DURHAM, N.H. – Mark W. Huddleston, president of the University of New Hampshire, is one of 100 college and university presidents and 40 leaders from nonprofits, foundations, state governments, and the private sector attending a White House summit on expanding college opportunity today (Jan. 16, 2014).
The daylong event with President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and senior administration officials will highlight more than 100 commitments made by the attending organizations to help low-income students enroll in college and ensure they succeed once they get there.
“The greatest challenges facing higher education are access and affordability, and they remain my number one priority,” Huddleston said. “I’m pleased to be at the White House sharing our plans and also talking with others about what we can do working together.”
The university made three commitments in addition to its ongoing efforts, which include freezing in-state tuition for two years, partnering with the state’s Community College System on a reverse transfer initiative, and assistance for first-generation and low-income students through financial aid and academic advising and support programs.
The university committed to enrolling more low-income community college students by implementing a broader articulation agreement and providing 50 $5,000 scholarships a year (for up to two years) for community college students who arrive at UNH with their associate’s degree completed.
Another commitment will provide more science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) opportunities for low-income students through expansion of STEM Connect, a program that provides a two-week summer “boot camp” as well as ongoing advising and support. Last year’s pilot program with 14 students will be expanded to 50 students, increasing the number of minority and low-income students studying in the STEM disciplines.
The university’s third commitment also will increase access to STEM disciplines. Project SMART has been providing high-achieving high school students exposure to space science, marine and environmental science, and bio- and nano-technology for more than 25 years. This year a number of scholarships will be provided for students who cannot afford to participate.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,300 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.