At orientation

Incoming River Valley Community College student Kayla LaFord of Keene speaks with a staff member at an orientation event at Keene State in 2019.

MANCHESTER — Tuition at New Hampshire’s community colleges will remain $6,450 for a full-time course load in the upcoming academic year, the state system announced Thursday.

The trustees of the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) voted that day to keep the rate — $215 per credit — where it’s been for the past four years, according to a news release from the organization.

Kathy Bogle Shields, chairwoman of CCSNH’s board of trustees, said in the release that the tuition freeze means “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.”

“Across the state and region, our graduates are doing well and making a significant and critical difference in their communities,” she said.

Annual full-time tuition at the state’s seven community colleges costs only $150 more than it did a decade ago, according to the CCSNH news release, which said the organization has “worked aggressively” to control costs and keep higher education affordable.

New Hampshire’s community colleges offer associate degrees in fields that include business, nursing, hospitality, social sciences and industrial trades, in addition to liberal arts programs. Ninety-three percent of CCSNH students are Granite State residents, and a large majority join the state’s workforce after school, the release states.

“We appreciate the work of the NH Legislature and Governor to help us keep tuition affordable,” CCSNH interim Chancellor Susan Huard said. “Our graduates’ track record of employment and economic mobility is part of what makes New Hampshire a resilient and vibrant state.”

Enrollment for the fall semester is available until Aug. 30, though students can also sign up for late-start courses that begin in September and October, according to the release. CCSNH expects to have a “full slate” of on-campus operations this fall but also allows students to participate remotely, it states.

Caleb Symons can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1420, or csymons@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @CalebSymonsKS.