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N.H. universities say in-state tuition rates on hold pending state budget decisions

The University System of New Hampshire said yesterday it won’t set in-state tuition for the 2013-14 academic year until it knows if it will get back the roughly $48 million a year in funding that was cut in the last state budget.

The announcement, 10 days before Gov. Maggie Hassan delivers her budget proposal to the Legislature, represents the four-college system’s latest pitch to state budget-writers. The system has promised to freeze in-state tuition for two years if it gets the money.

“Given that the budget process for the coming biennium is just beginning, the board felt strongly that making any adjustment to tuition rates for our in-state students would be premature,”said Richard Galway, chairman of the system’s board, in a statement.

The two-year state budget passed in 2011 cut the system’s annual state support of $100 million by nearly half. State aid of $51 million in fiscal 2012 made up 5.6 percent of the system’s total revenue.

The system has requested the entire $100 million a year in the next state budget.

The university system’s board did set next year’s tuition rates for out-of-state students at a meeting Friday. Tuition will rise just less than 1 percent at UNH, 2.8 percent at Keene State, 3 percent at Plymouth State and 3.4 percent at Granite State College, the system said.

Last year, the university system set its tuition rates in January. In 2011, the system set tuition rates in February, but adjusted them upward in June after the state budget had taken shape.

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