Protest Planned Over UMass Tuition Increase
By Michael P. Norton
State House News Service
BOSTON -- The decision this month by the University of Massachusetts to raise tuition by 2.5 percent will come under fire during a protest outside the State House at noon on Wednesday.
Officials from three related groups -- the Hildreth Institute, La Vida Scholars and Inversant -- plan to stand with students and alumni to call attention to recent tuition increases at UMass.
Organizers say the increases, as well as an insufficient level of state aid to public higher education, are contributing to the widespread belief, as reflected in public opinion polls, that financial hurdles are too high for many people who want to access higher education.
The Hildreth Institute, a non-profit established “to pull the curtain back on the unsustainable higher education system in America - the direct result of a flawed financial aid system,” says Massachusetts is 36th in the nation in per capita higher education spending.
A Hildreth official said 30 or 40 people plan to protest Wednesday.
In a July 13 statement after the UMass board approved the tuition hike, trustees chairman Rob Manning said, “The board takes the impact of any tuition increase on students and their families very seriously. This is a moderate increase that will ensure UMass continues to deliver a world-class education at an affordable cost.”
According to UMass, its tuition increases have averaged 2.8 percent annually since the 2015-16 academic year.