The University of Maine System Board of Trustees next week will consider a proposal to keep in-state tuition flat, following a committee recommendation made Monday.

The board’s Finance, Facilities and Technology Committee voted unanimously to recommend a budget proposal that would hold tuition flat for Maine students in the upcoming 2021-22 school year. Out-of-state students would still see an average 2.5 percent increase.

The proposal, which will be considered by the full board next week, comes as the Legislature is considering a supplemental budget proposal by Gov. Janet Mills that would increase state funding to the UMaine System by 3 percent, or $6 million.

The system had begun budget discussions this year under the assumption state funding would be flat and a tuition increase would be needed, said UMaine System Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Ryan Low.

“We’re always happy to be pleasantly surprised when that changes,” Low said. “So we were incredibly grateful when Gov. Mills put in a change package to her budget a few weeks ago that included a three percent increase for higher ed.”

If the proposal is approved the average cost of tuition for a full-time Maine student attending a state university would be $8,572 per year, not including fees or room and board. The budget proposal includes an average 2.3 percent room and board increase, so students would still be subject to some changes in their overall bill.

In addition, the University of Maine at Orono, University of Maine at Machias and University of Southern Maine are launching pilot programs aimed at bringing more transparency to student fee charges. In Orono and Machias the pilot will roll some student fees into tuition while at USM the program will consolidate most student fees into one comprehensive fee.

The Legislature is expected to consider the governor’s supplemental budget proposal later this week. The full board of trustees is scheduled to meet June 25.

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