BOSTON – The University of Massachusetts is seeking $519 million in state funding for the new fiscal year that starts July 1, a sum that would trigger a freeze in tuition and fees for the second consecutive year.
UMass President Robert L. Caret announced the move Wednesday to continue the UMass “50-50” plan, in which the state provides 50 percent of funding for the school’s educational programs, and suggested students and parents across the Commonwealth would welcome it. Caret noted that this year’s freeze has improved the university’s standing on the measure of affordability.
“If we can freeze tuition and fees for one more year, we will be in a much better place in terms of affordability for our students,” he Caret said.
He made his remarks as the Board of Trustees’ Committee on Administration and Finance met in Boston, according to a press release put out by the university.
The five-campus UMass system’s request for $519 million in state funding for the upcoming fiscal year represents a $40 million increase over the university’s current $479 million appropriation. About 71,910 students are enrolled at campuses in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell and Worcester. In addition, UMassOnline has 60,000 course enrollments in place, the university said.
During the current fiscal year, UMass received a $40 million funding increase, the largest increase in the university’s history and one that Gov. Deval L. Patrick and the state House and Senate have supported.
Besides allowing for the tuition-and-fee freeze, the additional funding would renew the 50-50 plan that began in the current fiscal year. Prior to the 50-50 plan, students and their families bore more than half of the cost of UMass’ education programs.