New Hampshire Colleges

New Hampshire Colleges

New Hampshire Schools – Overview

“Live Free or Die.” That’s the state motto that New Hampshire’s citizens have lived by since the state was first colonized by European settlers. Small yet proud, this state enjoys some of the best colleges in the country. As most of the country’s best colleges are found in the Northeast, it should be no surprise that New Hampshire is home to several of them. In both national and regional rankings, New Hampshire’s schools consistently come out at the top. For a state with such a small population (around 1.4 million people), New Hampshire commands a significant amount of respect and tradition along all conceivable areas measured for post-secondary schools. Prospective students looking for a “best of show” should not pass up New Hampshire when looking into higher educational programs.

new hampshire lake near the college

There are currently 21 accredited post-secondary schools in the state of New Hampshire. A fairly small number of these (four in all) are public universities. This means that a third of all schools within the state are public schools that not only receive public funding, but that also offer academic programs and degrees for much less than a typical private college or university. As New Hampshire is in the Northeast, where most of the top-ranked colleges in the nation compete for the best students, tuition and annual costs can run fairly high in many schools, including the public institutions. The four public universities in the state each exist under the University System of New Hampshire. These are: Keene State College, Granite State College: University System of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University and the University of New Hampshire. Despite its small size, the state also has seven community colleges, all that fall under the Community College System of New Hampshire.

As stated, prospective students interested in New Hampshire’s public colleges and universities are going to find above-average tuition rates. The University of New Hampshire’s main campus will run students around $24,000 annually. Slightly cheaper is the University of New Hampshire’s Manchester campus, at just above $18,000. Keene State College will set students back around $21,000. Meanwhile, Granite State College exists as the only public school in the state’s university system that is under the national average, at around $14,500.

Most of the schools boast post-gradation salaries above the national average, except for Granite State College, which falls slightly below. Impressively, every college and university in the state’s public system, with the exception of Granite State College, has graduation rates above the national average. The highest of these can be found at the University of New Hampshire’s main campus, which has a 78% graduation rate for first time students. This coincides with the school’s high ranking, coming in at #2, right under the renowned, yet private Dartmouth College. Indeed, the University of New Hampshire slides in at #103 for national universities in the U.S. News and World Report’s college rankings. Keene State College finds itself at a respectable position as well: #76 among regional universities (North). Plymouth State University is ranked regionally as well, sitting at #100 for schools in the North.

While the state has several private colleges and universities, few of them are ranked well. However, the ones that are ranked, are ranked impressively high. Among the private colleges and universities (of which there are 15), the best ranking ones are Dartmouth College, Saint Anselm College and Rivier College. Dartmouth is among the best colleges in the country, boasting a position at #12 among all colleges in the country. Saint Anselm College is reasonably located at #112 among national liberal arts colleges. Southern New Hampshire University, which finds much success nationally as a provider for online education, is respectably placed at #131 among regional universities.

New Hampshire’s schools come with a significant amount of history to them. Several count themselves among the oldest institutions in the nation. Dartmouth College was founded in 1769, and has enjoy a long and successful history as one of the premier colleges in the world. Saint Anselm College, the University of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Institute of Art were each founded in the late 1800s as well. The New Hampshire Institute of Art is one of the oldest and well-established art schools in the nation.

Traditional Colleges in New Hampshire

Colby-Sawyer College

Daniel Webster College

Dartmouth College

Franklin Pierce College

Keene State College

Magdalen College

New England College

Plymouth State College

Rivier College

St. Anselm College

Southern New Hampshire University

Thomas More College of Liberal Arts

University of New Hampshire

Community Colleges – New Hampshire

new hampshire water fall, near school

Great Bay Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 320 Corporate Dr, Portsmouth, NH 03801
  • Phone – (603) 427-7600

Lakes Region Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 379 Belmont Rd, Laconia, NH 03246
  • Phone – (603) 524-3207

Manchester Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 1066 Front St, Manchester, NH 03102
  • Phone – (603) 206-8000

Nashua Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 505 Amherst St, Nashua, NH 03063
  • Phone – (603) 578-8900

New Hampshire Technical Institute (NHTI)

  • Site –
  • Address – 31 College Dr, Concord, NH 03301
  • Phone – (603) 271-6484

River Valley Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 1 College Dr, Claremont, NH 03743
  • Phone – (603) 542-7744

White Mountains Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 2020 Riverside Dr, Berlin, NH 03570
  • Phone – (603) 752-1113

New Hampshire – Vocational, Career, & Trade

new hampshire bridge, near campus


Hesser College


Hesser College

Seacoast Career School

Hesser College


Hesser College


Hesser College

Online Degrees and Programs in New Hampshire

New Hampshire has a very respectable number of students overall enrolled in online degree programs. A 2012 National Center for Educational Statistics study found that around 17% of New Hampshire’s students enrolled in Title IV institutions were enrolled in fully-online degree and certificate programs. Unfortunately, prospective students interested in online degrees within the state are going to pay much more than they would in most every other state in the country. The top-ranked schools offering online degrees in the state are: Granite State College, Franklin Pierce University, New England College, Plymouth State University, Rivier University, and Southern New Hampshire University. Of these, the least expensive is Granite State College, which, while inexpensive, unfortunately has low graduation rates and well-below-average post-graduation salaries.

Overall, the most affordable online degree and certificate programs in the state can be found at: Granite State College (annual tuition: $6,840), Rivier University (annual tuition: $7,680), Southern New Hampshire University (annual tuition: $7,680) and Franklin Pierce University ($8,760). Beyond that, the prospective students will find annual tuition rates begin to skyrocket, with the next least expensive program found at Plymouth State University for around $21,000 a year. In all, there are 22 different schools in the state offering online degrees and certificates across the spectrum for program offerings.

In 2014, New Hampshire joined SARA: The New England Board of Higher Education State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement. This agreement is an initiative to help make online courses available to students outside of New Hampshire. The goal hopefully will open up and expand New Hampshire’s online degree offerings, while allowing students outside of the state to participate in online degree programs in the state’s public institutions. However, the primary source of online degree programs in the state can be found at Southern New Hampshire University, which advertises its programs across the country. SNHU primarily offers Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, with a very wide range of options. SNHU has over 100 bachelor’s degree programs available, with options across the spectrum of career choices. The Master’s degree options are equally extensive, meaning that prospective students will be greeted with more options than they may know what to do with.