UMass Board of Trustees vote for 2.5 percent increase to in-state tuition

Out-of-state and graduate tuition also saw increases

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UMass Board of Trustees vote for 2.5 percent increase to in-state tuition

(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

By Will Mallas, Assistant News Editor

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The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees voted Friday to increase in-state tuition by 2.5 percent for the 2019-20 academic year.

According to a UMass press release, the tuition increase averages to $359 per student and total in-state tuition will average $14,722. The increase applies to the four undergraduate campuses in Amherst, Boston, Lowell and Dartmouth.

The board also voted for a three percent increase to out-of-state undergraduate tuition at the Amherst, Boston and Dartmouth campuses, while out-of-state undergraduates enrolled at the Lowell campus will only see a two percent increase.

Graduate tuition at the Amherst, Boston and Dartmouth campuses will also see a three percent increase, while graduate tuition at the Lowell campus will not increase.

The release also notes that the tuition increase is consistent “to the rate of inflation” and falls below the average increase of 3.7 percent among “flagship state universities in New England” and below the average increase of 3.3 percent among “other Massachusetts public institutions.”

“We take seriously our responsibility to maintain affordability for students and ensure budget transparency for all university stakeholders,” Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Manning said.

“We commend [UMass] President Marty Meehan, the chancellors and their teams for containing costs in the building of this budget and for providing the Board with data and financial reporting that supports their strategic management of the university,” he added.

For UMass Amherst undergraduates enrolled in the 2019-20 academic year, in-state tuition will cost $15,791 and out-of-state tuition will cost $35,112. Graduate students will see tuition costs of $14,778 for in-state students and $32,392 for out-of-state students.

Additionally, the UMass operating budget for fiscal 2020 is projected to increase by $143 million to a total of $3.5 billion, equaling a 4.3 percent increase. The UMass operating budget accounts for the expected costs and expenditures for the school during the fiscal year. The budget factors in “certain system-wide assumptions regarding State investments, student tuition and capital planning while also accounting for individual campus needs to support enrollment and staff,” according to the executive summary for the fiscal 2019operating budget.

The budget will factor in a four percent increase in direct contributions to financial aid, equaling about a $14 million increase.

“The university’s FY20 budget also includes $44 million in cost containment measures that will be implemented in the coming year,” the press release notes.

The tuition increases comes after Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the fiscal 2020 state budget on July 31. Out of the $43.32 billion budget, $558 million was apportioned to the UMass system, which reflects a 1 percent increase over the previous fiscal year “after factoring in the state’s share of collectively bargained salary increases for university employees,” according to the press release.

“We are grateful to our partners in the Legislature for fully funding the state’s share of collective bargaining expenses and increasing the university’s base appropriation in [fiscal 2020],” Meehan said. “Because of the state’s investment and the aggressive cost containment and efficiency measures implemented by university leadership, we are able to once again hold tuition to the rate of inflation while maintaining excellence in academic programming and student services.”

“We will continue to explore ways we can cut costs and operate more efficiently to remain affordable and accessible for students,” he added.

Will Mallas can be reached at [email protected] and followed on twitter @willmallas.