UH board to consider new tuition schedule

A proposed tuition schedule set to be considered by the University of Hawaii Board of Regents this week would hold most tuition rates throughout the system steady in the coming years and decrease graduate education costs at University of Hawaii at Manoa.

UH administrators proposed to maintain 2019-20 tuition rates for the subsequent three years except for graduate education at the UH-Manoa, which will be reduced by 2% for residents and 10% for nonresidents in 2020-21, said Donald Straney, vice president for academic planning and policy, in a memo to the Board of Regents.

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“The proposal seeks to address concerns relating to college affordability for Hawaii residents,” he said in the memo, which was shared online along with a presentation in preparation for the meeting Thursday. “Tuition at UH’s four-year institutions has risen above many of its peers, especially for nonresidents. At the (University of Hawaii Community Colleges), rates continue to be close to their peers, but have increased comparatively more in recent years. Improvements in affordability can bring the positive benefits of public higher education to more of Hawaii’s citizenry.”

According to the proposal, UH-Hilo’s undergraduate tuition would remain at $3,672 per semester for full-time students who are residents, or $306 per credit hour, and $10,152 for nonresidents, or $846 per semester hour.

UH-Hilo’s graduate tuition rate would remain steady at $5,868 per semester for full-time students who are residents, or $489 per credit hour, and $13,284 for nonresidents, or $1,107 per credit hour.

The university’s graduate nursing program would remain $9,564 per semester for full-time resident students and $18,888 per semester for nonresidents, while tuition for the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy would stay at $12,048 per semester for residents and $20,520 per semester for nonresidents.

UH Community Colleges tuition rates (lower division) would stay at $131 per semester hour for residents and $345 per semester hour for nonresidents.

According to the presentation, UH-Hilo would see a $120,900 revenue increase if undergraduate resident tuition was increased by 1% and would need an additional 16 full-time equivalent students to match that increase without a 1% increase.

Similarly, the university would see a $37,500 revenue increase if undergraduate nonresident tuition increases by 1%, or would need two additional full-time equivalent students to match that potential increase without a 1% increase.

A UH-Hilo spokeswoman declined comment Tuesday and said comment will be provided pending the board’s decision.

The Board of Regents will consider approval of the tuition schedule at its meeting slated for 9:45 a.m. Thursday at Windward Community College in Kaneohe, Oahu.

Earlier this year, the board deferred action on a proposal that would have reduced already approved tuition rates at the system’s 10 campuses and would have kept those fees steady for the next several years.

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“The proposed tuition cuts and freezes demonstrate the University of Hawaii’s commitment to making higher education in Hawaii affordable to all students,” said UH-Hilo Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai at the time of that proposal. “Current and prospective UH-Hilo students, and likewise those at the other nine UH campuses, can take the pathway to obtaining their degrees under a more affordable tuition structure.”

Email Stephanie Salmons at ssalmons@hawaiitribune-herald.

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