A UMass Degree Just Got More Expensive

Tuition and fees will increase by 5.8 percent for UMass students.

Jar with label and money on the table. Saving money concept.

Photo via iStock/designer491

As the cost of going to college in this country keeps swelling, and as student debt is piling up to frightening heights, it just got more expensive to go to UMass.

University of Massachusetts trustees on Thursday voted to raise the cost of tuition for its five campuses by an average of 5.8 percent, according to the Boston Globe. The hike is at the low end of the estimated 5-8 percent increase UMass President Marty Meehan shared with the State House News Service last week.

Tuition and mandatory fees at UMass Boston for in-state students were slated to increase by $753 to $13,435, according to MassLive’s Michelle Williams.

Facing an $85 million gap in its budget, UMass unsuccessfully sought a bigger increase in state funding this year, but the appropriation for the system went up just 1 percent in a tough time for revenue statewide.

Thursday’s vote comes after board members voted to delay a decision until the Legislature finalized the budget, which Gov. Charlie Baker signed on Friday.

The UMass system, which is still a lot cheaper than our private colleges, has schools in Boston, Lowell, Dartmouth, and Amherst, as well as a medical school in Worcester.

Last year, the cost of attending UMass went up 5 percent, according to the News Service. Prior to that, costs held steady for two years. In the past six years, costs to students have gone up three times.

State college costs are going up, too. Tuition and fees are increasing by 7.8 percent next year at Bridgewater State, and Salem and Westfield state universities are seeing a 5.2 percent increase, the News Service reported.

Those running things at UMass, we should say, are doing just fine.

The consequences of the bump, of course, will be felt by UMass students. The Boston Globe interviewed a number of them at the city’s outpost on Morrissey Boulevard this week, and there was plenty of concern to go around.

“It’s neglecting your core clientele,” senior Katie Baima told the paper, referring to increasing costs. “The reason the school started was to help people like me and people in local neighborhoods who are poor get the same kind of education that kids who can afford to go to college get.”