UMass hoping for a tuition freeze

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Tuition and fees at state colleges and universities may either stay the same or increase.

For a state University like UMass, ultimately its up to the board of trustees to decide tuition and fees. Their hoping they won’t be forced to raise it, but a lot of that has to do with the state.

UMass President Robert Caret wants the state to finance 50% of the schools’ budgets. That would freeze tuition and fees for two years. But it might not happen.

A senior UMass administrator says the state’s budget falls about $3-million short of what they would need. Bethany Prevost ia a UMass Freshman from Holyoke.

“Everyone expects you to get a higher education, but there’s no money to get it and no way to get a job after to pay it back because no one is hiring, so It’s sort of an endless cycle of not having money but being expected to be able to do things.”

A Massachusetts student pays about $13,300 in fees and tuition to UMass each year. It’s more than double that for a student from a different state.

In an effort to reduce expenses, the university is trying to become more energy efficient. Their library is one of the tallest in the country. There’s a lot of light bulbs inside, but they’ve installed automatic sensors that tell the lights when to turn off.

The university has saved about $67-million with it’s energy efforts.

“For every dollar that you save in cutting energy costs and being more efficient, you can take that money and reinvest it in your academic programming and keeping costs down for students and families,” said Ed Blaguszewski, UMass Amherst, Spokesperson.

Family is what’s helping Freshman Kelley Dillon manage her future financial burden.

“My parents agreed to pay off the loans that do have interest on them, and I’ll  be paying the one without interest,” said Dillon.

It still remains to be seen if the state will be willing to increase their contribution.

The state’s Higher Education Commissioner indicated another $15-million increase for state universities may be on the way.

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