On Monday, the Massachusetts House approved a budget amendment offered by State Representative Dan Winslow (R-Norfolk), who represents Medfield, to require the President of the University of Massachusetts to prepare a report by January 2013 on the feasibility of offering a three-year undergraduate degree program at less expense than the current four-year undergraduate program.
"The price of a college education is quickly exceeding the ability of many people to pay," said Winslow. "We should consider all options to reduce the cost of an undergraduate education in Massachusetts. Most of the university's expenses, such as salary and physical plant, are fixed costs. I would be surprised if we cannot create an accelerated degree program that costs 20 percent less than a standard four-year program."
The budget debate soon will move to the Senate and then to a conference committee before the amendment may be considered in the final budget proposal this year. Winslow described the House action Monday as a "good first step" and promised to continue to work to reduce the cost of college education options in Massachusetts.