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June 27. 2014 7:02PM

University System trustees: Keep UNH tuition frozen


University System trustees approved the University of New Hampshire's planned $25 million renovation and expansion of its athletic facilities, including a new football stadium. (COURTESY)

DURHAM — University System of New Hampshire Trustees on Friday hope to continue an in-state tuition freeze for the next two years.

If approved by legislators, the freeze would allow Granite State students to pay the same tuition over the course of four years, according to USNH spokesman Tiffany Eddy.

Eddy said the proposal was revealed Friday as part of the trustees’ budget proposal for Fiscal 2016-2017.

“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,” Eddy said.

The trustees will finalize their budget request in September.

The university system froze instate tuition for the current two-year budget cycle following passage of the 2013 state budget.

Undergraduate annual tuition for 2014/2015 is $13,670 for New Hampshire residents and $26,650 for out-of-state students at the Durham campus.

Manchester undergraduate tuition averages about the same, at $556 per credit for residents and $1,086 per credit for non-residents.

Trustee chair Pamela Diamantis said a continued freeze hopefully would encourage more New Hampshire students to pursue degrees in their home state.

“This would provide tremendous relief to thousands of hardworking families and their students,” Diamantis said. “It would help us to build an even larger pipeline of talent to support the state’s economy.

In 2011, the Legislature reduced its support for the university system by 49 percent. Since then, New Hampshire has fallen substantially below national funding averages for four-year public colleges and universities.

Referring to a 2013 survey, Eddy said states provided an average of 51 percent of funding for their public colleges but New Hampshire provided less than 10 percent.

USNH Chancellor Todd Leach said he’s hoping the plan will gain the support of Gov. Maggie Hassan and lawmakers.

“We’re looking forward to working with our elected leaders to keep public higher education affordable,” Leach said.

UNH President Mark W. Huddleston said that since the tuition freeze, the university has seen a seven percent increase in in-state students over the past year.

aguilmet@newstote.com


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