UMass tuition and fee increase approved

Trustees approved increase as state struggles to close budget deficit

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) –  The cost of education is rising at the state’s largest public University.

The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees met in the Massachusetts room of the Mullins Center for about 2 1/2 hours Wednesday to discuss the possibility of raising tuition. The outcome: a maximum tuition increase of 6% contingent of the funding they get from the state. The actual increase may be less than that; depending on how much funding they get from the state. But the state is trying to close a $1.8 billion budget deficit.

Students told 22News they’re not happy.

“I guess I feel powerless. I wouldn’t even really know where to start to go and complain about tuition,” UMass senior Shenna Bannish said.

“I think that they believe that they are being as transparent as possible giving the information they have, but students found out about these fee increases in June when most of them are two months out of school, so most of them are out of school, they don’t have the ability to organize or questions what’s happening,” student Charlotte Kelly said.

Outgoing UMass President Robbert Caret told 22News that the university has been a victim of inflation. They had to increase financial aid, and build 80% of their own buildings, all while being level funded. He said that they are encouraging young people to consider different ways to arrive at their studies.

“You go to two years at a community college and then two years at a four year school. That saves you a lot of money. And obviously if you want to live at home and have your parents feed you, that can be a lot cheaper too, so we’re looking at ways to market different pathways to students and make those much more available,” Caret said.

For students, the maximum increase would result in an extra $520 to 580 a year depending on which campus you go to.

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