Cost Cutting offsets more than 80 percent of a $48M Cut in State Support, but Financial Aid is increased
June 21, 2011
Concord, NH—The University System of New Hampshire (USNH) Board of Trustees approved a budget for the upcoming fiscal year that included significant cuts across the entire system to address very substantial reductions in state support. The state appropriations reductions total $48.4 million, of which more than 80 percent will be offset through expense savings. Despite the unprecedented budget challenges faced by this 48 percent reduction in support in a single year, the overall cost of attendance (i.e., the “sticker price” for all tuition and fees for a typical student living on campus) increases for in-state students will be held to 8.7 percent at the University of New Hampshire and 9.7 percent at Plymouth State University and Keene State College. The cost of attendance includes tuition, room, board, assessments and mandatory fees. The increase at Granite State College, which is a commuter college with no room and board, will be 5.8 percent.
“This will be the most challenging year in the history of the University System in light of the State’s fiscal situation and resulting cuts in funding for public higher education. The presidents, the Board, and the staff have responded in a swift and effective manner to cut spending to address this shortfall, while minimizing the impact on students and their families as much as possible,” said Board of Trustees Chair Ed Dupont. “Our challenges do not go away with the passage of this budget, however, as we face a challenge in year two of this biennium and into the future. We truly want to be a partner with the state in terms of providing a quality educational experience for the tens of thousands of students we serve each year that will positively impact workforce and economic development across the state. As a result, we plan to continue an active dialogue in Concord and across New Hampshire to demonstrate the value and importance of investing in public higher education.”
At the meeting, the Board approved a $419 million operating budget for “education and general” purposes in fiscal year 2011-12. The budget includes the elimination of upwards of 200 positions, reductions in employee benefits, deferral of facility repairs and other capital investments, cost cutting across the campuses and use of substantial reserves.
Despite the 48 percent decrease in state funding, the USNH budget includes a 16 percent increase for financial aid. The neediest NH students continue to face escalating challenges to cover the cost of higher education in a very difficult economic climate, and more than 30 percent are currently eligible for the federal Pell grants program, which is based on family income. In response to the increased need, USNH will spend nearly $90 million for student financial aid next year. Over the past 10 years, USNH institutional grant/scholarship dollars for in-state undergraduate students has increased by more than five times.
For out-of-state students, who do not have their costs subsidized by the State, cost of attendance percentage increases will range from 3.6 percent to 4.1 percent in the coming year.
The following chart shows the total cost of attendance for in-state and out-of-state students at each of the four institutions for the 2011-12 academic year:
*The figure used for meal plans in this line item represents the representative cost plan.