UMass board approves tuition, fee hike

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The board of trustees for the University of Massachusetts system today approved a hike in tuition and fees for the next school year, despite opposition from Gov. Deval Patrick.

At a meeting today the board approved a 4.9 percent tuition and fee increase for undergraduate students for the 2012-13 school year. That increase will on average require in-state undergrads to pay $580 more.

The 4.9 percent increase applies to all undergraduate and graduate students and will mean $25 million in additional revenue, according to the school system.

“After much internal debate and soul-searching, we are trying to steer a moderate course on this difficult issue,” UMass President Robert L. Caret said in a statement.

University officials pushed state leaders to increase funding for the public university system. Officials said that last school year the state funded 45 percent of the general education programs while students and their families paid 55 percent.

The university leaders leaned on state officials and said it freeze tuition and fees for in-state undergraduates for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years if the state agreed to fund the university’s education programs at 50 percent.

Patrick expressed opposition to the increase yesterday.

“Like the rest of state government, UMass must demonstrate that it is doing more with less before asking more from students. And I am not convinced that UMass has yet done enough to find efficiencies and reduce costs so that any new revenue is dedicated to teaching and learning,” Patrick wrote in his letter that was hand-delivered on the day of the vote, according to the State House News Service.



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