Statement from USNH BOT and Presidents on Finance Committee Vote
In reaction to the N.H. House Finance Committee's vote on a state budget proposal on March 27, the following statement was released by the University System Board of the Trustees and Presidents.
We appreciate the vote of the Finance Committee to reinvest in New Hampshire’s public colleges and universities. We remain very hopeful, however, that as the budget process continues, the Legislature will reach Governor Hassan's proposed funding levels ($75 million in FY14 and $90 million in FY15). The University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees and the four college and university presidents are committed to a two-year tuition freeze for New Hampshire students and to increasing significantly need-based and merit aid. The governor’s budget provides the scope we need to become more affordable and more competitive.
In the last state budget (FY12–13), the appropriation to the public university system was cut by 49 percent. Even before the cut, New Hampshire was last in the nation in per capita funding for public higher education. From FY00 to FY12, enrollment at USNH institutions grew by 22.6 percent, whereas state support declined by 28.1 percent over that same period. As a result, New Hampshire students on average carry the highest student loan debt in the country.
With the help of the legislature, we hope to reverse that trend. We want to attract New Hampshire’s students and train them for the state’s workforce.