DURHAM, N.H. – Shortly after the legislature restored funding for the University System of New Hampshire to $69 million in the first year of the new biennium and $84 million in the second, the system’s board of trustees (BOT) voted unanimously to freeze tuition for in-state students for two years, which will help thousands of New Hampshire students and families. This is the first time in 25 years the board has voted to freeze in-state tuition.
Governor Maggie Hassan, an ex-officio member of the USNH board of trustees, made the motion to freeze tuition at the meeting, noting that it will make public higher education more affordable for more than 22,000 New Hampshire students.
“We are grateful for Governor Maggie Hassan’s early and strong support for public higher education in the Granite State,” said Richard Galway, chair of the BOT. “Her commitment and leadership in restoring a majority of the previous legislature’s budget cuts to public higher education never wavered. We would also like to thank both the House and Senate for their support of moving towards full restoration of the USNH budget. In a difficult budget year, we appreciate their efforts to prioritize higher education funding to benefit students, families, and the long-term economic health of our state. There is more work to be done but this major step towards restoration is in the right direction.”
Todd Leach, recently-named chancellor of the university system and president of Granite State College, noted that every dollar of the restored state funding will go directly to New Hampshire students and families.
“On behalf of my fellow presidents I want to especially recognize the hard work of the governor and legislature, and their willingness to truly partner with public higher education,” Leach said. “We look forward to partnering with our elected officials to attract New Hampshire’s most able students and prepare them for the state’s workforce.”
In addition to freezing in-state tuition for two years, the restored funding will provide additional scholarships for the state’s neediest and highest-achieving students. The freeze does not impact fees or room and board. The board is committed to keeping any fee increases to a minimum.
“We are all very appreciative of the statewide advocacy in support of the budget restoration,” said University of New Hampshire President Mark Huddleston. “From day one the business community, alumni, parents, and students joined in recognizing the vital role our institutions play in offering a first-class education to our students and playing a crucial role in keeping our state’s economy strong.”
Sara Jayne Steen, president of Plymouth State University, noted that the restored funding directly benefits New Hampshire’s families, schools, and businesses. “When students have access to higher education, they are prepared to join the workforce, create businesses, and strengthen New Hampshire’s quality of life. This move toward full restoration is an investment in New Hampshire’s future.”
Interim President of Keene State College Jay Kahn recognized the governor and legislators for advancing the workforce needs of an innovative economy.
“Keene State College is dedicated to providing programs that address the needs of New Hampshire’s employers, that boost the state’s economy, and that help our students grow and pursue meaningful work. This week’s action sends a message that public higher education is important to the future of New Hampshire.”