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: 0
- NH Motor Speedway to again host two Sprint Cup Series weekends in 2015 - 0
- St. Anselm football players practice ini August heat - 0
- White, Glenn lift Fisher Cats over Harrisburg, 6-4 - 0
- KSC field hockey first in coaches poll - 0
- New England Patriots guard Mankins traded to Tampa for TE Wright - 0
- NH Fisher Cat Lee still striving for making it to the major leagues - 0
- Former city restaurateur gets jail sentence for sex assault - 0
- Former high school art teacher gets suspended sentence in drug case - 0
- New Manchester school district standards to give teachers more leeway - 0
Backyard boulder kills Raymond homeowner
Market Basket: 'So close, yet so far'
Reports: Market Basket doomsday plan would shutter 61 of 71 stores if deal not struck soon
GOP for legal pot? Hemignway's high help
Ohio's Rob Portman: GOP can win back Senate