Home » Opinion » Editorials
The University System of New Hampshire wins: NH's students lose
In the last two-year state budget, legislators cut roughly $100 million from USNH. The system offered to freeze tuition for two years if legislators restored that funding. In her budget address last week, here is the deal Gov. Hassan announced:
"The university system will receive an increase of $20 million in fiscal year '14 with an additional increase of $15 million in fiscal year '15, bringing the system back to 90 percent of where it was before the cuts. And we have not only fully restored funding for the Community College System in the first year, but added $3 million in the second.
"In exchange, the leadership of both the community college and university systems have assured me they will go to their boards with a plan to freeze tuition for the next two years."
Simply put, Hassan offered the university system $55 million ($20 million in 2014, then $20 million plus another $15 million the next year) in exchange for an intention to present a plan to freeze tuition for those two years. Hassan's restored funds raise USNH funding by $35 million a year - forever. But the tuition freeze expires in two years. That is a terrible deal for students and taxpayers. It does nothing to cut costs at USNH institutions. The tuition freeze addresses the sticker price, not the underlying expenses.
Hassan would have done New Hampshire students a greater service by putting that $35 million a year into the college scholarships she funded. Hassan dedicated $4 million to need-based scholarships that New Hampshire students can use at any public or private college or university in the state (as well as some out-of-state institutions). Taking the money she offered to USNH and funding those scholarships instead would have empowered the students by forcing USNH institutions to compete more aggressively for their money. That would have produced a more lasting drop in prices while likely stimulating longer-term structural reforms that would keep those prices down while increasing quality.
Hassan's failure to apply market principles has cost students dearly. Unfortunately, this Legislature is not likely to correct that mistake.
READER COMMENTS: 1
- State asked to re-evaluate Livermore Falls settlement deal - 0
- Livermore 'friends' pleased with potential settlement from Groton Wind project - 1
- Groton Wind sound tests pass muster for committee - 1
- Developer says proposed LNG plant in Groveton 'on hold' - 2
- Lundberg survey says gas prices fall as refinery output rises - 0
- Peterborough OKs state's largest solar array project - 0
- Settlement reached between Groton Wind and state AG's office - 1
- Peterborough makes plans for state's largest solar array - 0
- Alexandria won't approve permit for wind-power developer - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- NHIAA Boys' Soccer Preview: Talent to boot - 0
- Last call at home for Fisher Cats tonight - 0
- Jessica Goldman was on the move - 0
- Band camp gets Memorial musicians in rhythm a week early - 1
- Drew Cline: Small sleights of hand in Republican primaries around NH - 0
- Where is Shaheen? Hiding from you - 4
- Portman's good point: A leadership deficit all around - 0
- Scott and Genevieve Kelley - 0
- Dan Tuohy's Granite Status: Shaheen takes on illegal immigration - 0
Where is Shaheen? Hiding from you
Weekly brother gave police wrong name