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Student trustees urge Massachusetts Senate to boost UMass funding

Student representatives call on Senate to seize 'historic opportunity'

BOSTON - With the Massachusetts Senate set to begin its budget debate on Wednesday, the UMass student trustees, as the elected representatives of the 70,774 students of the five-campus University of Massachusetts system, today issued the following statement. The Senate Ways and Means Committee last week proposed $455 million in funding for UMass for FY 2014 -- up from this year's $439 million but short of the $478 million proposed by Governor Patrick and approved by the Massachusetts House, which is the funding needed for UMass to go forward with a tuition-and-fee freeze.

Student trustee statement:

We, the elected student Trustees of the UMass system, strongly urge the Massachusetts Senate to approve amendment EDU 337. This amendment would increase funding for UMass to $478 million, the amount proposed by the Governor and approved by the House, so the University can move forward with a freeze in tuition and fees during the upcoming academic year.
Affordability and student debt are serious concerns for working- and middle-class families across the Commonwealth. A tuition and fee freeze would represent real progress and send a national message of support for public universities, a skilled future workforce and a strong economy.

We are grateful that President Caret and the University leadership are seeking to strike a balance with the state to reverse a skewed funding formula. In the last decade alone, state appropriations per full-time student for UMass fell by nearly 30 percent -- costs that students and their families must now bear. This is a direction that we must immediately seek to change.
This is a historic opportunity that Massachusetts must seize. It is a chance for the Commonwealth to show that it values quality public higher education and the goal of making it accessible and affordable to students regardless of their economic standing.

Jennifer Healy, UMass Amherst
Alexis Marvel, UMass Boston
Joshua Encarnacion, UMass Dartmouth
Phillip J. Geoffroy, UMass Lowell
Brian Quattrochi, UMass Worcester

Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073, Ann Scales, 617-287-4084


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Communications Staff Directory

Robert P. Connolly
Vice President for Strategic Communications and University Spokesperson
617.548.0238 (cell)
617.287.7073 (office)

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

JoAnn Conley
Communications Coordinator/Writer
617.287.5538 (Office)

Jan Brogen
Senior Writer
617.287.4027 (Office)

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