State schools to freeze tuition for fifth year in a row

  • Students walk past the historic Thompson Hall at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, N.H. AP file

Monitor staff
Published: 11/29/2022 5:08:16 PM
Modified: 11/29/2022 5:05:52 PM

New Hampshire’s four-year public colleges and universities will be freezing tuition again for in-state students in the 2023-24 academic year, in an effort to make higher education more affordable.

This will be the fifth year in a row that the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees has voted to keep tuition rates the same for in-state residents at the University of New Hampshire, Keene State College, Plymouth State University and Granite State College.

“During this challenging time of high inflation, the University System recognizes the significant financial investment necessary to earn a bachelor’s degree,” said Cathy Provencher, USNH Chief Administrative Officer. “We are meeting the challenge to support our New Hampshire students by providing increased financial aid and by holding tuition steady.”

Local students who will be seniors in Fall 2023 will have paid the same tuition each year since their arrival. However each year additional costs like housing, meal plans and activity fees still increase, even when tuition remains steady. The freeze does not apply to out-of-state students.

At the University of New Hampshire, in-state tuition is currently $15,520, but the total cost to attend the Durham campus is closer to $32,000 per year, factoring in housing, meal plans and mandatory fees. Out-of-state students pay $34,430 in tuition, which increased less than 2% in the last year. Their total cost to attend is closer to $51,000.

The average net tuition and fee rate for a resident student across USNH is $10,200 per year.

To try to keep higher education affordable, state schools are currently providing more aid to more students than at any other time in its history, trustees said. About 95% of first-year students receive some form of financial aid. In addition, the “Granite Guarantee” financial aid program covers the full cost of in-state tuition for in-state undergraduates with great financial need.

But despite the aid and tuition freezes, the average debt load of New Hampshire graduates, which is one of the highest in the country, has continued to escalate. In 2020, 70% of graduates from New Hampshire colleges left school in debt. New Hampshire students graduate with an average debt load of $39,928, the highest in the nation according to data from the Institute for College Access and Success.

Of all the schools in New Hampshire, the University of New Hampshire had the highest average debt load at $45,755, while Dartmouth College had the lowest average debt load of $23,850.

Eileen O

Eileen O'Grady is a Report for America corps member covering education for the Concord Monitor since spring 2020. O’Grady is the former managing editor of Scope magazine at Northeastern University in Boston, where she reported on social justice issues, community activism, local politics and the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a native Vermonter and worked as a reporter covering local politics for the Shelburne News and the Citizen. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, The Bay State Banner, and VTDigger. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in politics and French from Mount Holyoke College, where she served as news editor for the Mount Holyoke News from 2017-2018.

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