For Immediate Release
Posted: January 10, 2024


Kim Houghton, Communications Administrator
(603) 513-3030 |

New Hampshire’s cost per pupil reaches new record

Topping $20,000 per student

CONCORD, NH — For the first time ever, newly submitted finance data from New Hampshire public school districts indicates that New Hampshire’s average cost per student has exceeded $20,000.

Last week, the New Hampshire Department of Education released its newest cost per pupil data for the 2022-2023 school year. The new statewide average operating cost per pupil of $20,323 is a 4.8 percent increase from last year’s average cost per pupil of $19,400. Total expenditures for the 2022-2023 school year were more than $3.8 billion in New Hampshire. 

The increase in cost per pupil is a function of both increasing cost and declining student enrollment. With the newest cost per pupil increase of 4.8 percent, it is important to note that student enrollment across the state, as previously reported in this press release, is steadily declining with 165,095 students now enrolled in New Hampshire public schools as of October 1, 2023. 

“The statewide average for New Hampshire’s cost per pupil has increased by nearly 87 percent since 2000 when it cost less than $11,000 per student. During this same time frame, public school enrollment has dropped by about 20 percent statewide,” said Frank Edelblut, education commissioner. 

Some of the state’s largest school districts have varying costs per student, with Manchester reaching $16,636, Nashua at $18,107, Bedford at $17,418 and Concord at $22,190. New Castle has the highest cost at $41,754 per pupil. 

“We know that as enrollment has declined, schools have experienced rising costs. Investments have been made, both locally and at the state level, in our education system. Through covid-relief funding, the school districts and the state have received unprecedented resources to invest in education, all with the goal of supporting our educators and strengthening the educational opportunities for families and students,” said Edelblut. “While we have and will continue to work to expand resources for all students, it is clear that we are in a challenging environment of escalating costs and decreasing student enrollment. New Hampshire’s cost per pupil is substantially higher than the nationwide average.” 

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the national cost-per-student from 2021 is $14,295. This national average, which is the most updated information reported, is about 41 percent less than New Hampshire’s newest cost per pupil. New Hampshire ranks ninth highest in the country for school revenue from all sources per pupil during this timeframe.

Included in this press release is an attachment that compares student enrollment for individual school districts and their cost per pupil data for more than two decades. Also attached is a summary of the cost per pupil for each district. Additional financial reports are available here.

*The cost per pupil represents, with certain adjustments, current expenditures from all funding sources (local, state and federal) associated with the daily operation of schools. Payments to other school districts and private schools have been subtracted, as well as capital items, bond interest and facility construction. Revenues from the sales of lunches have also been excluded.


Cost Per Pupil By District

Cost Per Pupil - Enrollment Changes