Submitted On: Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Analyst: Poe, Mya
March 1, 2017: Massachusetts college students gathered at the Statehouse to ask lawmakers for additional higher education funding in order to reduce student tuition and fees. The average student loan taken out in 2014 by a Massachusetts student was $29,000.
Although the Baker administration put forth a 1.2% percent increase in higher education funding in its FY2018 budget, critics argue that the budget has fallen by $200 million since 2001 levels. In the FY2018 budget, for example, UMass received $516 million but requested $555 million. State universities received $252 million but requested $270 million, and community colleges received $278 million but requested $290 million.
In addition to increased funding, advocates support H.639/S.712, called the Finish Line Grant, that would provide one year of free tuition and fees after a student's first year at a two- or four-year public college or university, as long as the student's family income is below $125,000 a year.
Schoenberg, Shira. "Massachusetts college students ask for more funding for higher ed, free tuition for a year" http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/03/college_students_ask_for_more.html. 1 Mar 2017
"What is the Finish Line Grant" http://phenomonline.org/finish-line-grant-legislation/