The University of Hawaii Board of Regents approved a five-year tuition schedule proposal Wednesday presented by the UH administration to begin in fall 2012 and run through spring 2017.
Full-time students attending the UH-Manoa will see a tuition increase of 35 percent over the next five years.
Students at the Manoa campus will see an increase of $132 per semester in the first year.
UH-Hilo students will see a jump of $120 and community college students will see a bump of $60 per semester in the first year.
UH-West Oahu's tuition would go up $228 per semester in the first year.
In recognition of the state?s current fiscal situation and the resulting impact on students and their families, the tuition schedule proposes modest increases, according to UH press release.
"This has been one of the toughest issues we have taken on in our service as Regents," said UH Board of Regents Chair Eric Martinson. "We are well aware of the economic struggle that many Hawai?i families are experiencing. We made this decision with the best interests of Hawai?i's citizens and our only public higher education institution in mind, and with the certainty that accompanying increased financial aid and outreach counseling will continue to make a college degree accessible to all who desire it."
The university has sustained over $86 million in cuts to its core operating budget over the last two years.
During this same period, enrollment has increased to a record high of 60,000 students, an increase of 14,000 students from a decade ago.
"The university has made every effort to preserve services that directly impact students and has made significant adjustments in its operations to address these budget cuts, including salary reductions, hiring freezes, travel restrictions, energy conservation and other measures," said UH President M.R.C. Greenwood. "In the meantime we have made extraordinary efforts to, in the face of declining public dollars, pursue and win grants and extramural funding that have gone directly into programs and opportunities to benefit our students."
The original proposal presented to the board in August was subsequently screened before an estimated 390 people who attended 11 public meetings, a Student Caucus briefing and an administrative briefing in September and October.
- To increase student access and timely completion, the university administration is recommending that summer tuition for undergraduates be frozen at summer 2011 rates for UH Hilo, UH West Oahu and the UH community colleges.
- In addition, a proposal is being developed to designate a share of financial assistance, as determined by campus chancellors, to on-campus work opportunities to support "gap-group" students?those who cannot afford to pay the full cost of their education yet do not qualify for need or merit based financial aid.
- The UH Community Colleges administration is also considering setting aside an additional one percent of tuition revenue to provide additional financial support to students. Currently, the community colleges allocate 11 percent of their total tuition revenues to financial assistance.
Assuming moderate enrollment growth, the tuition increases are expected to generate roughly $15 million of additional revenues in the first year and $25 million in the final year of the tuition schedule.
The additional revenues from the tuition increases will be used to meet critical systemwide and campus-specific needs, including providing for financial assistance for students, hiring and retention of faculty, maintaining course availability, increasing campus security, supporting debt service, and enhancing academic and student support services.
The revenues will also be used to improve and upgrade university business systems, and to make classroom and facility improvements.
The university has at least a $350 million maintenance and repair backlog that will continue to grow annually if not addressed.
With the new schedule, the university said the UH Manoa tuition will remain in line with or below projected national averages for its peer institutions over a five-year period.
UH Hilo tuition will remain in line with or below projected Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education averages over a five-year period.
UH West Oahu tuition will be in line with UH Hilo tuition by academic year 2014-2015 and will be the same amount per credit as UH Hilo from that point on.
Resident tuition at the UH community colleges will remain below projected WICHE averages over a five-year period.