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University of Massachusetts Trustee Committee Backs 3.4% Student Charge Increase; For Fourth Year, UMass Increase At Or Under Inflation


UMass Financial Aid Meeting 90% of Student Demonstrated Need

BOSTON -Wednesday, February 14, 2007- The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees Committee on Administration and Finance today unanimously approved a 3.4% increase in student tuition and fees for the upcoming 2007-2008 academic year.

The increase was recommended by University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson, who noted that this would be the fourth year in a row in which the student-charge increase was at or below the inflation rate.

"We are committed to maintaining affordability and also to maintaining academic excellence. Because of our policies, we can offer a high-caliber education at a fraction of what private universities charge," President Wilson said.

Under the proposal approved by the finance committee, tuition and fees for in-state undergraduates, on average, would rise from $8,918 to $9,221. The student-charge increase approved by the finance committee will be up for final approval when the full UMass Board of Trustees meets March 14 in Worcester.

If enacted, it would be the fourth year in a row that UMass student charges would increase at or under the rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the Northeast Urban Region (currently at 3.6%). Since academic year 2004-2005, UMass student charges have increased between 2% and 3.4% annually.

Many public universities appear to be contemplating 2007-2008 student-charge increases greater than the 3.4% increase being considered by UMass. For example, the proposed UMass student charge increase is lower than increases proposed by other New England schools for next year, including the University of Rhode Island which may be considering a 6% tuition and fees increase, UConn a 5.7% tuition and fees increase and The University of Maine an 8% tuition and fee increase. Other nationally-ranked state universities including Penn State, Iowa State, UNC Chapel Hill and the California State System are also proposing 5% to 10.4% tuition and fee increases for next year, according to news reports.

The UMass Trustees on the Committee also supported a strong investment in financial aid for next year to meet approximately 90 percent of demonstrated student need, a rate significantly higher than comparable state and private institutions. Currently, UMass meets 89% of undergraduate demonstrated financial need. (See chart below). Current UMass students are receiving $402 million in financial aid, with about $72 million in aid coming directly from the University.

Increasing financial aid is a top UMass priority, President Wilson said.  "I am pleased that the Trustees are voicing such support for increasing financial aid. As we continue to improve the quality of the educational experience for our students as well as the research and teaching facilities on UMass campuses, I am committed to making sure tuition and fee increases are within reasonable limits and that we maintain, and whenever possible increase, our level of financial aid," said President Wilson.

If the recommendation is approved by the full Board of Trustees, the proposed total cost, including room & board and student fees, for undergraduates at UMass campuses for the AY 2007-2008 would be:

Campus                    Massachusetts resident         Non-resident                      
Amherst                      $17,399                                   $27,977         
Boston                         $8,837                                    $20,656
Dartmouth                   $17,755                                   $27,337
Lowell                          $15,709                                   $27,362

Contact:  Robert P. Connolly, 617.287.7073; Libby DeVecchi, 617.287.7023

Financial Aid Comparison Data for AY 2006-2007


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