Southern New Hampshire University to offer $10K tuition for on-campus model
Southern New Hampshire University is creating a campus-based education model that would only cost $10,000 per year, down 61% from its current tuition rate.
The private, nonprofit university in Manchester, N.H. said Wednesday that it is working with faculty on developing new models for an on-campus college experience through the 2020-21 academic year. SNHU is also offering a one-time scholarship to all incoming campus freshmen which will cover 100% of first-year tuition.
Incoming freshmen are slated to take courses online while living on campus and participating in campus clubs, activities, athletics and other experiences. Starting in 2021, students will continue at the $10,000 per year tuition rate.
Southern New Hampshire University, which serves 130,000 students worldwide, has built a strong brand as a leader in online education. SNHU spent $132.8 million on advertising in 2017. Officials at UMass have pointed to SNHU as a model for UMass as the system eyes creating a new online college. UMass President Marty Meehan proposed the new online college in early 2019, but it remains mostly in discussions.
The coronavirus pandemic and the expected economic recession are likely to make it more difficult for students and families to afford college. The crisis has caused the higher education sector to reflect on ways to make a college education more affordable and accessible.
“We knew that a traditional college education was increasingly out of reach for a majority of Americans before the COVID-19 pandemic hit,” Paul LeBlanc, president and CEO of SNHU, said in a statement. “Now, with the nation facing massive unemployment, there are even more students who find themselves unable to afford an on-campus experience, and more than ever, students need access to high-quality, affordable degree pathways that are workforce relevant and won’t saddle them with years of debt upon graduation.”
SNHU’s new $10,000 tuition rate would make the school more affordable than most public and private institutions, though room and board charges will still apply. The university hopes to address the total cost of room and board through possible changes in the structure of semestersand using “earn while you learn” models.