New Hampshire’s Best Public Colleges and Universities of 2021

Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in New Hampshire provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.

New Hampshire’s Best Public Colleges and Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is also home to 21 public and private higher learning institutions, including the Ivy League school Dartmouth. Dartmouth has a 97% graduation rate, a student population of about 6,000, and a tuition rate of $55,000. Students can major in fields like English, creative writing, engineering, physics, and neuroscience. Dinesh D’Souza, Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers), and Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) are all noteworthy alumni of this school. The largest public institution, the University of New Hampshire, has its main campus in Durham.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

With a student body of almost 16,000, and a tuition rate of $18,000, UNH offers degrees in areas such as economics, biology, and social work. Those looking to earn an associate degree in fields such as early childhood education, cybersecurity networking, or aviation technology can choose from five community colleges that have tuition rates of $8,000. New Hampshire also offers three religiously affiliated colleges, ranging from $22,000 to $41,000 in tuition. Southern New Hampshire University is one of the fastest-growing universities in the United States. With its open enrollment policy, over 138,000 students attend classes both online and in person.

If maple sundaes and cider donuts sound appetizing to you, New Hampshire may be a great destination for your higher education. Take the Mount Washington Cog Railway for a scenic ride up to the 6,288-foot summit, or check out Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth, the state’s first settlement.

Whether you’re looking to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, New Hampshire has a variety of institutions to choose from. Check out the program that best fits you.


What are New Hampshire’s Colleges & Universities?

New Hampshire’s Best Overall

What is a public college? And what is the difference between a private and public college?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models — one is a private company with private funding; the other is owned by the state and receives both state and federal funding to operate. If you’re weighing the pros and cons of private vs. public college, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a four-year degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a four-year public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually.

New Hampshire Best Public Colleges 2021 badge
Download Badge

How do we determine New Hampshire's best public colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.


This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer four-year undergraduate degrees. We’ve identified 5 public universities in New Hampshire; 4 of which meet our criteria. The list below of the best public universities in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must receive direct funding from the state.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It offers a broad range of bachelor’s degree programs.
  4. Its graduation rate must be greater than 50%.

Best Public Colleges & Universities in New Hampshire

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    76%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1170/25

    What is University of New Hampshire known for?

    University of New Hampshire’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Keene State College known for?

    Keene State College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • History
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • Earth Sciences
    REQUEST INFO
  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Plymouth State University known for?

    Plymouth State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Business
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Social Work
    REQUEST INFO
  4. Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is University of New Hampshire at Manchester known for?

    University of New Hampshire at Manchester’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • History
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    REQUEST INFO

Find the best public college in New Hampshire for your interests

Resources for College-Bound Students

Photo By: AcrossTheAtlantic - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0