Higher education spending was boosted in the new budget by nearly 17 percent. It reverses falling state support over the years that shifted more of the cost to students and their families.
Five years ago, tuition and fees paid for 43 percent of academic programs at the University of Massachusetts, while the state assumed 57 percent. By this year, the percentage had reversed.
The annual increases forced many students to borrow more and prompted university officials to step up lobbying to persuade the state to assume more of the burden.
In exchange for a more even split in state-university funding, the university agreed to freeze tuition and mandatory fees