UMass Says It May Raise Cost of College; Citizens Fight Back

A citizens’ group is fighting plans by UMass to increase the cost of college. Members of the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM) are lobbying the state legislature to increase funding for UMass. “Only two states spend a smaller percentage of their revenues on public higher education than Massachusetts,” said PHENOM spokesman Ferd Wulkan.

The chair of the UMass board of trustees, Robert Manning, said earlier this month that the university system may raise student fees. Manning spoke at a board meeting on Oct. 1 in Amherst.

UMass fees have gone up about 20 percent since 2004. The board can raise fees; only the legislature can increase tuition.

For in-state undergrads, the total cost of a year at UMass, including tuition, fees and room and board rose from $10,822 in 2001 to $17,399 in 2007. In-state graduate student fees have gone from $4,113 to $7,455 between 2002 and 2007.

More information about PHENOM is at www.phenomonline.org Wulkan can be reached at (413) 577-4121.

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