University System of NH Resets Tuition and Fees Based on Lower State Funding

June 24th, 2011 by Hyung Park

Cost Cutting offsets more than 80 percent of a $48M Cut in State Support, but Financial Aid is increased

June 21, 2011

Concord, NH—The University System of New Hampshire (USNH) Board of Trustees approved a budget for the upcoming fiscal year that included significant cuts across the entire system to address very substantial reductions in state support. The state appropriations reductions total $48.4 million, of which more than 80 percent will be offset through expense savings. Despite the unprecedented budget challenges faced by this 48 percent reduction in support in a single year, the overall cost of attendance (i.e., the “sticker price” for all tuition and fees for a typical student living on campus) increases for in-state students will be held to 8.7 percent at the University of New Hampshire and 9.7 percent at Plymouth State University and Keene State College. The cost of attendance includes tuition, room, board, assessments and mandatory fees. The increase at Granite State College, which is a commuter college with no room and board, will be 5.8 percent.

“This will be the most challenging year in the history of the University System in light of the State’s fiscal situation and resulting cuts in funding for public higher education. The presidents, the Board, and the staff have responded in a swift and effective manner to cut spending to address this shortfall, while minimizing the impact on students and their families as much as possible,” said Board of Trustees Chair Ed Dupont. “Our challenges do not go away with the passage of this budget, however, as we face a challenge in year two of this biennium and into the future. We truly want to be a partner with the state in terms of providing a quality educational experience for the tens of thousands of students we serve each year that will positively impact workforce and economic development across the state.  As a result, we plan to continue an active dialogue in Concord and across New Hampshire to demonstrate the value and importance of investing in public higher education.”

At the meeting, the Board approved a $419 million operating budget for “education and general” purposes in fiscal year 2011-12. The budget includes the elimination of upwards of 200 positions, reductions in employee benefits, deferral of facility repairs and other capital investments, cost cutting across the campuses and use of substantial reserves.

Despite the 48 percent decrease in state funding, the USNH budget includes a 16 percent increase for financial aid. The neediest NH students continue to face escalating challenges to cover the cost of higher education in a very difficult economic climate, and more than 30 percent are currently eligible for the federal Pell grants program, which is based on family income.  In response to the increased need, USNH will spend nearly $90 million for student financial aid next year. Over the past 10 years, USNH institutional grant/scholarship dollars for in-state undergraduate students has increased by more than five times.

For out-of-state students, who do not have their costs subsidized by the State, cost of attendance percentage increases will range from 3.6 percent to 4.1 percent in the coming year.

The following chart shows the total cost of attendance for in-state and out-of-state students at each of the four institutions for the 2011-12 academic year:

UNH In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $12,060 $25,380
Fees/Room/Board* $12,642 $12,642
Total $24,702 $38,022
PSU In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $9,110 $16,570
Fees/Room/Board* $11,248 $11,248
Total $20,358 $27,818
KSC In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $9,160 $16,620
Fees/Room/Board* $11,170 $11,170
Total $20,330 $27,790
GSC In-State Out-of-State
Credit-Hour $275 $285

*The figure used for meal plans in this line item represents the representative cost plan.

Legislative and Budget Update

June 24th, 2011 by Hyung Park

From: Sara Jayne Steen
Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2011


The New Hampshire legislature today passed the budget compromise approved in Committee of Conference and sent it to the Governor. This budget reduces the allocation to the University System of New Hampshire to 51.65% of its current rate for 2011-2012 and 54.65% for 2012-2013. According to USNH, the reduction makes this the lowest USNH appropriation since 1988, a generation ago. As you remember, our current allocation is approximately 13% of the PSU budget, so this cut will reduce that allocation by nearly half.

As a result, yesterday the USNH Board of Trustees approved an operating budget for PSU for next year that includes an additional increase in cost of attendance for in-state students of $710 beyond the increase announced in February. We will be notifying students and families, and we will provide additional financial aid for the most needy New Hampshire students and families as we move forward. In the past three years, PSU has increased undergraduate financial aid by 12%, 14%, and for next year 30%.

Thanks to the good work done by people across the campus, from Finance and Administration and the Planning, Budgeting Leadership Group to individuals who sent forward ideas, we have spent months productively planning for ways to deal with the anticipated reductions that will maintain academic quality, invest in initiatives that help PSU move forward as a regional comprehensive university in cost-effective ways, and put people first, students and employees.

These changes have not been simple, nor will their implementation be easy, but all of us have worked to make the best possible decisions. Some people are concerned about layoffs; we do not anticipate layoffs at this point. We are achieving position reductions by leaving some positions vacant and through the voluntary separation incentive plans (SIPs) and percentage reduction plan that you already have seen.

Over the next several days, you will be hearing from Steve Taksar, Vice President for Finance and Administration, about the specifics of next year’s budget and plans, including the non-personnel reductions that will affect divisions across the campus.

In the meantime, thank you for your support and involvement as we weather a difficult time. With your continued help, we will emerge a strong and well-focused university, continuing to provide students and employees with a wonderful place to live and learn.

Sara Jayne

Sara Jayne Steen
Plymouth State University
Plymouth, New Hampshire
USA 03264-1595
(603) 535-2210


End of Year Update

May 27th, 2011 by Jennifer Philion


I had planned to send you an end-of-the-year legislative update earlier in the week, but held off in order to give you a more complete picture when it appeared that the Senate Finance Committee would complete its recommendation to the full Senate this week.

As you know, state appropriation is approximately 13% of our budget. The Governor recommended a 5% reduction, to 95% of our appropriation. The House voted a reduction to 55%. Yesterday the Senate Finance Committee also recommended 55% with some additional amendments. That recommendation will go to the full Senate for discussion next week, and then the House and Senate must agree in Committee of Conference, after a new set of budget projections.  The process will continue for some weeks, likely until the end of June.

We have a way for you to follow some of the materials about legislative and budget updates in these upcoming weeks even if you are not on campus. A special section on, 2011 PSU Budget and Legislative Update, contains a timeline of the legislative budget process, a chronicle of the key communication with our legislators, a general overview of the Plymouth State budget, the impact of the legislative proposals, and more.

The communication between USNH and the legislature is ongoing. Over 40 businesses and individuals around the state paid for a full-page ad urging support for USNH that appeared across the state, and we are grateful for their commitment. I hope you’ll take a look at the ad and think to thank our community and business partners.

Despite all of these issues, we have had a joyous end-of-the-year filled with events to make us proud, with student presentations, honors, and awards. The commencements were wonderful. Special thanks are due to those who helped with the ceremonies and put the rain plan into effect so successfully on Saturday morning.

As we draw to the end of this academic year, I want to thank each of you on our students’ behalf for all that you do to help PSU students succeed. It is an honor to work with you.

Sara Jayne Steen

PSU Legislative E-Newsletter

May 26th, 2011 by Jennifer Philion

This is a copy of the newsletter emailed to New Hampshire legislators. The original contained hyperlinks to additional content.

PSU Economic Impact Report

May 10th, 2011 by Jennifer Philion

In 2009, University of New Hampshire economics professor Ross Gittell and doctoral student Josh Stillwagon conducted a study on Plymouth State University’s economic impact on the state. These slides present some of their findings.

In Plymouth Magazine

Example Image

Giving Back Is Its Own Reward

Servant Leadership: The Key to Business and Success » By most measures, Colin Graham ’01 is a success. But giving back to his alma mater, including the endowment of a university scholarship, provides an opportunity to display the type of leadership that defines him best. Graham counts success as finding whatever feeds one’s heart and […]

Example Image

Interim Director Named for Museum of the White Mountains

PSU Professor of History Marcia Schmidt Blaine is now interim director of the MWM, following founding director Catherine Amidon’s stepping down …

Example Image

Coach for a Day

Dean of the First-Year Experience Mark Fischler is a professor, mentor, and friend to countless students. But this past September, he was also a coach for the Panther football team.