Thursday, February 19, 2009


UMass trustees are expected to again take up an average $1,500-per-student fee increase, having delayed a vote last week because of uncertainty over the federal stimulus package. The trustees’ administration and finance committee is eyeing a plan to push average fees for in-state undergraduates to $11,048 from $9,548. Faced with over $100 million in cuts, the university is departing from its five-year practice of fee increases at or below the rate of inflation. The practice was tied to corresponding increases in state aid, according to UMass officials. The university pulled in $28.9 million last year from increased tuition, fees and enrollment, when trustees signed off on a 3.1 percent fee increase, or $288 per student. “Obviously, we’re seeing anything but a stable increase from the state going from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal 2010,” said UMass spokesman Robert Connolly. If approved, the $1,500 fee increase, which represents a 15 percent surge, would then go before the full board at its Feb. 27 meeting at UMass-Dartmouth. Some of the revenue from the fees would be directed towards the university’s financial aid accounts for students.

(Friday, 8 am, UMass President’s office, 225 Franklin St., Boston)

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