Meehan recommends deferring action on UMass tuition, fees until July

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BOSTON — Though a vote was planned for Wednesday on University of Massachusetts tuition and fees for the 2016-2017 school year, UMass President Marty Meehan recommended instead that action on tuition wait until July.

Administrators and trustees want to wait until the state budget process reaches its conclusion, university officials said in a statement to the News Service.

“Our goal is to keep a potential increase as low as it can possibly be, and we believe our interests, and our students’ interests, are best served by deferring action at this time,” Meehan said in the statement. “We want to keep tuition in check, while still protecting quality, our upward momentum, diversity and all of the things that are essential to a great public research university and the state’s social and economic future.”

The House and Senate differed in their fiscal 2017 appropriations for UMass, with the House appropriating $508 million and the Senate allocating $521 million. The UMass appropriation in the fiscal 2016 state budget was $500.7 million.

Protesters from UMass Lowell and UMass Boston marched Wednesday morning outside a downtown building where UMass officials were scheduled to meet, calling for officials to refuse increases in student costs and faculty reductions.

After two consecutive years of freezing tuition and fee rates, trustees last year approved a 5 percent hike. Meehan recently said he expects to see a “reasonable” rate increase.

— Written by Katie Lannan

Copyright State House News Service