The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the Foundation for New Hampshire Community Colleges have joined forces to offer high school grads more than $1 million toward tuition and fees at any of the state community colleges this fall. 

“As New Hampshire’s high school Class of 2021 prepares for graduation, two philanthropic foundations are offering every member of that class an early graduation gift: a free class at any of New Hampshire’s seven community colleges in the fall,” the organizations said in a statement.

All students graduating in the state this year are eligible, with the funds going towards one three-credit course per person.

Interested applicants are invited to contact the admissions office of one of the state’s seven community colleges and speak with a counselor. Students can also visit to learn more.

The application deadline is August 30.

“New Hampshire’s graduating seniors should be incredibly proud, and you should know that New Hampshire is proud of you,” Richard Ober, president and CEO of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, said.

“You have persevered to finish your high school careers under extraordinarily challenging circumstances.”


In March, analysis of the High School Benchmarks report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found COVID-19 has had a deep impact on post-secondary enrollment rates, with community colleges among the hardest hit.

U.S. students are dropping out of college or failing to enroll entirely, the report says, with Black and Hispanic students from low-income, predominantly non-white communities among the most impacted.

“Low-income high schools saw a larger college enrollment decline (-10.7 per cent) than higher-income high schools (-4.6 per cent), a reversal of the pre-pandemic pattern of change,” reads an excerpt from the report.

“For high-minority high schools, college enrollees in 2020 declined 9.4 per cent compared to a 0.9 per cent decline in 2019, whereas low-minority schools reported a 4.8 per cent decline in 2020 compared to a 2 percent decline the year prior.”

Community college enrollment among graduates of low-income high schools dropped by 18 per cent in September, obliterating the 2.4 per cent gain recorded in 2019.

Meanwhile, community college enrollment among high-income school graduates declined by 8.8 per cent, compared to a 0.4 per cent gain the year prior.

The report pegs the overall enrollment of community colleges down by 13.2 per cent, compared to a 1.3 total increase in 2019.

“This represents a decline 4 times greater than the decline of entrants to public four-year institutions (-3 per cent), and 2.5 times greater than the decline at private nonprofit four-year institutions (-5.2 per cent),” reads the report.

“These results indicate that community colleges remain the worst-hit sector by COVID-19 while public four-year colleges appear to be the least affected, with a small drop from the prior year (-2.6 per cent to -3.0 per cent).”

The report included data on 860,000 high school graduates from about 3,500 high schools nationwide who enrolled at institutions that participate in the Clearinghouse. It defined minority high schools as institutions where at least 40 per cent of the student population identifies as Black and/or Hispanic.