AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan wants to improve access to online learning options.Meehan has outlined a five-point plan to keep UMass financially within reach for students of all backgrounds.Affordability is one of UMass top priorities. One affordability option is to offer more online courses.UMass already serves more than 30,000 students online, and plans to improve technology and work with students and industry to reach more people.
“I think there’s a lot of colleges outside of UMass that do online classes for that reason and that would make classes more affordable,” said UMass student Karlie Lefort. “It was so nice to be able to go to my kitchen, open my laptop and do my work. I didn’t have to leave my house, I didn’t have to do anything. A lot of students might like that because I can do it when I get home from work or babysitting, it adds a lot of flexibility in your schedule for sure.”For the next 10 years, more than $200 million will be raised by the university, dedicated solely to financial aid.A MassBudget report found that Massachusetts was number two in the country for rapid growth of education debt for public college and university graduates.“The main reason I chose UMass was for the In state tuition, and even though I’m getting in state tuition, it’s still really expensive so getting scholarships and stuff like that will really help a lot of students out more and I think that’s a really good idea.”UMass President Meehan said he supports a legislative bill that would create a state matching program to encourage private fundraising by public colleges and universities.