Trustees of the University of Massachusetts voted Wednesday to raise tuition and fees by nearly 5 percent, over the objections of Gov. Deval Patrick, who said it was a "crummy" time to impose new costs on college students.
Tuition and fees for in-state undergraduates will rise an average of $580, from $11,901 during this past year to $12,481 for the 2012-2013 academic year. The university said most graduate students would see a similar 4.9 percent increase in their fees.
Trustees said the vote was necessary to protect the quality of education at the five-campus university after what they called a decade of state budget cuts. They also contended that the UMass increase was lower than the average increase at other state colleges and lower in general than increases imposed at other public universities around the nation.
UMass president Robert Caret said in a statement that he considered freezing tuition and fees, but that would have forced "dramatic and unacceptable" cuts in programs. But he said a larger increase of the size that would have been necessary to cover all of the university's rising costs would also have been irresponsible.