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UMass accessible, affordable choice for most state residents, report says

Tuition and fees at the University of Massachusetts are on average a much smaller percentage of median family income than they are at the state's private universities and other New England public universities, and one in four Massachusetts residents enrolled as a first-time freshman in a four-year public or private school in the state attends UMass, according to a new report released today by University of Massachusetts President Robert L. Caret.

The 2012 Report on Annual Indicators: University Performance Measurement System, which takes stock of the University's progress, found that UMass' contribution to producing an educated citizenry and workforce remains high. UMass awarded nearly 14,000 degrees in the 2010-2011 academic year, comprising 15 percent of all undergraduate and graduate degrees awarded in the Commonwealth. The University's impact is particularly strong in computer and information sciences and health on the bachelor's degree level; natural sciences, computer science, and engineering on the master's degree level; and education and business on the doctoral degree level.

``This comprehensive self-analysis is a means of knowing what we do well, in what areas we would like to grow, and how with our excellence in education, research, and service we can better serve the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,'' President Caret said. ``It is an effort that illustrates our unwavering commitment to accountability, assessment, and improvement.''

The 95-page report gauges the University's performance on a range of indicators related to academic quality, student success and satisfaction, access and affordability, service to the Commonwealth, and financial health. It also compares the UMass system to other public research university systems, including the University of Connecticut, University of California, University of Colorado, University of Illinois, University of Maryland, and University of Missouri.

The report found financial indicators at UMass compared favorably to its peer institutions. In Fiscal Year 2011, the University's return on net assets, financial cushion, and debt service to operations were all within the range of peer systems. As for the endowment, the market value of UMass' endowment grew by 15 percent between Fiscal Year 2010 and Fiscal Year 2011, compared to an 18 percent decline in endowment growth over the same period for peer institutions.

Other highlights of the report include:

  • UMass continues to be accessible and affordable.  UMass tuition and fees average 13 percent of statewide median family income, a percentage much lower than that for the state's private universities (42 percent) and other New England public universities (17 percent). UMass spends approximately $135 million of its own resources on financial aid, meeting 90 percent of Massachusetts students' estimated financial need. Since Fiscal Year 2003, total institutional financial aid has increased by $99 million or 275 percent.
  • One in four Massachusetts residents enrolled as first-time freshman attends UMass. One in four (27 percent) of all Massachusetts residents enrolled in a four-year public or private university in the state as a first-time freshman attends UMass. The University's students come from every region of the state.
  • UMass serves citizens of the Commonwealth. Over four-fifths (82 percent) of UMass undergraduate freshmen are Massachusetts residents, compared with a quarter (24 percent) at private universities in the state.
  • UMass educates a diverse citizenry. The number of students of color enrolling at UMass has increased over the last five years. Currently, well over one-fourth (28.3 percent) of UMass undergraduates are students of color. At UMass Boston, 47 percent of undergraduates are students of color, making it the most diverse public university in all of New England, with over 4,500 undergraduate students of color.
  • UMass' research capacity continues to grow. In Fiscal Year 2011, the system generated $586.7 million in sponsored research, an increase of 8.1 percent over Fiscal Year 2010. Furthermore, in 2010-2011, the five campuses awarded a total of 616 doctoral degrees across various disciplines, including 89 MD degrees from UMass Medical School.
  • Majority of UMass alumni reside and work in Massachusetts. Approximately three of five (60 percent) graduates of the University remain in the Commonwealth after graduation.

``The University of Massachusetts is committed to providing an affordable and accessible education of high quality and conducting programs of research and public service that advance knowledge and improve the lives of the people of the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world,'' President Caret said. ``We are proud of our mission and our achievements, but strive continually to improve in key areas that benefit the constituents we serve.''

The full report can be found here:

Contact: Ann Scales, 617.287.4084



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Robert P. Connolly
Vice President for Strategic Communications and University Spokesperson
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617.287.7073 (office)

Ann Scales
Director of Communications
617.838.3963 (cell)
617.287.4084 (office)

JoAnn Conley
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617.287.5538 (Office)

Jan Brogen
Senior Writer
617.287.4027 (Office)

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