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Letter to the Editor: Thank a taxpayer

Dear FSU Community,

As April 15 (“Tax Day”) approaches, I wanted to express on behalf of the entire Framingham State University community our gratitude to the taxpayers of Massachusetts for their support for public higher education. Without that public support, there would be substantially less capital investment in our campus and costs to students would be significantly higher.

Specifically, FSU receives annual state and federal support equating to around $32,000 per student. Of this funding, around $21,000 per student subsidizes the costs of operations while another $5,000 per student is invested in maintaining and updating the buildings and technology on our campus (capital expenditures). The remaining state support – along with federal support – funds financial aid grants to students averaging over $6,000 per student.

We often focus on the “list price” for tuition and fees of attending college. At FSU, this is currently $11,380 (having been at that level for the past three years as student academic fees were not raised during the pandemic). This figure is significantly lower than the total annual costs per student of $37,380; the state operating and capital annual subsidy of $26,000 per student is what permits a list price of $11,380. Further, state and federal financial aid (grant) funding provides support of around $6,000 per student on average - recognizing that some students receive more aid and some less based on their expected family contribution. This further subsidy results in the net (actual) cost to students of around $5,380 on average, per year. This average net cost represents approximately 14% of the university’s total cost per student for annual operations and capital investment. In other words, the university and state together pay 86% of what it actually costs to educate a student each year.

We are very fortunate to be a public institution and to receive public funding to subsidize our operations. This is truly our taxes at work. As such, I would encourage everyone to “Thank a Taxpayer” on April 15. It could be a local business owner, a relative, or even your parents! Thank you.

Dale Hamel Executive Vice President for Administration, Finance, and Information Technology


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