Office of the President

Dept. of Education report 2011



Dear St. Mary’s Campus Community:

The U.S. Department of Education recently published a web tool that generates lists of the nation’s most and least expensive colleges (view). The DOE list has resulted in stories appearing in outlets such as the National Journal and Time magazine that place St. Mary’s College of Maryland as one of the top four most expensive public colleges.
While not necessarily the kind of publicity we like, it does present us with an opportunity to tell our story. As ambassadors of the college, we know the value of the education we provide. I am proud that St. Mary’s offers an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. Collaborative academic pursuit is one of the reasons 65% of our alumni go on to graduate education, and it is why 97% of our graduates report satisfaction in the preparation St. Mary’s provides for graduate work and careers. St. Mary’s College has graduation rates that are, on average, 20% higher than other Maryland institutions and has an 87% first-to-second-year retention rate. For a public college, our price may be high; but we provide an educational environment that more closely resembles a private school, where the cost of attendance may be as much as twice ours.
I am proud that we offer the liberal arts in the public trust. We are also fortunate to have visionary leaders on our board of trustees and in the state of Maryland who support our mission of providing a residential, small-college liberal arts educational option to those who may not otherwise consider themselves eligible financially.
St. Mary’s continues to be a leader in higher education. We are considered a model because of the quality of education we provide, the community experiences we offer, and in our independent governance structure. Please join me in articulating our successes and in working together on creative solutions to ease costs that may impact a student’s opportunity to attend Maryland’s public honors college.
Joseph Urgo
St. Mary's College of Maryland