Portsmouth, New Hampshire (NH) Colleges and Universities

While there is only one public school in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, around 15 public and private not-for-profit colleges and universities are located within a 50-mile radius. See how four of these schools stack up against each other to find the school for you.

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School Ranking Overview

Students in the small New Hampshire city of Portsmouth have limited school options, as there is only one public institution -- a community college -- located within the city limits. However, there are a number of colleges and universities located in the vicinity. This article compares the four closest schools to help students find the right one for their goals; the top three are ranked in the following categories:

  • Program Variety
  • Net Price
  • Graduation Rate
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Program Variety

Having a variety of academic programs available to students can be an advantage, especially for beginning college students who are unsure of their future plans. The three schools below offer the most program options of the four compared, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

1. University of New Hampshire

The main campus of the University of New Hampshire, located in Durham less than ten miles from Portsmouth, has the most variety with 126 undergraduate and graduate programs. With certificate options and degrees ranging from the associate's to doctoral levels, students can pursue studies in fields like engineering, physical sciences, liberal arts, health and human services, life sciences, agriculture and business.

2. Southern New Hampshire University

The only other four-year university among the four schools, Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, has the next highest number of offered programs at 64. This private school, located within 35 miles of Portsmouth, offers degree programs from the associate's to doctoral levels, in addition to certificate options. Students can study fields such as teacher education, business, communications, counseling, English, culinary arts, computer science and more.

3. Great Bay Community College

Portsmouth's Great Bay Community College is a two-year public institution that ranks third among area schools when it comes to program variety. Offering associate's degree and certificate options, and students have their choice of 31 programs. Areas of study include biology technology, accounting, criminal justice, early childhood education, health professions and hospitality management.

Net Price

Finding the right program that meets their educational and future career goals is the priority for students, but the cost of enrolling in that program is often just as important. Using 2012-2013 data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the three schools listed below had the most reasonable net prices of the four compared. NCES determines a school's net price by considering the average total cost of attendance of a school (including tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies) and subtracting the average student financial aid package.

1. Great Bay Community College

In many cases, public community colleges tend to offer lower tuition rates in comparison to four-year institutions or private schools. This is the case with the compared schools; Great Bay Community College comes out on top for the lowest net price. In-state students there paid $15,545 a year on average, a figure that takes into account the costs of tuition, fees, textbooks and supplies.

2. University of New Hampshire

The University of New Hampshire comes in second in terms of net price. Undergraduate in-state students paid about $21,545 in 2012-2013 for full-time enrollment. Keep in mind that this figure doesn't apply to grad students. Graduate tuition and fees for in-state students amounted to about $15,241 for the 2013-2014 academic year (NCES).

3. New Hampshire Institute of Art

A private institution located nearly 35 miles from Portsmouth, the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester ranks third among the compared schools for its net price. Full-time undergrads there paid approximately $24,435 per year in 2012-2013. For the 2013-2014 academic year, graduate students paid about $21,475 in tuition and fees.

Graduation Rate

Graduation rates can be useful pieces of information because they give an idea of the quality of a college's educational programs. The following three schools came out on top among the four compared in this category, according to NCES data. The stats pertain to new full-time students who began a bachelor's degree program in the fall of 2007 and graduated within 150% of the normal time (six years).

1. University of New Hampshire

At 79%, the University of New Hampshire had the highest graduation rate of the profiled schools. In addition, 86% of full-time new undergrads who began their bachelor's degree program in the fall of 2012 returned to the school the next fall. These two figures are an indication that the vast majority of students are satisfied with the kind of education they get at the university.

2. New Hampshire Institute of Art

The New Hampshire Institute of Art is not far behind the University of New Hampshire when it comes to graduation figures. Students at this Manchester school had a graduation rate of 78%. Of the students who started a bachelor's degree program in 2012, 81% returned the following year, per the NCES.

3. Southern New Hampshire University

Of the ranked schools, Southern New Hampshire University takes the third spot for its graduation rate of 54%. Although lower than the other ranked institutions in this category, the retention rate for full-time undergrads in the years 2012 and 2013 - 69% - still suggests the a majority of students are satisfied with this university's offerings.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

A school's student-to-faculty ratio can be a good indicator of how much one-on-one interaction students may receive from their professors or instructors. The three schools below have the lowest student-to-faculty ratio of the compared colleges and universities, according to NCES data from fall 2013.

1. Great Bay Community College

Great Bay Community College's student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1, putting it at the top of the list among the ranked schools in this category. This stat may indicate that students are likely to get individualized attention from their instructors. This college employed 39 full-time and 229 part-time faculty members as of 2013.

2. New Hampshire Institute of Art

Next up is the New Hampshire Institute of Art, which had about 13 students for every one faculty member. According to 2013 NCES data, the school has 142 instructors; 125 of these faculty members work part time.

3. University of New Hampshire

The University of New Hampshire ranked third for its student-to-faculty ratio. This school has the second highest student population of the compared institutions but maintained a ratio of 19:1 in 2013. There are 662 full-time professors as well as 434 part-time educators, as reported by the NCES in 2013. Students may also be able to get help or advice from the 444 instructional grad assistants working on campus.

Portsmouth Schools: At a Glance

School Name Location School Type Programs Offered Area Ranking
Great Bay Community College Portsmouth, NH Public Certificates and associate's degrees #3 in Program Variety, #1 in Net Price, #1 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
New Hampshire Institute of Art Manchester, NH Private not-for-profit Graduate certificates; bachelor's and master's degrees #3 in Net Price, #2 in Graduation Rate, #2 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH Private not-for-profit Undergraduate and graduate certificates; associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees #2 in Program Variety, #3 in Graduation Rate
University of New Hampshire Durham, NH Public Graduate certificates; associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees #1 in Program Variety, #2 in Net Price, #1 in Graduation Rate, #3 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
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