For the 5th straight year, the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) is freezing its tuition rate as part of its continued commitment to provide a high-quality education that is affordable for New Hampshire students and families. The freeze was unanimously approved by the Finance Committee of the CCSNH Board of Trustees, preceding a vote by the full board later this summer.
In-state tuition will remain at $215 per credit, which equates to $6,450 for the school year for a full-time course load. Ninety-three percent of students at CCSNH are state residents, and the vast majority remain in New Hampshire after graduating, joining the local workforce or continuing their education through one of the many transfer pathways between the seven community colleges and bachelor’s degree-granting institutions.
The tuition freeze announcement came as Governor Sununu signed into law the state budget passed in June by the NH Legislature, which includes funds CCSNH had sought to make the tuition freeze possible. Both the Governor, as well as the House and Senate supported the budget request.
“The historic bipartisan budget I signed into law unlocks unprecedented opportunity for students, families, businesses, and communities across the Granite State,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Our community college system plays a central role in equipping the next generation of New Hampshire’s workforce with the skills needed to build a thriving economy that keeps the Granite State moving in the right direction. I applaud the Community College System trustees for making smart, targeted investments to prioritize affordable access to a top-quality education for our students.”
The last time CCSNH raised tuition was 2018, with a $5/credit increase. This was the only increase in well over a decade as tuition across CCSNH’s seven colleges has increased only 2.4% in total since 2011.
“We provide our students with high-quality programs that serve them and serve New Hampshire well,” said CCSNH Chancellor Mark Rubinstein. “Our ability to make those programs affordable for students and families—programs in nursing and other healthcare fields, in advanced manufacturing, automotive technology, HVAC, and welding, as well as transfer programs in areas like business and liberal arts—is only possible because of the investments that the State makes in our work. Keeping tuition frozen and virtually flat for more than a decade is one outcome of this vital partnership.”
Rubinstein also highlighted funding in the approved budget to expand access to courses that high school students can take for college credit, through early college programs in their high school, on the college campuses and online. “With this increased level of support, we can amplify the impact with greater affordability for New Hampshire students and their families, helping them to avoid, or at least minimize, college debt as they prepare for the good jobs that this state has to offer,” Rubinstein said.
In addition to the tuition freeze and expansion of early college opportunities, CCSNH is in the final stages of creating a new “Promise Program,” which will provide gap funding for eligible students with financial need. Details of the program will be announced later this summer.
“I’ve been able to put money into savings for the first time in my life due to the low tuition at MCC,” said David Olsen, Manchester Community College Liberal Arts student from Goffstown. “I’m glad tuition rates are frozen, and college will continue to be affordable. I’ve also had to spend very little money on textbooks at MCC thanks to the low-cost or no-cost textbooks many of my classes have used, which has been very helpful.”
New Hampshire’s seven community colleges, located across the state to serve every NH community and region, enroll more than 20,000 students annually including 8,000 high school students who take courses for dual high school and college credit at a reduced cost. Thanks to state support, CCSNH is also able to broaden the number of courses that high schoolers can take at no cost, getting a head start on college requirements and saving from the eventual costs of a college degree. CCSNH also offers short-term, customized career training that prepares individuals for in-demand jobs and helps New Hampshire employees meet their hiring needs. CCSNH works to align its programming with the needs of the state, helping thousands of students enter careers or begin their education before transferring to a four-year college or university. CCSNH has long been the largest transfer partner of the state’s university system and has relationships with numerous other transfer destinations for students.