To reverse flagging enrollment, UH is doing something ‘unprecedented' — cutting tuition

University of Hawaii's flagship campus in Manoa, Oahu.
University of Hawaii's flagship campus in Manoa, Oahu.(University of Hawaii (custom credit) | University of Hawaii)
Updated: Jan. 28, 2019 at 12:14 PM HST
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MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - For years, there’s been growing concern about rising tuition rates at the University of Hawaii. The worry: Attending college was becoming out of reach for too many.

UH officials acknowledged those concerns — and agreed something had to be done.

So at a Board of Regents meeting this week, UH administrators will propose something that’s sure to have the support of students and their families: A tuition decrease.

More specifically, UH President David Lassner wants to do away with a planned tuition increase for the 2019-20 academic year and then freeze tuition at current levels through 2023.

Under a previously-approved plan, resident tuition was set to go up 2 percent at UH-Manoa in 2019-20, while other campuses were set to see a 1 percent increase.

“This unprecedented request would provide most UH students and their families with a flat tuition rate for five consecutive years, including 2018-19,” said Lassner, in a news release. “If approved, it will be a strong demonstration of our university’s commitment to affordability.”

The proposal comes as the University of Hawaii struggles to boost enrollment, and is increasingly competing for students who are also considering other Hawaii and mainland institutions.

In a memo to the Board of Regents on the plan, Lassner said that tuition at UH’s four-year institutions has risen above many of its peers.

This academic year, undergraduate resident tuition at UH-Manoa is $11,088, while undergraduate non-resident tuition is $33,120.

Tuition at UH-Manoa has risen 46 percent for in-state undergraduates since 2010, when the group paid $7,584 a year. That year, out-of-state undergraduates paid $21,024 to attend UH-Manoa.

Undergraduate resident tuition at UH-Manoa was set to go up $216 next school year, while non-resident undergraduates were set to pay $667 more.

For a full proposed tuition schedule, click here.

This story will be updated.

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