UMass President Hints at Possible 2.5 Percent Tuition Hike

Marty Meehan (Courtesy file photograph/State House News Service.)

University of Massachusetts officials on Wednesday advanced a 1.5 percent tuition hike for medical school students, and shined a bit more light on what in-state undergraduates across the other four campuses might expect to pay next year.

At a hearing in Fall River last week, UMass senior vice president of administration and finance Lisa Calise told lawmakers that if they include the university's full $568.3 million funding request in next year’s budget, UMass would be able to freeze tuition and fees for in-state undergraduate students.

UMass President Marty Meehan reiterated that point Wednesday at a meeting of the Board of Trustees’ Administration and Finance Committee and added, “If not, our fiscal 2020 budget assumes a 2.5 percent increase for in-state undergraduate tuition.”

Gov. Charlie Baker, in his fiscal 2020 spending plan, recommended funding UMass at $558 million, which Meehan said fully funds the state’s share of collective bargaining costs. He said he hopes the House and Senate follow Baker’s lead in that area.

Meehan said UMass officials are monitoring the state budget process and working with campuses including Lowell on developing the university’s fiscal 2020 budget, which will come before the UMass Board of Trustees in June.

Because third- and fourth-year medical students start their academic year in May, UMass sets tuition rates for its Worcester medical school earlier than for the rest of the system.

The medical school tuition and fee hikes approved by the Administration and Finance Committee Wednesday, set to come before the full board for a vote next week, would bring costs for in-state medical students to $38,346, with out of-state students paying $64,276.

House leaders plan to pass their state budget bill in April, with the Senate tackling its budget in May.

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