The University System of New Hampshire passed a 6 percent increase in tuition and room and board costs for the 2012-2013 school year for in-state students at the University of New Hampshire, Keene State College and Plymouth State University, and a 1.6 percent increase for out-of-state students last week.
For UNH students, this means an additional $1,484 and $624, respectively.
The increase follows a steady trend of increasing tuition that began in 1974 for out-of-state students. For in-state students, tuition has increased every year since 1989.
UNH is not unique to tuition hikes. According to a 2011 article in the Chicago Tribune, "Tuition at the average public university jumped 8.3 percent to $8,244" in the last year.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessarily increased spending that causes tuition hikes. Often times, finances are redirected toward areas in the budget that are affected by cuts.
Last year, the education system lost $48.4 million of its $100 million in funding from the state, and the greater increase in in-state tuition costs can be largely attributed to the state's subsidy cuts for New Hampshire students, USNH officials said.
After the cut, the state ranks last in higher education financial support.
Several university officials, including Erika Mantz of university communications, Mark Rubinstein, vice president for student affairs, and Joanna Young, associate vice president for finance, said that although UNH is struggling financially, the school is very committed to having budget cuts affect students as little as possible.
"UNH is committed to maintaining quality academic programs for our students by working hard to reduce expenses and increase efficiencies, including a hiring freeze," Young said.
Approximately 30 percent of state residents qualify for Federal Pell grant eligibility based on their financial need, and almost 80 percent of students receive some form of aid.
"Despite ongoing budget challenges, in-state financial grant aid for degree candidates funded by USNH education and general expenses has increased nearly six-fold, from $5.2 million in 2002 to $30.8 million in fiscal year 2012," Young said.
Increasing the out-of-state student population is another important financial tactic, as is increasing capacity through eUNH (online courses) and larger summer enrollment, officials said.
The total cost for in-state students at UNH for the upcoming year will be $26,186, and out-of-state students will pay $38,646.
"Compared to private schools, UNH remains a bargain for out-of-state students," Young wrote in a collaborated email with Mantz and Rubinstein. "The number of high school graduates in New Hampshire and in New England has been declining for the past several years, and this pattern is expected to continue for several more years. Maintaining current levels of enrollment – and even pursuing modest growth – allows for economies of scale in delivering many of the essential services that support a college education."
UNH In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $13,670 $26,130
Fees $2,752 $2,752
Room & Board* $9,764 $9,764
Total $26,186 $38,646
PSU In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $10,410 $17,310
Fees $2,150 $2,150
Room & Board* $8,990 $8,990
Total $21,550 $28,450
KSC In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $10,410 $17,310
Fees $2,366 $2,366
Room & Board* $8,762 $8,762
Total $21,538 $28,438
UNHM In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $13,350 $25,810
GSC In-State Out-of-State
Credit-Hour $285 $295