College Tuition

Hannah McCarthy/NHPR

Among the dozens of agencies and groups watching the state budget process this spring are the two organizations representing public higher education in New Hampshire: the University System, and the Community College System. In recent years, the two have fared differently when it comes to state support.

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The University of New Hampshire has announced a new scholarship program that will allow some in-state students to attend the university tuition-free.

Beginning next fall, UNH will offer free tuition to New Hampshire students who qualify for federal Pell Grants. The scholarships will go to around 285 incoming freshman and will cost the University roughly $300,000.

The announcement comes as lawmakers in Concord debate how much state support the University system should receive in the next budget.

Southern New Hampshire University has announced it will freeze tuition for the next academic year.

The freeze applies to SNHU’s online degree program as well as its on-campus undergraduate program.

The current sticker price for an undergraduate student living on campus at SNHU is currently around $44,000.

This marks the fifth year without a tuition increase at the private university.

Typical annual increases at other private universities have been around three percent in recent years.

CREDIT MIKE ROSS, UNH

Officials with the University System of New Hampshire say they hope to freeze in-state tuition for the 2018 and 2019 academic years.

That’s if state budget writers approve the university system’s spending request: $88.5 million in 2018 and $93.5 million in 2019. That's a roughly $20 million increase from what state budget writers gave the system in the current state spending plan.

Mike Ross, UNH

The University of New Hampshire is waiving its fifty dollar application fee for all in-state undergraduate applicants this year.

Last year, UNH had a record number of total applicants – over 20,000. But less than 25 percent of those were New Hampshire residents. The number of in-state applicants is down from five years ago.

Victoria Dutcher, head of enrollment management at UNH, hopes waiving the fees for in-state applicants will help change that.

NHPR

In his annual address, Huddleston celebrated UNH's one hundred and fiftieth birthday this year, and declared that the state's flagship institution is thriving, with a growing student body, new degree programs, and robust private donations.  Still, challenges remain, including uncertain state funding and staggering student debt.

Higher Ed In Crisis? What You Need To Know

Jul 6, 2015
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We’re talking with author Goldie Blumenstyk about her new book on the so-called “crisis” in American Higher Education. Blumenstyk  says given rising costs, student debt, and doubts about the value of a degree, crisis is a fair description -- but she also sees some exciting examples of campus innovations that may get us out of our College conundrum.

Aaron P. Bernstein Getty Images

Anthem is partnering with Southern New Hampshire University to offer a free college education to all its employees.

Two years ago, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire started a pilot program with SNHU’s College for America, which helps working adults complete a bachelor’s or associates degree for $2,500 per year or less. Now Anthem New Hampshire’s parent company, which operates in 14 states, will expand the program to any employee working more than 20 hours per week.

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In-state students in the University of New Hampshire system may have to wait until June to know how much tuition will cost this coming school year. The University System’s Board of Trustees announced today they would not set rates for in-state students until they learn how much state funding they will receive during this budget cycle.

That could make it tricky for some families to decide what they can afford to attend.

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The University System trustees have unanimously agreed to freeze tuition for two more years at the state’s public colleges, so long as lawmakers restore the University system’s budget to 2009 levels. That would mean an increase of $16 million dollars from fiscal year 2015 to fiscal Year 2016.  

Board chair Pamela Diamantis says these two additional years of budget reductions would allow the class of 2017 to graduate without a single tuition increase, "and I think that’s just a great testament to trying to drive affordability."

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All this week, NHPR's reporters and programs presented A Matter of Degrees. This special series examined the uncertain future of New Hampshire's colleges, and how they are trying to stay relevant, competitive, and worth the cost.

Here’s today’s question for you:

With all you’ve heard about rising tuition, high student debt, and the push for colleges to innovate, would you choose to go to school in New Hampshire?