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After state budget increase, University System of New Hampshire freezes in-state tuition

  • In this photo taken Wednesday April 6, 2016 students walk past the historic Thompson Hall at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole) Jim Cole

  • James W. Dean Jr. is installed as the 20th president of the University of New Hampshire during a ceremony helf Friday afternoon on campus. [John Huff/Fosters.com and Seacoastonline]

Monitor staff
Published: 10/29/2019 4:40:27 PM

Tuition for in-state students at New Hampshire’s state colleges and universities will be frozen in place for the 2020-21 school year, the state board of trustees announced Tuesday, thanks to additional funding specified in the state budget.

In a unanimous vote, members of the Board of Trustees for the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) voted to keep tuition steady for New Hampshire undergraduate students.

The move is the first such freeze since 2013, though tuition hikes have been kept below inflation in recent years, university officials argue.

It will take effect for students at the University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University, Keene State College and Granite State College.

In a statement, Todd Leach, chancellor of the USNH said the move would “hold down the cost of higher education for New Hampshire students and their families.” It came, he said “at a time when USNH graduates are a critical part of New Hampshire’s workforce pipeline, and in turn, our state’s future economy.”

The move comes after the New Hampshire House increased the state’s appropriation to the University System by $12 million over two years – to $174 million – with an aim to freeze tuition.

“We added sufficient appropriations during the process to enable the tuition freeze, and we’re pleased to see the Board of Trustees follow through with that intent,” said Sen. Jay Kahn, a Keene Democrat. “Today’s announcement that the University System of New Hampshire is freezing tuition is a victory for students, state universities, and the future of our state.”

That increase survived a series of funding cuts leading up to the passage of the compromise budget in September.

Gov. Chris Sununu, whose own budget had flatly funded the university system at $162 million, praised the move by the Board, calling it a “big win for New Hampshire students and a key goal shared by both parties throughout budget negotiations.”

“Not only were we able to freeze tuition, but we also are doubling the amount of nurses in the state,” Sununu added, pointing to a separate appropriation pushed for by Sununu to invest $9 million for health care workforce program development.

Despite the additional funding, New Hampshire remains one of the states with the lowest per capita support for higher education and the highest debt load for students who graduate from college here.

Tuition for in-state attendees at the University of New Hampshire in Durham is $15,520, however, room board and fees is another $15,301, bringing the cost of attendance to $30,821. Adding in supplies and transportation costs bring the overall price to about $34,432 in reality, according to the university.

(Ethan DeWitt can be reached at edewitt@cmonitor.com, 369-3307 or on Twitter at @edewittNH.)

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