Univ. of Massachusetts Students Begin 107-Mile, Five-Day Walk to Protest Fee Hikes

A committee of the University of Massachusetts board of trustees on Feb. 20 approved a 15 percent increase in student fees. That would bring annual tuition for in-state undergraduates to an average of $11,000. The fee increase is likely to be approved by the full board, which meets Feb. 27 in Dartmouth, Mass., near Providence, R.I. (The board generally meets in Amherst only in summer, when most students are away. Amherst has far more students than the other UMass campuses.)

Four UMass students on Feb. 23 began walking the 107 miles from Amherst to Dartmouth to protest the change. Hundreds more students were expected to ride buses to the meeting. The actions were organized by the Graduate Student Senate at UMass Amherst.

For in-state undergrads, the total cost of a year at UMass, including tuition, fees, and room and board, rose from $10,800 in 2001 to $17,400 in 2007. In-state graduate student fees went from $4,100 to $7,500 between 2002 and 2007.

There are about 20,000 undergrads and 6,000 grad students at UMass Amherst.

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