Enrollment is up -- for the third year in a row -- at the University of Hawaii-Hilo, which also for the third year is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the third best public liberal arts colleges in the West .
UH-Hilo grows but
fewer students at
rest of UH
Chaminade, BYUH up
By Suzanne Tswei
The Hilo campus is the only one among the university's 10 campuses to see an increase in enrollment this fall, while the other campuses continue to see declines, according to preliminary figures released yesterday.
The Hilo campus has 2,873 students enrolled in the fall semester, a growth of 3.5 percent or 97 more students than last year.
The Manoa campus, which has seen a steady decline in the 1990s, has 17,148 students, a drop of 0.4 percent with 75 fewer students. The West Oahu campus has 670 students, a 2.8 percent decrease with 19 fewer students.
A total of 23,896 students are enrolled in the university's community colleges, showing a decrease of 5.5 percent, or 1,383 fewer students.
University officials attribute the drop in community colleges' enrollment to the islands' economic upswing as potential students are more likely to go to work. More people go to school to upgrade job skills when jobs are scarce, they said.
While UH enrollment dropped 3 percent systemwide to a total of 44,587 students, Chaminade University recorded the largest body of incoming first-year students in a decade.
The Catholic university has 390 new students in its undergraduate day programs, creating unprecedented demands on the school's dorm spaces, said spokesman Peter Wolf. The number of students enrolled in the day program grew from 600 five years ago to the current 1,003, he said.
Brigham Young University in Laie reported a small increase, from 2,341 students last year to 2,413 this semester. Hawaii Pacific University did not release enrollment figures.