Value and Affordability Meet at UNH Manchester

Value and Affordability Meet at UNH Manchester

by Kristin Boelzner '16, English

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

piggy bank

What do you think of when you think of college? Is it dorm rooms? Textbooks and large classes? Fun campus events and new friends? Cost?

It is no doubt that the cost of college is on everyone’s mind when thinking about their next step. Not only does it involve finding the right price tag, but also finding the right university that fits you! I had the chance to sit down with Kim DeRego, associate dean of enrollment management, and Sharon Eaton, associate director of financial aid, to discuss the importance of value and affordability within the realm of college.

As students, we want more bang for our buck. But how can we achieve that? First, we need to make sure we find out what is important to us; what we value. DeRego said students beginning their college journey sometimes don’t picture the end bill.

“They start thinking college is going to look a certain way,” DeRego said. “When they get the actual final cost, which includes food, housing, transportation, books—it can add up.”

Eaton sees affordability as being “the bottom line cost” or the money that will actually be spent. Value, on the other hand, is something relative to the overall experience. She said it’s important for students to consider the final bill at the get-go.

“It’s harder looking at colleges [to see the bottom line cost] when you are looking for the overall experience,” Eaton said.

DeRego said there’s been a major shift in what students looking to attend college are actually looking for, in regards to their experience.

“It used to be that college only looked a certain way,” DeRego said. “It used to be that [students] wanted to be in a dorm; wanted to have a life that was shaped by that campus.”

She said value, to many students entering into higher education, is now about the end goal instead of the experience. Students are more focused on what will enable them to achieve their career goals rather than having the “traditional” college experience.

While many UNH Manchester students live at home or apartments off campus, it still offers “traditional” experiences, from dorms to campus-wide events to student clubs. DeRego said UNH Manchester packs a lot of value into its smaller price tag, one of which is attention from faculty.

“Our classes are small and our faculty work with our students personally,” DeRego said. “They know each of their students by name.”

Our location also offers a lot to the students that come to UNH Manchester. Being in the largest, most diverse city with the largest amount of business and technology growth in the state brings a lot of advantages.

“Students have internship opportunities where they can really practice being in the industry that they want to go into,” DeRego said.

Being a campus of UNH, Eaton said students in Manchester get the world-class UNH degree.

“They can get a high-quality education with that rigorous academic intensity students look for at a flagship institution,” Eaton said.

Going forward, UNH Manchester will continue to offer the same value and affordability is has been praised for.

“In every service we offer to students, we are being thoughtful of the value that it is giving them,” DeRego said.


UNH Manchester offers the career-driven majors, faculty talent and student-centered community to reach your goals, without overreaching your budget.

This story was originally published in February 2016.

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