MANCHESTER — For the fourth year in a row, there will be no increase in tuition at the state’s seven community colleges including White Mountains Community College headquartered in Berlin.
Meeting Thursday, the New Hampshire community college board of trustees voted to freeze tuition at $215 per credit or $6,450 per year for a full-time course load for an in-state student. Annual full-time tuition is only $150 more than it did a decade ago when the tuition rate was $210 per credit for the 2011 school year. Tuition for out-of-state students was also frozen at $490 per credit.
“Our message to New Hampshire families is that high-quality college education is within reach at colleges that are designed to support a broad range of aspirations, from entry into valuable and meaningful careers and to continuing education,” said Kathy Bogle Shields, chair of CCSNH’s board of trustees.
A release issued by the college system said 93 percent of community college students are New Hampshire residents and the vast majority of its graduates remain in the state and are part of the workforce.
Five years ago, in-state tuition at New Hampshire’s community college system was among the highest in the country. While still above the average, the rate now falls closer to the middle according to the website, Community College Review (https://www.communitycollegereview.com/new-hampshire).
The website said for public community colleges, the average tuition for 2021 is $5,014 per year for in-state students. The range goes from a low of $1,458 a year in California to a high of $9,886 a year in Pennsylvania.
“We appreciate the work of the N.H. Legislature and governor to help us keep tuition affordable,” said Susan Huard, Community College System of New Hampshire interim chancellor. “Our graduates’ track record of employment and economic mobility is part of what makes New Hampshire a resilient and vibrant state.”
In addition to freezing tuition rates, the system said it is working with students with current and incoming students eligible for federal COVID-relief grants. This year, in recognition of the effect of the pandemic on graduating seniors, the N.H. Charitable Foundation and the Foundation for N.H. Community Colleges teamed up to give each senior a free three-credit course at any one of the seven community colleges for the fall 2021 semester.
Enrollment for the fall semester is ongoing up until the start of the semester on Aug. 30. Late-start courses also begin in September and October for those seeking additional flexibility. Community College System of New Hampshire expects to have a full slate of on-campus operations this fall, and also offers online course options for the convenience of student.
The college system offers associate degree programs in business, nursing and other health-care professions, hospitality, social sciences, industrial trades, STEM and information technology, public safety, and advanced manufacturing. The colleges also offer liberal arts programs that give students a strong foundation for continuing their education at the baccalaureate level at their choice of numerous transfer destinations, including schools within the University System of New Hampshire and Southern New Hampshire University. The colleges also offer short-term programs that help students enter professions in a year or less with state-of-the-art skills and knowledge
The colleges are Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth and Rochester; Lakes Region Community College in Laconia; Manchester Community College; Nashua Community College; New Hampshire Technical Institute — Concord’s Community College; River Valley Community College in Claremont, Lebanon and Keene; and White Mountains Community College in Berlin, Littleton and North Conway.