The UMass Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Monday to freeze tuition for all in-state students and to cut the system’s budget by more than $170 million.
That figure amounts to about a 5 percent cut compared to last year’s budget and comes as UMass tries to close a $264 million budget gap.
UMass President Marty Meehan told trustees these cuts would allow the four campuses — in Amherst, Boston, Lowell and Dartmouth — to freeze tuition for undergraduate and graduate students.
The tuition vote was a foregone conclusion. Meehan had said two months ago he’d recommend the board freeze tuition rates for the nearly 48,000 in-state undergrads.
The board did that and also voted to freeze tuition for about 9,500 graduate students. The Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell campuses also froze tuition for international students.
Some fees, including for technology, will go up slightly. The UMass system's total budget is around $3.3 billion.
The average tuition rate across the four campuses is about $15,000.
With so much up in the air for the fall and families facing economic challenges, many state universities, including the University of Maryland and the University of Vermont, are freezing tuition and reducing some fees if courses are online.
UMass Boston has announced it will teach all its courses online, while the other campuses are planning varied mix of online and in class instruction.
“Even as UMass, like higher education institutions across the country, faces significant budget cuts due to pandemic-related financial challenges, we need to do all that we can to keep a high quality UMass education within financial reach of Massachusetts students,” UMass Board of Trustees Chairman Rob Manning said in a statement.