Tuition Rising for Fifth Straight Year at UMass

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

University of Massachusetts trustees on Friday approved a 2.5 percent tuition increase for in-state undergraduate students, as members of the board cautioned of “clouds on the horizon” in enrollment and revenue trends.

The vote, held about a month before the start of fall classes, was postponed this year as UMass officials waited to see how the late state budget would handle their $558 million appropriation and the tuition rates paid by nearly 50,000 undergraduates.

Senate-backed language calling for a tuition freeze this fall, which the school said would lead to cuts affecting students, was dropped in favor of a new requirement that university officials meet with lawmakers to discuss financial and enrollment information.

The State House News Service reports that with room, board, and mandatory fees factored in, the average increase for an in-state undergraduate student across the Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell campuses works out to $887, for a total cost of $29,058.

UMass President Marty Meehan said tuition increases at UMass have averaged three percent over the past 10 years, while state universities and community colleges have hiked their rates by an average of six percent.

Meehan said UMass will form an advisory group with the goal of working “with the governor and the Legislature to keep tuition flat or below the rate of inflation next year.” He said the group will focus on issues of access, affordability, quality and efficiency.

The Lowell campus is increasing its out-of-state undergraduate tuition by two percent, while Amherst, Boston and Dartmouth out-of-state undergrads will pay an extra three percent this year.

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