"We are hopeful that this decision will help to relieve some of the economic pressure on our students and their families."
The Board of Trustees at Bridgewater State University has endorsed a recommendation from President Frederick W. Clark to freeze student fees for the 2020-2021 academic year.
The decision to hold the line on tuition and fees at their 2019-2020 level – $10,732 for Massachusetts undergraduates attending fulltime – was made to “assist students in continuing or starting their college careers,” President Clark said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created a serious financial strain for our students, as demand on our BSU Student Emergency Fund attests,” President Clark told the board. “And we are hopeful that this decision will help to relieve some of the economic pressure on our students and their families.”
BSU has awarded nearly $740,000 from its Student Emergency Fund to assist more than a thousand students and counting who have suffered job and income losses as well as other impacts of the pandemic.
The freeze also applies to out-of-state undergraduate student tuition and fees, graduate and continuing studies per-credit-hour rates. The tuition portion of the bill for in-state students, approximately $900, is controlled by the state and has not risen for the past several decades. Fees are controlled by the local campuses across the public higher education system in the commonwealth.
BSU issued credits or refunds in excess of $9 million in April for unused residence, dining and parking services while assuming heavy costs associated with fully transitioning to online teaching and learning in addition to remote working.
“BSU’s responsible stewardship of resources and focused efforts to enhance enrollments in the summer months and the fall – coupled with federal stimulus funding – places us in a sufficiently stable and strong position to be able to keep costs flat for our students for the upcoming academic year,” said Eugene Durgin, chair of the BSU Board of Trustees.
BSU also waived online fees for summer courses that were originally scheduled for face-to-face instruction and plans to do the same in the fall, if necessary.
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