With money tight at the University of Prince Edward Island, the athletics department is saying it will do its part by staying on budget this year.

Athletics director Bill Schurman told CBC News the athletics department ended up $300,000 over its $2 million operating budget last year. With the university cutting positions and trying to save $9 million overall, the athletics budget was frozen this year.

Schurman said there's no room for overspending, and athletes and staff members are stepping up their fundraising efforts.

"We're going to try and plan to build a little bit of a war chest if you wanna call it that. Student athletes are a little more aware of our current status, and they have pitched in.  We'll continue to try and attract more spectators to our games, we'll continue to try and attract more involvement with our alumni, and we'll continue to try and attract more corporate partnership."

Schurman said last season more UPEI teams made the playoffs than expected, which created additional travel and team costs.

His plan this year is put some fundraising dollars into a playoff fund, so the department is ready to take on that expense.