KAHULUI, Maui – The University of Hawai‘i will be presenting to the community in the coming weeks a proposed tuition schedule it is recommending to take effect in fall 2012 through the spring 2017. At a meeting of the Board of Regents today at UH Maui College, President M.R.C. Greenwood briefed members on the university’s ongoing fiscal challenges in light of state budget constraints, the plans for the new tuition schedule, and the university’s anticipated requests of the 2012 Hawaiʻi State Legislature.
“We have sustained over $86 million in cuts to our core operating budget over the last two years, and I am very proud of the way our faculty, staff and students have responded to the call to tighten our belts and watch every penny,” she told Regents. “But we must continue to meet our obligation of making an affordable, high-quality college degree within the reach of Hawai‘i’s people. The modest tuition increases we are proposing are prudent, within the reach of our students, and absolutely critical to our long-term survival. Our top priority with the increased revenue will be putting more money and resources into financial aid so that we can still accommodate those students who are willing to work and study hard for that increasingly important college degree.”
Greenwood and her administrative staff spent almost a year putting the proposed tuition schedule together, first briefing the Regents in November 2010 on the university’s future financial needs, and carefully considering what students and families could afford, what other universities were doing, and how the extra income would be deployed to further the university’s mission. Increases will include $132 per semester at UH Mānoa in the first year, $120 per semester at UH Hilo, and $60 per semester at the community colleges. UH West O‘ahu, which faces start-up costs that more established campuses do not, will consider a $228 per semester increase in the first year.
“These increases, we believe, are reasonable,” said Greenwood, “and they were kept as low as possible in light of how Hawai‘i families are struggling financially in these times. These increases will allow us to provide more financial aid, start addressing our long-delayed repair and maintenance backlog, upgrade our business systems to better manage enrollment and the need for classes, and expand the degree offerings in fields that we know will offer good-paying jobs of the future. It’s an investment we absolutely have to make in our only public institution of higher learning in Hawai‘i.”
The next step in this process will be to present the proposed tuition schedules to the community statewide. Meetings are already being scheduled on every campus to explain the rationale, what increases would be used for, and entertain feedback from the public. This process is expected to take several weeks and the final recommendation will be presented to the Board of Regents for action at a meeting in mid-fall.
A schedule of public meetings, PDF of the presentation to the Board of Regents and links to the current and proposed tuition schedule can be found at www.hawaii.edu/news/tuition.