DARTMOUTH – For the second consecutive year, trustees at the University of Massachusetts on Wednesday authorized a freeze in 2014-15 tuition and fees for in-state undergraduate students, affirming the earlier decision of the board’s finance committee.
Under the approved rates, tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduate students at UMass Amherst will remain at $13,258. (The cost of attending the flagship campus, if room and board are included, would be $24,215.)
At the other campuses, tuition and fees would be frozen at $11,966 in Boston, $11,681 at Dartmouth and $12,447 at Lowell.
The “reasonable cost structure” fosters academic excellence along with service to and savings for the citizens of the Commonwealth, said UMass President Robert L. Caret.
“Freezing tuition and fees in consecutive years … makes a strong statement about our commitment to affordability and the seriousness with which we take our public mission,” Caret said.
The freeze is made possible through funding by the state legislature that corresponds to Caret’s call for a two-year, $100 million increase in state funding for UMass through his “50-50” plan. UMass is freezing tuition and mandatory fees in each of the years it receives full funding of the 50-50 program.
So far, the House and Senate versions of the state budget for the coming fiscal year propose funding for the UMass system “consistent with” that proscribed in the 50-50 plan, Caret said. Tuition and fees were frozen in the 2013-14 fiscal year.
Trustees gave President Caret emergency authority to raise the mandatory fee for in-state undergraduates by up to 3.5 percent if funding for UMass in the new state budget took an unexpected plunge, but that is the only instance in which such a step would be taken, they said.
Henry M. Thomas III, chairman of the UMass board of trustees, said the board would “continue to work hard” to keep a UMass education “as affordable and as accessible as it can possibly be.”
“This freeze demonstrates a shared appreciation for the quality and the value that our university system provides to the citizens of the Commonwealth,” said Colin Murphy, a student trustee at UMass Dartmouth. “This critical investment will do nothing short of keeping the dream alive for tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of current and future students.”