I’m the first person to decry the annual ritual of tuition and fee increases at our public colleges, but this week’s study from the conservative Pioneer Institute highlighting the growing number of out-of-state students at UMass Amherst largely ignores the underlying cause behind the need for students who will pay more (“Report faults UMass admissions,” Metro, May 29). State lawmakers have drastically cut back on funding, leaving UMass and all of our public colleges and universities scrounging for pennies to keep things going. Through the 1980s, the state provided 80 percent of the UMass budget. Now, state funds cover just over 20 percent. Of course UMass is trying to find funding in new ways.
The state has abandoned its promise to provide an affordable higher education to Massachusetts residents. If lawmakers won’t step up and increase funding, we can’t complain when our public colleges look outside the state to find another solution.
Executive director, Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts