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UMass again freezes fees, tuition for in-state undergraduates

The University of Massachusetts has frozen 2014-2015 tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduate students, unanimously approving the first back-to-back freeze in recent UMass history.

“Freezing tuition and fees in consecutive years represents a real savings for students and their families, and also makes a strong statement about our commitment to affordability and the seriousness with which we take our public mission,” UMass President Robert L. Caret said.

The university’s consecutive freezes — which would come about as a result of a record infusion of state funds — come at a time when private universities around the nation continue to raise tuition and as rates are rising at most public universities.

Student charges vary from campus to campus, but under the rates approved today, tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduate students at UMass Amherst will remain at $13,258. The cost of attending the University’s flagship campus with room and board factored in would be $24,215.

The House and Senate versions of the budget both contain funding for the five-campus UMass system of just less than $519 million — a funding level consistent with the 50-50 proposal advanced by President Caret after he assumed the UMass presidency in July 2011.

In its vote, the board of trustees gave emergency authority to raise the mandatory fee for in-state undergraduates by up to 3.5 percent — but the committee and President Caret made clear that this power would be used only if funding for UMass in the new state budget took an unexpected plunge.

UMass student trustee Megan Kingston of UMass Amherst said, “The second consecutive fee-freeze showcases the dedication of our elected officials to the noble cause of affordable public higher education. In an economy where students are working multiple jobs while attending school, it is paramount that we lessen the financial burden placed on students and their families. This freeze advances our mission of accessibility and affordability.”

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