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Tuition increase effects and benefits for students

James Luong
Connector Contributor

While talks about tuition-free college and debt-free higher education are brought up in the 2016 election and other aspects of politics, students at UMass Lowell face hardships of raised tuition

In July, the Board of Trustees agreed and voted for the decision to raise the tuition for UMass Lowell, along with other schools in the UMass system (Boston, Amherst, Dartmouth, and UMass Medical).

The new tuition rate was met with great approval, and accepted after a 11-2 vote. It was agreed that tuition will increase by approximately 5.8 percent; this will boost up tuition by around $758 not including fees. However, not all students are too pleased with the jump in tuition.

“It’s an unfair choice. Raising it for current students is unjust, as we’re already paying a lot, and now we’d be paying more”, said Seaghan Kinneen, a second year student.

As students fear for the increase of tuition and fees, Christine Gillette, the director of Media Relations for UMass Lowell, tells students that the university awards millions of dollars in financial aid each year to pay for their education. Last year, the university awarded $167 million in financial aid. All students pay the same tuition, but fees will differ between undergraduates and graduate students and amongst other factors, such as the choice of dorming on campus.

Tuition, Gillette says, is added onto the operating budget of the school. The increased money generated from hiked tuition will allow the school to pay the expenses of the recent projects the school has undertaken, with the need of expanding and constructing new facilities, maintenance and employee salaries.

This will bring improvement over time to many of the university’s resources. Many students find frustrations with various aspects of the school, including the technology and need to support the number of students on campus.

The operating budget, Gillette says, is also funded by a variety of other sources, including our annual state appropriation, private donations, grants and revenue from entrepreneurial units such as the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell and University Events.

The tuition rise, a decision not open to the students, is something that will be beneficial to support the ever-growing number of students on campus, and improve the quality of the school.

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