As students across the SouthCoast head back to college for the start of the semester, many are not looking forward to one major aspect of university life: paying their tuition bills.

It’s no secret that the cost of college tuition is astronomical, but extra fees – even at publicly funded schools like UMass Dartmouth – can make that tuition cost seem small. Most who attend state universities do so to save money, but even going to a school in your home state can be financially stressful.

Here's how much full time students at UMass Dartmouth and UMass Amherst are expected to pay.

How much does it cost to go to school in the UMass system? 

Meal plans are required, and extra fees apply in both the first and last years at universities.

Many costs depend on each student's situation. For example, for a nursing student at UMass Amherst, there is a fee of $75 per credit for each nursing course. In addition, there are several other fees attached with this area of study including $300 for clinical expenses (drug testing, fingerprinting, student liability insurance), $500 for software and books, $300 for uniforms and gear, and $800 for NCLEX testing preparation. The approximate total of added fees for nursing students, not counting course credit fees, is about $1,900.

This is on top of the estimated $1,300 in extra fees for every UMass Amherst student. These costs are broken down below.

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When students within the UMass system were asked if they found it difficult to pay for their schooling and/or if they thought their education was expensive, they shared their experiences.

“Absolutely, especially because it’s a ‘public university’. I’ve had to find ways to offset the cost [by] becoming an RA, loans, etc.. My parents help so I'm not completely alone financially,” said Jarius Kidd, a junior at UMass Amherst.

“Yes, one hundred percent, it’s very expensive and costly when I work a whole job and am a full time student,” said Tiago Boia, a sophomore at UMass Dartmouth. He also explained that with his job and helping his father, Boia works more than 20 hours a week while studying.

Here is the approximate cost each semester of a typical in-state student attending the Fall 2021-Spring 2022 school year (living in a standard double room and buying an “Unlimited” meal plan):

The Cost of UMass Amherst:

Tuition – $7,895.50

Living – $3,805.50

Dining (“Unlimited Plan”) – $3,045.00

Basic Dining Plan – $2,992.00

Health Insurance (Waivable) – $992.50

Parking Permit – between $170 - $249.00


Technology – $200.00

Student Activities Fund – $124.00

MassPIRG (Waivable) –  $11.00

First-Year Student – $485.00

Commencement – $110.00

Total for tuition, room and board: $14,746.00

Total extra fees (during a normal semester, not waiving any fees): $1,316.50 +  $14,746.00 = $16,073.50

The Cost of UMass Dartmouth:

Tuition – $6,916.50

Living – between $5,053.50 - $5,198.50

Dining (“Unlimited Plan”) – $2,714.00

Health Insurance  (Waivable) – $1,452.50

Parking Permit – $107.50


Technology – $200.00

Student Activities Fund – $87.50

MassPIRG (optional) – $9.00

First-Year Student – $270.00

Commencement – $195.00

Total for tuition, room and board: $14,756.50

Total extra fees (during a normal semester, not waiving any fees): $1,749 + $14,756.50 = $16,505.50

Community College a More Affordable Option for Some

Some high school students are looking at community college options to offset the costs of higher education.

“From my experience it is cheaper than the money you would pay to go to a state college and with the opportunity to apply for scholarships and receive them it helps decrease the expense of tuition and fees even more,” said Marissa Sebastiao, a sophomore at Bristol Community College.

School officials from both UMass Amherst and UMass Dartmouth did not respond to a request for comment.

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