University of Massachusetts trustees voted Wednesday to increase tuition and fees, up to five percent depending on the state’s funding level.
That’s after two years of no increase, mostly because the state had infused UMass with $100 million, making a 50-50 cost share between the state and in-state students. But as Massachusetts starts the new fiscal year with a multi-billion dollar budget deficit, UMass will get much less than requested in 2016.
Outgoing UMass President Bob Caret says decisions to increase student tuition are never a first option. But he says the university has actually managed to save money.
“We spend about half of what BU [Boston University] spends to educate a student,” Caret says. He notes that the cost of a UMass education is about one fifth the cost of four years at Harvard University
“I don’t know how efficient state government wants us to become, but we’re pretty damn efficient,” Caret says.
If the full 5 percent increase takes place, students could pay up to $980 more a year in tuition and fees. No matter the state aid, all students will pay a new $250 technology fee.
Correction: An earlier version of this story on NEPR.net originally misspelled Bob Caret’s name. It also misidentified him as the UMass Board president. He is the university president.