The University of New Hampshire, Granite State College, Plymouth State University and Keene State College expect to spend nearly $29 million next year on COVID-related expenses.
USNH shared its financial forecast Wednesday with a legislative advisory board to the Governor’s Office For Emergency Relief and Recovery.
The university system has already received its first installment of $10 million to cover COVID-related expenses, including converting spring and summer classes to online formats, and training teachers.
It says it would use the next $10 million for enhanced cleaning and safety measures this fall, and for developing a testing lab with a capacity to process 2,000 tests per day.
While undergraduate enrollment numbers for the fall semester have barely dipped at at the Manchester and Durham campuses of the University of New Hampshire, the university system says the financial blow of the pandemic could be dire if it closes campuses again.
Its current financial forecast does not take into account losses anticipated by converting some dorms into quarantine spaces, nor shutting down dorms because of safety reasons.
At the meeting, the GOFERR legislative advisory board recommended that Gov. Chris Sununu send $10 million to USNH and $5 million to the Community College System of New Hampshire.
The money would come from federal CARES Act funds for New Hampshire that are set aside for higher education.