UMass puts tuition and fee hikes on the table for next fall
Posted: 11/30/2021 20:26:43 PM
Modified: 11/30/2021 20:26:11
AMHERST – The University of Massachusetts may need to increase tuition fees for state students on the Amherst campus for the first time in three years to cover projected budget shortfalls caused by the pandemic and shrinking enrollment.
Andrew Mangels, vice chancellor for administration and finance, wrote in a November 23 letter to the campus community that a 2.5% tuition increase for state students and an increase 3% for outside students, as well as 3% increases in food and accommodation costs, may be needed in the fall of 2022.
âAs the campus emerges from the impacts of the pandemic, we continue to carefully plan and manage our finances to ensure both balanced budgets and the eventual return to the success and financial stability we experienced before COVID,â said writes Mangels in the letter titled “Budget planning update for fiscal years 2022 and 2023.”
It will not be known for a few months whether these adjustments to tuition and fees will be enacted.
UMass Amherst spokesperson Edward Blaguszewski wrote in an email that the board will likely set tuition and fees for the fall 2022 semester in the spring.
âThe UMass board makes the decision to set tuition and other fees,â Blaguszewski wrote. “No decision has been made for the coming year.”
In April, the board added $ 537 to the tuition fee of $ 17,889.50 per semester and $ 266 to all room and board plans each semester. But tuition fees in the state have remained stable after UMass president Marty Meehan announced a recommendation that administrators freeze tuition fees for state undergraduates for the year. university which started in September.
On the Amherst campus, tuition and fees for state residents are $ 15,791 for the full semester, while foreigners pay $ 35,779.
In the planning assumptions made by Mangels, he notes that the federal stimulus package known as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund expires in the current fiscal year and cannot be considered a source of long-term core funds. In addition, 500 fewer students have enrolled on the Amherst campus this year than expected, and there is an increasingly competitive environment to attract students, given the declining number of 18-20 year olds in the Northeast.
âGiven the need to deliver a balanced FY23 budget without any additional stimulus funding and uncertainties about enrollment, the campus plans to operate at current base budget levels in FY23,â Mangels wrote. âFunding for strategic priorities will have to come from reallocating existing resources. “
Planning Assumptions also brought UMass with 5,300 incoming students, up from 4,800 new students this fall. It is also assumed that state funds will be sufficient to cover increases in collective bargaining for state-funded positions, but not other mandated costs or strategic investments; continued support for investments planned as part of a fundraising campaign; a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion department and a faculty start-up; and inflationary increases in the costs of utilities, labor and other goods and services.
Meanwhile, Mangels mentions the planned capital and infrastructure investments for the next cycle which are subject to the approval of the board of directors. These include the $ 125 million expansion of the College of Information and Computer Science building, $ 30 million for the partial renovation of the Totman building for the School of Public Health and Health Sciences and 100 million dollars for a new engineering department building.