One of the 21st century’s biggest higher education success stories, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit university in the suburbs between Manchester and Hooksett, NH. Founded in 1932 by entrepreneur Harry Shapiro, SNHU started as the New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Science, a small, for-profit training school in precisely those fields. Over the course of 30 years the school grew, and by the 1960s had become a properly chartered, non-profit college approved to issue associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. Southern New Hampshire’s most interesting years are now, though, as the university has emerged in the 21st century as an online education leader ranked in the top tier of regional colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report, and the #1 most innovative school in the nation.
Academic ProgramsSouthern New Hampshire University is a unique institution; while its student body numbers over 60,000, only 3000 of those are traditional, on-campus students. The rest of that vast number is made up of online students. As an early adopter of online education, SNHU has made a nationally-recognized brand in the 21st century, offering more than 200 fully online degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. With its origins in accounting and secretarial training, Southern New Hampshire University is particularly known for its ACBSP-accredited School of Business, with numerous accounting, business administration, and specialized management programs – including 50 MBA specializations.
The SNHU name has been built on convenience and affordability. With a relatively long experience in online education, SNHU has the process down to a science, with specially-trained, experienced practitioners teaching, and strong student support services. SNHU is also highly transfer-friendly, accepting credits from other institutions generously to attract students. Flexible scheduling is designed for working adults, and many of SNHU’s master’s degrees can be completed in no more than 15 months. Meanwhile, one of the lowest tuition rates in the nation keeps SNHU affordable across the US, not just for New Hampshire residents.
Student LifeWhile the vast majority of SNHU’s students are online, the 3000 students at SNHU’s real-world campus are part of a vibrant campus life. More than 60 student-led organizations and clubs include recreational groups like the Crew Club, professional development organizations like the Accounting Society, fraternities and sororities, and numerous community service-oriented groups. Experiential learning experiences, like internships and study abroad, are a major part of life at SNHU, and a wide range of partner institutions across the world, and industry partnerships in the US, give students all of the opportunity of traditional colleges and universities.
The SNHU Penmen – their their mascot Petey Penman, a character dressed like a Revolutionary War hero carrying a pen instead of a sword – compete in NCAA Division II varsity athletics. The Penman basketball team, with their legendary coach Stan Spirou, are one of the winningest teams in Division II history. Student-led club sports and recreation includes sports without a varsity team, as well as unusual like body building and frisbee.