Cost of college rising for students as UMass increases tuition by 2.5%

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The cost of college is going up for some students this fall.

Tuition at UMass is increasing by 2.5%. The new move comes as students everywhere are being forced to either dig deeper into their wallets, or give in to crushing debt.

Priscilla Rocks-Smith and Abigale Murray know all too well the harsh realities of student debt. Both of them are heading into their senior year of college at Westfield State University this fall.

Rocks-Smith told 22News, “I don’t have support from different family members because not everyone can afford it, so the loans that they give me – the different scholarships that I get – that’s all I can rely on.”

Murray added, “It becomes stressful, especially when you’re given a six month period after college to start paying it off. Not a lot of students who graduate college automatically get a job.”

While Westfield State has seen tuition increases in the past, all eyes right now are on the jump in price at UMass.

College trustees voted to raise tuition at their four undergraduate campuses, which includes Amherst, by 2.5% for the academic year that starts this fall.

Under the new plan, in-state undergraduate tuition at Amherst would increase by just under $400, totaling $15,791. Tack on the cost of room and board, and The Boston Globe reports that the total annual cost is close to $30,000.

Rocks-Smith has advice for future students. She said, “Look out for any scholarships that they can. Look out for any scholarships with their university, or whatever city that they’re from.”

Rocks-Smith also suggests that future college students shop around for student loans and pay close attention to interest rates.

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