SNHU signs articulation agreement with CCAC

Cole Hall, North Campus Editor

Southern New Hampshire University finalizes a deal with 14 Pennsylvania community colleges for online students.
Pennsylvania community college students who transfer to SNHU will be given a 10 percent discount towards tuition. This averages out to $288 per credit. In comparison, Penn State World Campus charges $576 per credit. Students will be able to transfer up to 45 credits towards a 60 credit online associates degree, or 90 credits towards a 120 credits online bachelor’s degree.
“Thousands of articulation agreements are already in place with higher education partners here in Pennsylvania to help students realize their postsecondary achievement goals and we fully expect those longstanding partnerships to continue,” said Elizabeth Bolden, President & CEO of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges, in a press release after the signing of the agreement. “The academic preparation, success and focus of Pennsylvania’s community college students is appealing to many national higher education institutions, as these students are typically motivated and high-performing.”
This deal is beginning to stir the pot of academics in Pennsylvania. Currently, public colleges of Pennsylvania rank the highest tuition in the nation. This move by SNHU could put pressure on the Pennsylvania public institutions to lower tuition costs.
“This is kind of wake-up call for PA’s public institutions,” said Russell Poulin, director of the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, “They may be struggling, but they need to make sure they’re meeting the needs of the state.”
There are signs of Pennsylvania universities struggling. The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education reported in late 2019 that tuition has decreased 20 percent from the state’s peak in 2010. The System attributes the fall in tuition numbers to the decrease in overall High School graduates throughout the state. The deal SNHU is offering to community college students has the potential to create even more hardship for Pennsylvania public universities.
SNHU currently has 130,000 students enrolled in their online courses. While they are making progress, the university looks to continue to expand into more states with similar transfer plans.
SNHU isn’t the only university making moves to make college more affordable for students who transfer from out of state community colleges.
Western Governors University is another large online nonprofit institution attempting to create deals with community colleges in an effort to expand their scope. While their reach spans into only a handful of states, students who transfer to WGU receive a five percent discount towards tuition.