Tuesday, July 16, 2013 -- Governor Deval Patrick and Secretary of Education Matthew Malone today joined Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, University of Massachusetts (UMass) students, President Robert Caret and Chancellor J. Keith Motley to discuss how the Patrick Administration's commitment to public higher education is making college more affordable for Massachusetts students.
The Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) budget Governor Patrick signed last week increases funding for the Commonwealth's public universities and colleges by $97 million, bringing total funding for the five-campus UMass system to $479 million. The FY14 UMass funding represents a $39 million, or 9 percent increase over FY13. The increased funding moves the state towards funding 50 percent of public higher education costs and will allow students at the state's public universities and colleges to avoid tuition and fee increases in 2013 -- 2014 school year.
"Knowledge is exploding throughout the world economy so putting a college education in reach of all our students makes economic sense," said Governor Patrick. "I thank the Legislature for supporting this initiative and all the leadership in public higher education for holding the line on tuition and fees."
"We must do all we can to eliminate the barriers that prevent students from attending college; Governor Patrick's investments help do just that," said Secretary Malone. "Public higher education is a critical piece to our success as a Commonwealth and a nation and if we want to truly flourish we must ensure that college is available to everyone, not just those with financial means."
The FY14 budget also includes $3 million in increased funding for financial aid programs, including the MassGrant scholarship program
"Governor Patrick, Speaker DeLeo, Senate President Murray and all of the members of the Legislature who supported us are renewing and expanding our state's commitment to excellence and affordability in public higher education," said President Caret. "A century and a half ago, the University of Massachusetts opened its doors, and today the state opens the doors of opportunity even wider and signals its unmistakable support for students, families and for public higher education.."
"On behalf of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees, I want to thank Governor Patrick for his confidence in us and thank the Legislature for its outstanding and deeply appreciated support," said Henry M. Thomas III, chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees. "Massachusetts is sending a national message of support for public higher education and is making an important investment in its future."
In addition to the making college more affordable, the FY14 budget builds on the Patrick Administration's historic investments in public education by increasing Chapter 70 education funding by $130 million over FY13 to $4.3 billion. This will bring Chapter 70 aid to the highest level in state history. Additionally, $15 million in new investments for early education will help reduce the waitlist for high-quality early education programs, providing access for over 1,000 new eligible children in FY14.