Daily News

UMass President to Propose Tuition Freeze for Upcoming Academic Year

AMHERST — Pointing to the financial hardships that many Massachusetts families are facing and in consultation with campus chancellors, UMass President Marty Meehan said he will recommend a tuition freeze for the university’s nearly 50,000 in-state undergraduate students during the upcoming academic year.

“During this time of stress and uncertainty for our students and their families, we need to keep our high-quality programs and the benefits of a UMass degree as accessible and affordable as possible,” said Meehan, who will formally propose the freeze when the board of trustees meets next month. “In addition to keeping tuition at current levels, we are taking steps to ensure that those students facing the steepest financial challenges will not see their dream of earning a UMass degree cut short.”

“President Meehan’s recommended tuition freeze demonstrates his concern for our students and their families and the financial hardships many are facing during these unprecedented times,” said Robert Manning, chairman of the UMass board of trustees. “This is a concern that our chancellors and members of the board of trustees share. At this critical moment, we need to keep the path to opportunity and economic recovery open and accessible, and I commend Marty for proposing this tuition freeze.”

UMass also expects to continue its practice of directing significant amounts of its own funds to direct grant aid for students in the upcoming academic year. During the 2019-20 academic year, UMass projects it will direct $395 million in financial aid to students — an increase of $124 million, or 46%, over five years. UMass students received nearly $1 billion in federal, state, private, and institutional financial aid in FY20.

The board of trustees committee on administration and finance is due to set student charges at its June 10 meeting with a full board vote on June 17.

Meehan noted that he is asking the board of trustees to freeze tuition for in-state undergraduates at a time when UMass is also grappling with major pandemic-related financial challenges, but said the proposed freeze was “the appropriate course and the right thing to do.”