UMass tuition may go up; budget crisis to blame

Taxpayers' group claims state is facing $1.5 billion budget gap

BOSTON (WWLP) – A college education can be costly, and there’s reason to believe that tuition at the University of Massachusetts may go up.

College students gathered on Beacon Hill Wednesday to thank state lawmakers for increasing financial aid funding last year. The event came on the same day as the release of a new report on the state’s fiscal health by the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

The group claims the state is facing an estimated $1.5 billion budget deficit in fiscal 2016. Tough budget times would make it harder for state lawmakers to make college more affordable.

The University of Massachusetts froze tuition and fees last year, but that could soon change. The Chairman of the Higher Education Committee, Rep. Tom Sannicandro (D-Ashland), told 22News that it’s going to be very difficult to keep costs down for UMass students.

“You know, obviously we’re going to try to do that, try to hold the line, but I think it’s going to be very challenging given where we are,” Sannicandro said.

Tuition and fees for Massachusetts residents attending UMass Amherst was estimated at $13,258 for the 2014-2015 academic year; not counting about $11,000 for room and board. For out-of-state residents, annual tuition and fees are estimated at $28,813, though students from other New England states can attend at a discounted rate if their chosen major is not available at a state college where they live.

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