Frequently Asked Questions

What is “tuition retention”?

Simply put, your campus will be able to keep the tuition that you pay. Currently the tuition you pay goes to the state treasury; it does not stay at your campus to help pay your educational costs. Tuition retention will change that. However, tuition retention will not increase the university’s funding because the state appropriation will be reduced by the same amount as the tuition payments.

Prior to tuition retention, mandatory fees made up the bulk of the cost of attendance because the university was able to keep the revenue generated by these fees.  Over time, this has led to a high fee, low tuition billing model that is old and confusing in today’s higher education market. With the passage of tuition retention, the university’s tuition and fee structure will be easier to understand and more consistent with national best practices for student billing.

What does this mean for me as a student?

The only changes you see will be positive. The most significant change you will notice – and one we are pleased to announce – is that bills issued this fall will consolidate some of the mandatory fees we previously billed separately into one tuition charge.  Your tuition charge will reflect the cost of your core education and will now include the curriculum fee and other campus-wide fees; other service fees, such as for student activities, housing and dining will be listed separately. The bill will also show the amount of in-state student support the state is providing through its commitment to public higher education.

Will this make my bill go up? 

This change will not affect the total amount of your bill. The tuition line item will increase and the mandatory fee line items will decrease, offsetting one another. It should be noted that the UMass Board of Trustees will set tuition and fee rates for 2016-2017 later this year. 

What changes will be on the student bill?

The biggest change you will see is the consolidation of many mandatory fees into the tuition line item. For example, your bill for 2015-16 separated tuition and mandatory fees. Many of those mandatory fees will now be folded into tuition thereby increasing tuition and reducing mandatory fees.

I receive a tuition waiver because I am an Adams Scholar, a veteran, a national guardsman, or am blind or disabled etc.  Will my waiver change?

If your waiver eligibility does not change, the current tuition waiver will be converted to a tuition credit of the same value on your future bill.

If you are currently receiving a full tuition waiver of $1,417 (example for Dartmouth student) starting next year you will receive a tuition credit of $1,417 on your bill and your total credit will remain unchanged. If you have previously received a partial waiver, you will continue to receive the value of that partial waiver.

Full tuition credits by campus are as follows:

  • Amherst = $1,714
  • Boston = $1,714
  • Dartmouth = $1,417
  • Lowell = $1,454

Eligible students may utilize one tuition credit per academic year at the defined tuition credit amount. 

When does the new law go into effect?

The university will begin keeping the tuition it collects on July 1, 2016.   For most students, this means changes to student bills will begin in the Fall of 2016 for Academic Year 2016-2017.