By all means, the University System of New Hampshire should continue to keep costs as low as possible. The fact that tuition and fees have increased less than the national average in recent years is a good sign.
But another statistic in our Sunday News story on the system this week should be carefully considered: the number of New Hampshire public high school graduates has declined 11 percent from 2008 to 2017 and has no doubt dropped further since then.
This is not a number unique to New Hampshire. The U.S. population is aging and the birth rate has fallen. Does a smaller pool of students mean UNH and its sisters will have to charge even higher tuition to make up the difference?
By that logic, we will eventually get to the point of charging the last remaining student a few million dollars a year.
Or perhaps not. Perhaps the USNH system should join with community colleges and the various private institutions to reinvent higher education, not higher costs, to better serve New Hampshire’s needs in the 21st century.
That sounds like what Gov. Chris Sununu is aiming at with his plan to reform public funding in concert with USNH and private business. More power to him.