UH sets tuitionThe University of Hawaii released details yesterday on its offer of free tuition for people who lost their jobs in the post-Sept. 11 economic slump, but UH officials are not sure how many will accept the offer.
aid for unemployed
Those who lost jobs after Sept. 11
are now eligible for free tuition
in the spring semester
By Treena Shapiro
The UH system is waiving tuition during the spring 2002 semester for the newly unemployed and their spouses and dependent children.
As of Nov. 3, almost 27,000 isle workers have made initial unemployment claims since the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. The university announced shortly after the attacks it would be offering the waivers.
"We've begun with maybe the projection that 25 percent of those who have filed for unemployment benefits might take advantage of the program, but it's anyone's guess," said Alan Yang, dean of student services at the University of Hawaii-Manoa.
Rough estimates put the loss of tuition revenue at roughly $3 million per 1,000 students, but Yang emphasized that this is strictly a ballpark guess, made without knowing whether students would opt for less expensive community colleges, UH-Hilo, West Oahu or Manoa, if they would want to attend school full time or part time, or whether they were already enrolled in school.
Yang said the tuition waivers are the university's way of responding to the economic downturn.
"The university is well aware that continued education or retraining certainly plays an important role" in helping the suddenly unemployed, he said.
Students may choose to retrain themselves for re-entry into their current fields or pursue occupations in industries that have not been as affected by the Sept. 11 attacks, Yang said.
"It is an opportune time because they would be receiving both unemployment benefits from the state as well as this tuition waiver from the university," Yang said.
If not currently enrolled, Yang said, individuals planning to take advantage of the tuition waivers should apply as soon as possible for admission to the campus of their choice and financial aid. However, the tuition waiver deadline is rolling to accommodate those who lose their jobs at a later date.
Students should also contact the financial aid office at the UH campus they plan to attend to get application forms and inform a financial aid administrator of their interest in the waiver.
The tuition waivers will be need-based and are not guaranteed beyond the spring semester.
The waivers cover tuition only, not fees. Noncredit courses also will not be covered.
Students planning on taking advantage of the waivers must be admitted through the normal admissions process.
To be eligible, students must be Hawaii residents or a member of the U.S. armed forces stationed in Hawaii on active duty. If a student is a dependent for financial aid purposes, the parent must be a Hawaii resident.
If the student is the dependent or spouse of a person who has been laid off, the parent or spouse must meet the federal requirement for inclusion in the student's household.
Students should contact the admissions and financial aid offices at the campus they want to attend. Web sites for the individual campuses can be accessed from the UH Web site at www.hawaii.edu and clicking on "UH campuses."
Ka Leo O Hawaii
University of Hawaii