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Frozen! USNH Trustees endorse historic four years of no in-state tuition increases
Contact: Tiffany Eddy
In setting a goal for its FY16-17 state budget request, the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) board of trustees today committed to delivering a plan that would continue an in-state tuition freeze for two more years. If approved by the Legislature, it would be the first time in history that a New Hampshire student would pay the same tuition over four years.
The trustees committed to addressing the needs of New Hampshire’s economy and the region’s employers for graduates in the vital areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Trustees will also seek support that would allow its institutions to match community college tuition rates on select partner programs that are designed to address targeted high-need STEM workforce areas.
The budget request, which USNH trustees will finalize in September, would make USNH schools the nation’s first to freeze tuition for four consecutive years. USNH froze instate tuition for the current two-year budget cycle following the passage of the state budget in 2013.
“Building upon our good partnership with the state in the current budget and freezing tuition for another two years would provide tremendous relief to thousands of New Hampshire’s hard-working families and their students, allowing them to lock in their college financing plans without the fear of rising tuition costs,” said Pamela Diamantis, chair of the USNH board of trustees. “This unprecedented step would encourage more New Hampshire students to pursue higher education opportunities in the Granite State, and help us to build an even larger pipeline of talent to support the state’s economy.”
The state Legislature cut support for USNH institutions by 49 percent in 2011. New Hampshire has been last in the nation in per capita support for higher education for decades. Nationally in 2013, states provided an average of 51 percent of the funding for their four-year public universities and colleges. New Hampshire provided less than 10 percent.
“The support of Governor Hassan, state lawmakers and the USNH board of trustees was critical and we look forward to working with our elected leaders to keep public higher education affordable,” stated USNH Chancellor Todd Leach.
In 2013, the New Hampshire Legislature and Gov. Maggie Hassan approved a state budget that restored more than half of the cuts made in the FY12-13 budget. In response, USNH trustees approved a two-year in-state tuition freeze, which went into effect last fall. University of New Hampshire President Mark W. Huddleston has credited the tuition freeze with helping UNH to attract its largest incoming class ever next fall, with 3,400 first-year students. There is also a 7 percent increase in in-state students over last year, up to 1,454 from 1,368.