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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass tuition hike and how students can prepare for it

A+UMass+Boston+student+enters+the+One+Stop+within+the+Campus+Center.

A UMass Boston student enters the One Stop within the Campus Center.

The University of Massachusetts Institution will be hiking its tuition across some of its campuses, which are Amherst, Lowell, Boston, UMass Law and UMass Chan Medical School. The hike has been imposed because of a two-year freeze in tuition hikes, which President of UMass Marty Meehan stated would not be sustainable in the current economic climate. Undergraduates as well as graduate students from these campuses are subject to the hike, with exceptions from some special programs where the fee would remain the same.
How can students deal with the hike? Some may be paying their current tuition by working, some may be receiving financial aid from their parents and may have even taken an education loan to pursue their education. The hike might put a bit of strain on the financial plans that students have drawn up to fund their education. This might mean working more hours, proposing a new financial plan to their parents, or even requesting additional funds on their existing loans. The restructuring of this plan is difficult but not impossible. While UMass Law students are facing a 3.2 percent hike, the other UMass campuses are facing a 2.5 percent hike.
Many students have not received this well, but UMass President Marty Meehan stated that the excellence of the campuses must be maintained, and for that, the tuition fee must be hiked in order to sustain the standards that the UMass Institution has upheld so far. But before one truly feels that this is coming at a bad time, he or she may be in luck. Students are advised to check if their program is one of the many special programs that are an exception. This means that if a student’s enrolled program is one of the special programs, students in that program are not subjected to the hike. They will only continue to pay the regular tuition until further information from the university is provided.
In terms of international students, the hike can prove to be quite tricky, especially for the students who have taken an international education loan to pursue their program. This would require the student or parents of the student to reach out to the loan provider and restructure the payment plan they would have decided on for the entirety of the program. This action might come with an increase in monthly premiums and even an increase in the interest rate as the payment plan will be changing according to the hike. Students who have not taken an education loan will have to make arrangements from their financial source to ensure that these additional funds are sent to the university with the difference in funds.
The decision has come at a difficult time for both students and the university, as inflation has risen to 8.54 percent and costs have gone up on both ends of the spectrum. While students have to make changes to their financial plans, the UMass Institution should devise a plan to effectively use these additional funds. An opinion from state auditor Anthony Amore stated that: “Instead of making students and families spend 2.5 percent more, UMass trustees should be instructing campuses to spend 2.5 percent less.” He said in a statement: “I believe we are pricing out many families, especially the low-income and first-generation students, or driving them into overwhelming debt.”
Families and students would have preferred that they receive their support from the UMass Institution during this time, as the current economic climate is poor globally. While there is reason and meaning in the Institution’s decision, the timing of the decision feels like it has come at a wrong time, when people are working harder and finding it even harder to hold on to their money.