At 2.5 percent, university holds increase below the rate of inflation for in-state students
WORCESTER — Meeting its goal to hold tuition increases at or below the rate of inflation, the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees voted today to increase tuition rates by 2.5 percent, or an average of $351 per student, for in-state undergraduate students at UMass for the 2018-19 academic year.
Across the four undergraduate campuses — Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell — tuition will average $14,363 for in-state undergraduate students.
Tuition for out-of-state undergraduates will rise by 3 percent to $32,200 on average, or an average increase of $938 per out-of-state student. The board previously set tuition rates for UMass Medical School at a meeting in June.
“The board takes the impact of any tuition increase on students and their families very seriously,” said UMass Board of Trustees Chairman Rob Manning. “This is a moderate increase that will ensure UMass continues to deliver a world-class education at an affordable cost, and we applaud President Meehan, the Chancellors and their respective teams for their work to build a budget that supports the university’s mission of access and affordability.”
UMass’s 2.5 percent tuition increase falls below the historic rate of inflation for the higher education sector and below the average increase at peer institutions. The Higher Education Price Index (HEPI), used to measure inflationary increases in the higher education sector, was 3.7 percent in Fiscal Year 2017, the most recent year data was available. The average tuition increase for the 2018-19 academic year at public research universities in New England, one of UMass’s peer groups, is 3.1 percent.
UMass tuition increased 3 percent for in-state undergraduates last academic year, and, including the 2.5 percent increase this year, has increased an average of 2.8 percent annually since the 2015-16 academic year.
UMass President Marty Meehan, who emphasized his personal commitment to college affordability during his annual State of the University address in March, said, “This increase allows us to preserve the quality of our academic and research enterprises while minimizing the financial impact on students and their families, which is our top priority. The budget approved today will require us to continue to operate as efficiently as possible and cut costs where appropriate.”
The university’s Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) operating budget is projected to be $3.4 billion, up $102 million, or 3.1 percent, over Fiscal Year 2018.
In its FY19 budget, UMass will increase its direct contributions to financial aid by more than $20 million, up 5.5 percent from last year. The FY19 budget calls for $382 million in institutional financial aid. In total, UMass students were awarded more than $900 million in financial aid in Fiscal Year 2018.
UMass continues to meet nearly 90 percent of all demonstrated need for in-state undergraduate students, and according to data published by U.S. News & World Report, UMass meets an average of 85 percent of need among all undergraduates, far above the 70 percent average for universities ranked in the National Universities category.
In presenting the budget to Trustees, UMass Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance Lisa Calise highlighted a series of business process improvements and efficiency and effectiveness measures that are contributing to a projected positive operating margin for FY19.
Tuition costs at all five UMass campuses for the 2018-19 academic year will be available on Tuition & Fees.