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.