The University System of New Hampshire’s board of trustees is requesting that the legislature restore its state funding. At a board meeting Tuesday the board approved a budget request re-appropriating the nearly $50 million that was cut by the legislature last year. In exchange for the funds, the USNH is offering to freeze in-state tuition for two years and increase financial aid for residents.
New Hampshire’s in-state tuition costs are among the nation’s highest. But University chancellor Ed MacKay says, that’s not because of inefficiencies. “The problem with the price we need to charge New Hampshire residents is not our underlying cost structure,” MacKay says, “it’s with the relative lack of a subsidy. In other states, that reduces the price that students in those states need to pay.”
MacKay says that should the funding be restored, most would go toward financial aid and the tuition freeze. An official budget request will be made available to the public at the end of the month.
“The public has already spoken on their support,” MacKay says, referring to a recent data from the UNH Survey Center. Research results released last month showed that 71 percent of Granite Staters would like to see the University System’s funding restored — with another 10 percent adding their support if funds are specifically appropriated for financial aid.