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For the first time in more than a decade, students at Massachusetts public colleges and universities will not see their tuition bill climb this fall under a state budget that boosts spending by nearly 17 percent. The sharp increase follows years of waning state support, which has steadily shifted the cost of attending college 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.
That has forced many students into heavier borrowing, and university officials began lobbying for the state to assume more of the burden.