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Edward C. Hull: Financial aid helps address higher cost of new Commonwealth Honors College dorms

To the editor:

I read with interest a Sept. 5 letter from Professor Angelika Kratzer about her views on the room rates at the new Commonwealth Honors College community at the University of Massachusetts. I would like to respond and share my thoughts with readers of the Gazette.

First, maintaining affordability and accessibility are central concerns for the campus administration and informs all decisions we make.

It’s also important to note that the quality of residence halls on campus varies somewhat, and we do not have a rate schedule that takes every variation into account. But the principal difference among our residence halls is between those that are air-conditioned and those that are not, so we have established higher rates for the two newest residential areas with air conditioning: North Apartments and Commonwealth Honors College.

Thanks to the excellent work of the late Dean Priscilla Clarkson, in collaboration with our Office of Financial Aid, students with financial need who choose to live in the new complex (which can only accommodate approximately half of the honors students) will have scholarship and other financial support available to help make that decision possible.

Edward C. Hull


The writer is executive director of residential life at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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