UMass asks for additional funding, reconsideration of cost hikes

By Anthony Rentsch

(Collegian File Photo)
(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)

The University of Massachusetts asked the state legislature to support supplemental funding for the five-campus university system yesterday as concerns about the rising costs for students persist, according to State House News Service.

UMass’ actions come on the heels of a letter sent by Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and backed by Governor Charlie Baker yesterday, asking the Board of Trustees to reconsider the tuition and fee increases approved earlier this year, reported State House News Service.

Baker slashed more than $5 million from the university’s budget last month, before the legislature overrode him, restoring UMass’ budget for the current fiscal year to just shy of $532 million. UMass had initially requested $578 million back in January.

“Senate President Rosenberg suggests paring back this year’s fee increase but UMass could eliminate it entirely if he could win full funding for our budget and collective-bargaining requirements,” UMass spokesperson Robert Connolly said in a statement.

According to State House News Service, Rosenberg, in his letter, pledged to “make it a priority to address the University’s continuing funding needs.” Connolly said there’s a possibility UMass could issue rebates to students if it receives requisite funding.

The legislature is expected to act on a supplemental budget bill next month.

Rosenberg did not include a specific timeline in his request for the board to revisit tuition and fee hikes, the State House News Service reported.

Anthony Rentsch can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Anthony_Rentsch.