By Sarah Downey | The Center Square
Additional funding in the state’s budget has helped lead to a tuition freeze for in-state students at New Hampshire’s state colleges and universities.
The freeze was prompted by the state’s $174 million appropriation to the University System of New Hampshire, which is up $12 million from last year and led to the first tuition freeze since 2013.
Using national data from financial aid websites, annual tuition increases tend to range from 1 percent to 9 percent, Scott Power, director of outreach and communications for the New Hampshire University and College Council, told The Center Square.
“Any time we can show students and families that tuition is not increasing is important,” Power said. “Still, there are things I think we can do as a state to ease the worries of families, to show that there are ways to make college more affordable.”
The USNH enrolls 32,000 students and consists of four public institutions: Granite State College, Keene State College, Plymouth State University and the University of New Hampshire. USNH trustees voted unanimously late last month to enact the freeze for academic year 2020-21.
“We are grateful to the Governor, legislative leadership and members of the House and Senate for the increased appropriation to the University System enabling us to hold down the cost of higher education for New Hampshire students and their families at a time when USNH graduates are a critical part of New Hampshire’s workforce pipeline, and in turn, our state’s future economy,” Todd Leach, Chancellor of USNH, stated in a news release.
In-state tuition at the main UNH campus in Durham is $15,520; fees, room and board are another $15,301, bringing the total cost to $30,821, according to the university’s website.
USNH institutions still all rank below the median cost of attendance at higher education institutions in New Hampshire.
“A strict discipline of cost containment has enabled the University System to keep tuition increases below inflation while steadily increasing student aid,” Joe Morone, Chair of the USNH Board of Trustees, said in a news release. “And now, with the increase in state support of the University System, we are delighted to be able to freeze next year’s tuition for our state’s residents.”
In a statement published by the Concord Monitor, Gov. Chris Sununu expressed his support for the board’s vote, calling it a “big win for New Hampshire students.”