Protest held in Boston over UMass tuition increase

Massachusetts

Students and alumni were in Boston Wednesday protesting the recent tuition increases at UMass.

This month, UMass raised its tuition by 2.5 percent for in-state students. Protesters said the increase is too high for many people, limiting access to public higher education.

The demonstrators said they’re seeking to create a “Zero Debt” future, where loans are not included in financial aid packages.

The Hildreth Institute organized Wednesday’s protest, calling America’s higher education system “unsustainable,” and the result of a flawed financial aid system.

“If I was still in high school looking at a school right now and I saw an increase going up $500, $600 dollars each year, it would definitely be a factor in my decision. And that’s terrible because UMass is a great institution and I’ve learned a lot there. I hate to think that people aren’t going to be able to go there because of the cost,” said Gabe Adams-Keane, a student currently at UMass Amherst.

UMass’ trustees issued a statement calling the increase “moderate,” and meant to ensure UMass continues to deliver a world-class education at an affordable cost. 

UMass also said the 2.5 percent increase is below the rate of inflation for in-state students. 

The increase kicks in for the 2018-2019 academic year.

According to UMass, its tuition increases have averaged 2.8 percent annually since the 2015-16 academic year.

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