UMass Amherst Asks Undergrads With Summer Work In Boston To Sign Up For Newton Campus Housing

An entrance to UMass-Amherst (Deborah Becker/WBUR)
The University of Massachusetts Amherst will require students, faculty, staff, contractors and visitors to wear face-coverings in all indoor public spaces. (Deborah Becker/WBUR)

UMass Amherst's surprise acquisition of Mount Ida College last year raised lots of questions, including those about plans for the new campus in Newton.

This week, university officials showed that they have fully fleshed out one of their original plans, inviting their undergraduate students to sign up for short-term housing at the Newton campus if they have summer internships or co-ops in the Boston area.

UMass Amherst has 134 residential beds available this summer on the former Mount Ida campus in Newton. (Courtesy UMass Amherst)
UMass Amherst has 134 residential beds available this summer on the former Mount Ida campus in Newton. (Courtesy UMass Amherst)

Promising great rates, air-conditioned rooms and award-winning UMass Dining, officials reached out to students with an email Tuesday touting the idea of living on the Newton campus for the summer and commuting to work.

"A summer internship or co-op in the Boston area provides so much more than just professional experience," the email said. "There's also the experience of city living, filled with action, excitement and opportunities. Of course, you also have to consider the cost and the commute. That's why you should start thinking about living on-campus at the Mount Ida Campus of UMass Amherst in Newton."

There are 820 residential beds on the Newton campus, and a university official confirmed to the News Service that 134 will be available this summer.

Urging students to lock down placements, the university sweetened its offer by highlighting free transportation from campus to the MBTA Green Line, "access to our complimentary fitness center, fun activities and even free parking!"

In April 2018, after the Mount Ida acquisition was announced, UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said the campus would serve as an additional instructional site and would not admit undergraduate students directly. The Newton campus "will serve as a center for student-focused experiential learning and a hub of research industry collaboration that will benefit both the surrounding community and the entire Greater Boston region," Subbaswamy wrote in a letter to lawmakers, pledging programs in Newton that are aligned with demand for workers in health care, business, computer science and STEM fields.

Housing revenue derived from the Newton campus was identified as a source to help offset $70 million in debt associated with the deal.

A UMass Amherst official said the summer housing initiative was rolled out following talks with officials in the Newton and Needham area and as part of plans to build opportunities for students to connect with jobs. UMass Amherst enrolls 11,000 undergraduate students from the Greater Boston area.

Identifying the summer term as May 19 through Aug. 18, the university quoted rates of $1,500 or $150 per week for a single room, and $1,000 or $100 per week for a double.

Students who choose to live on the Mount Ida Campus of UMass Amherst will be required to have a meal plan. The options are: five-day weekday meal plan at a cost of $1,400 or $140 per week, or a seven-day plan for $1,800 or $180 per week.

This article was originally published on March 27, 2019.



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