Increases held to inflation for second consecutive year for Massachusetts undergraduates
BOSTON — Citing a need to uphold quality while remaining affordable for students, the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees voted today to hold tuition increases to the rate of inflation for the second consecutive year, increasing tuition by 2.5 percent, or an average of $359 per student, for in-state undergraduate students for the 2019-20 academic year.
Across the four undergraduate campuses, tuition will average $14,722 for in-state undergraduate students.
Tuition will rise by 3 percent for out-of-state undergraduate students at UMass Amherst, UMass Boston and UMass Dartmouth, and 2 percent at UMass Lowell.
Graduate tuition will increase by 3 percent at the Amherst, Boston and Dartmouth campuses. UMass Lowell is not increasing their tuition rate for graduate students. The board previously set tuition rates for UMass Medical School at a meeting in April.
“We take seriously our responsibility to maintain affordability for students and ensure budget transparency for all university stakeholders,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Rob Manning. “We commend President Meehan, the chancellors and their teams for containing costs in the building of this budget and for providing the Board with data and financial reporting that supports their strategic management of the university.”
The university’s 2.5 percent tuition increase falls below the average rate of tuition increases this year at flagship state universities in New England, which is 3.7 percent, and below the average rate of tuition increases at other Massachusetts public institutions, which is 3.3 percent.
Tuition increases at UMass were also below the rate of inflation for higher education. The Higher Education Pricing Index, which measures inflationary increases in the higher education sector, was 2.7 percent in the most recent available data.
The Massachusetts Legislature appropriated $558 million to UMass in its Fiscal Year 2020 budget, reflecting a 1 percent increase over FY19 after factoring in the state’s share of collectively bargained salary increases for university employees.
UMass President Marty Meehan said that the state’s investment and university efficiency measures are crucial to minimizing tuition increases and thanked the Legislature for their support.
“We are grateful to our partners in the Legislature for fully funding the state’s share of collective bargaining expenses and increasing the university’s base appropriation in FY20,” said President Meehan. “Because of the state’s investment and the aggressive cost containment and efficiency measures implemented by university leadership, we are able to once again hold tuition to the rate of inflation while maintaining excellence in academic programming and student services. We will continue to explore ways we can cut costs and operate more efficiently to remain affordable and accessible for students.”
The UMass FY20 operating budget is projected to be $3.5 billion, an increase of $143 million, or 4.3 percent, from FY19. In its FY20 budget, UMass will increase its direct contribution to financial aid by more than $14 million, up nearly 4 percent from last year. Ninety-four percent of all university-funded, need-based aid goes to in-state students.
The university’s FY20 budget also includes $44 million in cost containment measures that will be implemented in the coming year.
Tuition rates for all five UMass campuses for the 2019-20 academic year will be available at www.massachusetts.edu/education/tuition-fees.