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June 28, 2013

N.H. community colleges freeze tuition

University system may follow today

Trustees of New Hampshire’s community colleges voted yesterday to freeze tuition for the coming school year.

University System of New Hampshire trustees could follow their lead when they convene today in Keene.

“From the start of the budget process, we set out to restore the deep cuts made by the last Legislature to our community colleges in exchange for a tuition freeze that would make a higher education more affordable for more Granite Staters,” Gov. Maggie Hassan said, announcing the action by trustees.

Earlier this week, Hassan said the budget approved by the Legislature on Wednesday also would let the university system freeze tuition.

Hassan highlighted the importance of the community college system in her announcement.

“By aligning their programs with the needs of innovative businesses that are already here and looking to hire,” she said, “our colleges are helping to place students in good jobs that can support middle class families.”

Community colleges will again charge in-state students $210 per credit or $630 for a three-credit course. Out-of-state students will pay $478 per credit.

“Keeping community colleges affordable enables not only the economic advancement of our state’s residents and families, but also the continued growth of an innovation-based economy which relies on a highly skilled workforce,” trustee chairman Paul Holloway said.

High school guidance counselors have said New Hampshire students and their families are increasingly turning to community colleges to save money and because of competition for slots at the University of New Hampshire.

“Affordability and access are essential to our population, from the young person just starting out on an educational pathway to the adult seeking retraining in a new career field,” chancellor Ross Gittell said.

Tuition is on the agenda for university system trustees during their meeting today.

“Trustees will take that up,” university system spokesman Matt Cookson said.

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