This paper is the first in Pioneer Institute’s UMass at a Crossroads series. In this study, Pioneer focuses on UMass’ significant growth in two areas, academic competitiveness and student enrollment, compared to other New England state universities, MA private universities, national private universities and national public universities. Pioneer raises the question of whether the continued expansion of UMass, based largely on increased enrollment of out-of-state students, is in the best interest of the commonwealth.
In part 2 of Pioneer’s series, UMass at a Crossroads, the authors recommend that UMass should apply lessons learned from the MBTA as it considers how to address rising debt, a growing deferred maintenance backlog, and increasing reliance on state funding and tuition revenue from out-of-state students to support growing enrollment and a massive capital expansion program.
In this third installment in the UMass at a Crossroads series, Pioneer urges state and UMass officials to consider whether the university’s strategy of recruiting more out-of-state and international students to cover rising debt payments and operating expenses is compromising UMass’ mission to provide affordable higher education to Massachusetts students.