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UMass regional leader in meeting student need

Boston -- (May 17, 2006)-- The University of Massachusetts ranks first among New England public universities in meeting student financial need, President Jack M. Wilson today told a Board of Trustees committee.

UMass met 90 percent of its undergraduate students' demonstrated financial need during the current academic year, President Wilson told the Board's Committee on Administration and Finance.

"We are doing everything in our power to make the University of Massachusetts affordable and accessible for the sons and daughters of the Commonwealth. Knowledge shapes lives and also shapes our destiny as a state, and we therefore have to make sure that quality higher education remains within the grasp of our fellow citizens," President Wilson said as he provided a financial aid report to the members of the trustee committee.

According to the report, UMass this year met 90 percent of undergraduate student demonstrated financial need, followed by: University of Maine, 83 percent; University of Vermont, 82 percent; University of New Hampshire, 78 percent; University of Connecticut, 69 percent, and University of Rhode Island, 61 percent.

In addition to meeting 90 percent of the demonstrated financial need of all undergraduates, UMass met 91 percent of the need of in-state undergraduates.

President Wilson said the newly compiled report shows that 21,983 UMass students received $366.6 million in financial aid this year, with a record $65.1 million in financial aid originating from the University's own funds. The University provided $31 million in financial aid funding in 2000-2001, which means that its spending in this area has more than doubled during the past five years.

"We're proud of what we have been able to do, and we are committed to meeting our students' financial need to the fullest extent possible," President Wilson said.

The report also shows that nearly 60 percent of UMass students graduate with college-related debt and the debt average for those students is $16,392. U.S. News & World Report last year described UMass-Amherst as a national leader in graduating students with the lowest amount of student debt.

Tuition and mandatory fees for in-state, undergraduate students this year were: Amherst, $9,278; Boston, $8,265; Dartmouth, $8,036, and Lowell, $8,166.

Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073

5/17/06

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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)
rconnolly@umassp.edu

Ann Scales
Director of Communications
617.838.3963 (cell)
617.287.4084 (office)
ascales@umassp.edu

JoAnn Conley
Communications Coordinator/Writer
617.287.5538 (Office)
jconley@umassp.edu

Jan Brogen
Senior Writer
617.287.4027 (Office)
jbrogen@umassp.edu

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