SNHU Advantage Attracts More Students

Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The Eagle Tribune

SNHU tuition break attracts more students

By Jarret Bencks

A program offering slashed tuition prices at Southern New Hampshire University's satellite locations has been so successful this year that the school plans to more than double in size next year.

The Advantage Program, which offers $10,000 annual full-time tuition to SNHU's locations in Salem and Nashua, is about 60 percent less than the cost of full-time tuition at the school's main campus in Manchester.

The program, which began with an enrollment of 40 students in September, will expand to the Seacoast campus in Portsmouth and increase total enrollment to more than 100.

"We're pretty excited with the way it turned out," said Linda Richelson, director of the school's Salem center. "As bad as the economy is, I think the financial environment is scaring a lot of kids off these days, but this program has done very well."

Heidi Greenlaw, guidance director at Salem High School, said several Salem High graduates took advantage of the program last year and she expects more to use it this year. Finances are always a major factor in college decisions, but Greenlaw said she expected it to be even more of a consideration this year.

"I think once those final aid packages come out, some tough decisions will have to be made," Greenlaw said, "and with the economy the way it is, I think it will have an impact."

Mike Dolphin, guidance director at Londonderry High School, said he expected more students would have to seek cheaper options for higher education this spring.

"I think more kids will be going to two-year schools this year," Dolphin said. "They'll get the financial packages in April and they'll realize they have to go to the local two-year school because they can't afford the other choices right now."

The two-year Advantage Program offers a core curriculum and can count toward either an associate degree or bachelor's degree.

The students take all of the same courses between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The organization of the course schedule allows students to easily plan around school, Richelson said. All the students enrolled at the Salem campus last year were employed either part time or full time, Richelson said.

The SNHU Salem center will hold an open house April 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. Information about the Advantage Program and the school's other programs will be available. The Salem center is at 25 Pelham Road.

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