurately portrays the actual cost of college to your family, it’s a much better figure to use when comparing the expense of one institution to another.

What is the List Price at The University of Maryland, College Park?

The list price—which includes tuition, room, and board—of the University of Maryland was $26,063 for in-state students and $47,927 for out-of-state students in 2016-2017. However, very few students pay list price for college. Those who do are generally from high-earning families with annual incomes larger than $175,000 who were in the bottom two-thirds of accepted students academically.

What is the Average Net Cost of Attending The University of Maryland, College Park?

The average net price of the University of Maryland is $24,177 for in-state students and $46,041 for out-of-state students. Financial aid net cost is the list price of college less any grants or scholarships.


Students who don’t qualify for financial aid should expect to pay close to the university’s published price. The cost of UMD for in-state students not receiving financial aid is $23,755, while out-of-state students can expect to pay $45,619.

What is the Income-Based Cost of Attending The University of Maryland, College Park?

The price of attending the University of Maryland will vary considerably in relation to the income level of a student’s family. In general, students from lower-income families pay less for the university than students from more affluent families.


The net cost based on family income at UMD is as follows:


Family Income Average Net Price
Below $30,000 $7,645
$30,001-$48,000 $10,573
$48,001-$75,000 $16,013
$75,001-$110,000 $19,152
$110,000+ $22,922

How Much Merit Aid is Awarded at The University of Maryland, College Park?

35.8% of students without financial need at the University of Maryland are awarded merit aid. Merit aid is given for a broad spectrum of reasons including success in the classroom and athletics, community service, and extracurricular activities. The average student without financial need receives $2,308 at UMD.


CollegeVine surveyed over 1,000 colleges and universities, ranking them for merit aid generosity. The University of Maryland ranked 655th in that poll.

How Many Students Take Out Loans to Attend The University of Maryland?

Despite government and institutional financial aid and the generosity of UMD merit aid, many students also take out loans to pay for college. 58% of University of Maryland students take out student loans, with the average undergraduate borrowing $3,591 through federal student loans.  

Student Outcomes at The University of Maryland

Student outcome is a good way for prospective students to get a feel for the expected return on their investment in college. The University of Maryland has a six-year graduation rate of 85%, which is 25% higher than the national average. UMD alumni, on average, earn $62,900 a year ten years after graduation—to put that number in context, the average salary of a College Park resident is $55,571, while the average salary of a Washington, D.C. resident (about 10 miles away from College Park) is $71,344.

Local Area Cost Considerations

College Park, Maryland, has a cost of living index of 135.5 according to Sperling’s Best Places, making it approximately 35% more expensive to live in than the average U.S. town or city. Cost of living index is a number used to give a rough idea of the expense of living in an area calculated using a variety of factors including the cost of housing, transportation, utilities, and groceries.


The University of Maryland is often considered a commuter school—it even has its own subway stop on the D.C.-area Metro transit system—and does not require its students to live on campus. However, students should weigh their options before choosing to move off campus, as the price of housing is one of the key contributors to College Park’s higher-than-average cost of living.


A student planning to live off campus can expect to pay between $1,340 a month (for a studio apartment) and $2,0656 a month (for a three-bedroom). The UMD Department of Residential Life publishes their housing fees—prices differ depending on the type of housing—on their website.

The minimum wage in Maryland is $10.10 an hour, which is substantially higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

Other Ways to Pay for College  

Although a part-time job might not put a huge dent in the large cost of tuition at an institution like the University of Maryland, it can help cover the cost of day-to-day life and prevent you from incurring additional debt.


UMD helps students in their search for employment in a few ways: the university’s career center maintains a database (Careers4Terps) of on- and off-campus positions available to UMD alumni; it posts a list of the numerous on-campus employers who also hire students; and it sends a weekly email (QuickBucks) that lists short-term positions like data entry, tutoring, and babysitting. Find more info at UMD’s Career Center webpage.


Scholarships are another valuable tool for students looking for other ways to pay for college. All freshmen who submit applications by November 1st are automatically considered for Freshman Merit Scholarships. UMD also offers numerous departmental scholarships, each with their own unique requirements. Learn more about UMD’s departmental scholarships here.


In addition to the scholarships offered by the University of Maryland, College Park, students can also look at private scholarships as a way to cut the cost of their college education. One such award is the prestigious National Merit Scholarship. The National Merit Scholarship is given to students who rank in the top percentile of the PSAT/NMSQT and benefits roughly 15,000 students a year. Interested in learning more about the National Scholarship Award? Check out our blog How to Qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

If you’re struggling to better understand the expenses of college, or simply want a guiding hand as you navigate the complexities of higher education, we’re here to help.


Curious about your chances of acceptance to your dream school? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.