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Financial aid report demonstrates UMass commitment to affordability

BOSTON - President Jack M. Wilson today announced that the University of Massachusetts is meeting 93 percent of the demonstrated financial need of its in-state, undergraduate students, up slightly from last year's 92 percent and considerably higher than the percentage of need met at other public universities.

"In these trying economic times, the University of Massachusetts is working hard to make sure that top-quality higher education remains affordable for the citizens of the Commonwealth. More than half of our in-state, undergraduate students receive need-based aid and that aid drives down the cost of education for many Massachusetts families," President Wilson said.

According to a report provided today to the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees Committee on Administration and Finance, the average net cost of attendance for an in-state undergraduate student this year is $13,293, based on a tuition, fees, and room and board total price of $20,302.

"Our ability to keep education affordable derives from the funding we receive from the Governor and the Legislature and the financial aid policies put in place by the Chancellors on all five campuses," President Wilson said.

The new financial aid report shows that 23,503 of the University's 41,509 in-state, undergraduate students - or 57 percent of resident undergraduates - are receiving at least some need-based aid this year. Last year, 51 percent of undergraduates received need aid. Financial need is determined by students and families filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

With graduate students factored in, UMass students are receiving $642 million in all forms of financial aid this year, up from $528 million last year.

UMass is directing $138 million of its own funds to financial aid this year, which represents a 161 percent increase over the $53 million the University spent on financial aid in the 2003-2004 academic year.

"We are directing more and more of our own funds to financial aid, reflecting the University's strong commitment to affordability and accessibility," President Wilson noted.
 The financial aid report shows that the amount of financial need met at other New England public universities ranges from 57 percent to 81 percent.

"Clearly, UMass is outpacing its public university competitors in the region in meeting financial need. That is a position we have occupied historically and one that we are working hard to maintain," President Wilson said.

The report also shows that UMass has been successful this year in meeting its goal of providing grant aid that covers the full cost of tuition and fees for Massachusetts students and families under the statewide median income level of $78,500. Financial aid is also available to students and families over the median income level.

Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-548-0238



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Robert P. Connolly
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