From 2001 to 2016, state funding for public higher education fell by 31% per student. Over the same time, tuition and fees went up by $4,000 per year on average at our community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses.

These realities are highlighted in a recent Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center report on public higher education in Massachusetts. The following quotes and charts are from that report.

(1) Massachusetts has cut higher education spending “31 percent per student” since FY 2001.


(2) “State funding cuts played a major role in driving tuition & fee increases across all of our campuses.”

(3) “Overall, the student share of higher education costs has risen substantially.”

(4) “As a share of our economy, Massachusetts spends less on higher education” than 43 other states.


(5) Since 2001, “the share of graduates taking out loans has increased as has their total level of debt.”