Massachusetts Board of Delegates
Michael B. Alexander
President, Lasell College
Frederick W. Clark Jr.
President, Bridgewater State University
Representative Patricia Haddad
Massachusetts General Court
M. Howard Jacobson
The Honorable Joan Menard
Senator Marc Pacheco
Massachusetts General Court
Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
David J. Wahr
Massachusetts Legislative Advisory Committee Members
*Senator Marc Pacheco
Senate President Pro Tempore
Senator Michael Moore
Joint Committee on Higher Education (chair)
*Representative Pat Haddad
Speaker Pro Tempore, Joint Committee on Rules
*NEBHE Board Member
Program Participation and NEBHE’s Added Value
NEBHE’s Regional Student Program (RSP) Tuition Break provides Massachusetts residents with access to specialized undergraduate and graduate degree programs at public campuses in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont — all at a substantial tuition discount.
• In FY 2018, 2,722 Massachusetts residents participated in RSP Tuition Break and saved a total of $22,006,562 on tuition costs. The average program participant saved $9,285.
• In FY 2018, RSP provided $28,823,219 in tuition revenue and $14,046,334 in fee revenue to participating Massachusetts postsecondary institutions.
The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is a voluntary, nationwide agreement among its member states and U.S. territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance-education courses and programs. It is intended to increases the accessibility of distance education courses to students across state lines. Institutions that choose to participate agree to operate under common standards and procedures, providing a more uniform and less costly regulatory environment for institutions, more focused oversight responsibilities for states, and better resolution of student complaints. Massachusetts is a NEBHE state that serves as a member of SARA in this reciprocal relationship. For more information about Massachusetts’ participation and a list of approved institutions, click here.
Higher Education Fast Facts
•Read the 2017-18 Published Tuition and Fees at Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts. In academic year 2017-18, the average combined in-state cost of tuition and fees in Massachusetts were $6,131 at public two-year colleges and $11,420 at public four-year colleges. These prices mark an increase of 4% in both categories over 2016-17.
• The share of income needed to pay the average tuition and fee prices (both before and after the maximum Pell Grant award) has increased since 2011-12 in all income quintiles, except for the highest quintile (Figures 1 and 2).
• Massachusetts is considered a “high-debt state;” it ranks 6th in the nation among states in which college students graduate with the most debt. The average debt amount for students graduating from four-year public and private institutions in Massachusetts in 2016 was $31,563, and 60% of students graduated with loans. For comparison, the national average debt amount in 2016 was $28,699, and the proportion of students graduating with debt across the U.S. was 59%.
• In 2016-17, 71,947 first-time degree-/certificate-seeking undergraduates were enrolled in a Massachusetts postsecondary institution, marking an decrease of 6.7% since 2009-10.
• Massachusetts’ postsecondary attainment goal is for 60% of 25-34 year-olds to earn a four-year college degree by 2020. (“The Vision Project,” Massachusetts Department of Higher Education) According to A Stronger Nation, a report by the Lumina Foundation, Massachusetts’ current total attainment rate is 56.2% and is the highest in the nation.