UH plans to raiseBy Susan Kreifels
tuition at medical school
The University of Hawaii at Manoa is proposing an 18.6 percent increase in tuition next year for resident medical students and a 54 percent increase for graduate nursing students, to offset slashed budgets from the state.
The administration also wants to charge a $500 per-semester fee for undergraduate nursing and dental hygiene students.
Proposals also include a 3 percent increase for each of the following two academic years for the medical school and an extra $132 per semester for graduate nursing students. Nonresident fees, already more than twice as much, also would increase.
Discussed yesterday at a UH Faculty Senate meeting, the proposals resulted from a UH mandate to rely less on state funding.
The UH Board of Regents has already approved a 2.2 percent increase for resident medical students and 3 percent increase for graduate nursing students, which would raise the tuition next year per semester to $6,420 and $3,012, respectively. The administration plans to send the proposals to the board in April or May.
The John A. Burns School of Medicine now ranks No. 18 in tuition and fees among 42 public medical schools in the nation. The increase next year would move it to No. 12.
Among 13 Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education schools, UH this year ranked fifth in tuition for graduate nursing schools. With the proposed increase next year, it would kick up to third.
With the autonomy granted UH by legislators last year, the university is allowed to set its own tuition and ask for increased budgets. It's asking the Legislature to increase the budget by $30 million, with $3 million for the medical school. UH President Kenneth Mortimer said that without that money, the state may have to consider shutting down the medical school, already facing possible accreditation problems.
Tuitions have already increased dramatically in recent years to make up for slashed budgets.
Patricia Burrell, an assistant professor of nursing, said staff met with students and "they see the need for the tuition rates xxx in order to stay alive.
"For the longest time we were the most economical," she said. Even with increased fees, "we are still economical."
Even with the increases, UH fees for undergraduate nursing would still be less than those charged at Hawaii Pacific University and the University of Phoenix, according to UH statistics.
Gwen Naguwa, an associate professor of pediatrics, said more than 1,200 students applied for 48 slots in the medical school. The last time the tuition increased significantly, the number of applicants didn't drop.