Meehan sees ‘reasonable’ increase in UMass student costs in 2016-17

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STATE HOUSE — The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees is expected to take up tuition and fee rates at a pair of June meetings, setting the stage for what UMass President Marty Meehan has predicted could be a “reasonable” rate increase.

Tuition and fees will be on the agenda at a June 8 Committee on Administration and Finance meeting in Boston and a June 15 meeting of the full Board of Trustees in Worcester, a UMass spokesman confirmed.

“I think there will be some kind of a reasonable tuition increase would be my guess, but it will be reasonable and when compared with the other public and private universities in Massachusetts, it will be very competitive and probably lower,” Meehan said in an interviewThursday on WBUR’S Radio Boston.

Meehan told members of the House and Senate Ways and Means committees in February that UMass officials “would like very much to keep tuition increases to no more than inflation” but would continue to evaluate the system’s financial needs.

“As President, I am committed to ensuring the University remains on strong financial footing which will require state support and adjusting student tuition and fees,” Meehan said in written testimony.

After two years of tuition and fee freezes, UMass trustees approved a 5 percent hike in June 2015.

For the 2015-2016 academic year, in-state undergraduate tuition and fees across the UMass system ranged from $12,588 at UMass Dartmouth to $14,171 at UMass Amherst.

“The average tuition and fee increase at the University of Massachusetts over the last three years was 1.67 percent,” Meehan said during his radio appearance last week. “There isn’t a public or private university in Massachusetts that hasn’t increased significantly more than that.”

The website of UMass Amherst’s bursar’s office lists tuition and fee estimates for the next school year as $14,596, representing an increase of approximately 3 percent over this year’s $14,171. The school’s website advises that those estimates are subject to change after the board sets fees in June.

— Written by Katie Lannan

Copyright State House News Service