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My Turn: It’s not just illegal immigrants who are treated unfairly by state tuition policies

When the New Hampshire House voted 188-155 to pass a bill in which students who entered the U.S. illegally would get New Hampshire in-state tuition, Rep. Andrew Schmidt was quoted as saying, “If we deny in-state tuition to a child brought here (while) young, we are punishing that child for the sins of his parents.”

Unfortunately, all college-age children who were born and raised in the state of New Hampshire are being punished for the sins of their parents.

New Hampshire has the dubious distinction of having among the highest in-state tuition rates for both the university and community college systems in the nation. It is no surprise that when it comes to student debt, New Hampshire students fare the worst. Year after year, New Hampshire is ranked No. 1 for student debt. New Hampshire students graduate on average with more than $33,000 of debt.

Because of the Legislature’s consistent poor funding of the university system and the community college system, children born and raised in New Hampshire are at a disadvantage. To help fund the budget, 40 percent of the University of New Hampshire’s students are from out-of-state, even though state law since 1981 has required that out-of-state students make up no more than 25 percent of all undergraduate students. If children of illegal immigrants take the shrinking spots available for in-state students, where will those children who were born and raised in New Hampshire go?

If you are a New Hampshire resident with school-age children, move! Give your children the opportunity to attend a community college in Texas for $2,200 per year, or perhaps California for $1,400 per year. Or stay here and they can attend a New Hampshire community college for $6,700 per year.

Looking for a four-year, in-state college? Maybe you should move to Wyoming where the tuition is less than $4,500 per year, or Utah, with an annual tuition of less than $6,000. Stay in New Hampshire, and if your student is lucky enough to get the ever shrinking in-state tuition spots, you can spend in excess of $14,500 per year not including room and board, books and fees.

The residents of New Hampshire have a decision to make. Do they value education or not?

If the state does not properly fund education, it should close the university and community college systems. New Hampshire is punishing its college-age children by forcing them into the workplace with an insurmountable amount of debt.

Schmidt is partially correct. New Hampshire should not punish the children of legal New Hampshire residents for the sins of their parents. In New Hampshire, this has nothing to do with immigration reform.

(Laura Z. Morgan of Hopkinton is a 1980 graduate of the University of New Hampshire and a full professor at NHTI. Her son is a freshman at a four-year university in North Carolina.)

Legacy Comments6

The cost of tuition in the University of NH system is due to the mis-management of the entire system. You have professors who teach a couple of classes per week, working on "research" or taking sabbaticals. You have a University that paid $250,000 or the cost of a years tuition from 12-15 students to have an amatueurish new logo which really means the scheme of things it was unnecessary. Instructor and adjuncts teach classes for professors earning in the $180,000 range. A coach there earns more than the governor and as usual we have a heirarchy of individuals earning nice salaries and accomplishing little. It is not about taxpayers being 'stingy' it is about arrogance of the entire educational industry. That's right, it is a self perpetuating "industry".

Well said. A system where they have never had to control their costs and with no accountability. Big pay for part time workers.

UNH tuition increased for 23 straight years. Princeton Review's "Party School" Ranking .... UNH is listed as the number seven party school in the nation according to the Princeton Review's 2008 edition.. It costs a lot of $$$ to send the little liberals to a liberal party school

The perceived problem of the author does not lie with the "stingy" taxpayers - the problem lies directly at the feet of the liberal institutions of indoctrination - ie - the colleges and faculty. QUOTE: During any 17-year period from 1958 to 2001, the average annual tuition inflation rate was between 6% and 9%, ranging from 1.2 times general inflation to 2.1 times general inflation. On average, tuition tends to increase about 8% per year. An 8% college inflation rate means that the cost of college doubles every nine years. Has a degree gotten 100% better in the last 9 years ? I doubt a liberal knows the answer......

Once again your shallow, simpleton mind see's the issue as a simple democrat versus republican issue. Democrats cause all of society's problems, Republicans walk on water and can fix everything.

AGAIN and AGAIN - FACTS prove you wrong: According to a study by professors at Smith College, George Mason University and the University of Toronto (they surveyed 1,643 full-time faculty at 183 four-year schools), 72 percent of professors at American universities labeled themselves liberal, while just 15 percent said they are conservative.

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