UH-Manoa, Hilo nonresidents exceed limit
HILO » The University of Hawaii campuses at Hilo and Manoa have been accepting more out-of-state students than state policies allow.
Nonresident enrollment is supposed to be capped at 30 percent, according to a long-standing policy of the Board of Regents.
But nonresidents accounted for 39.7 percent of UH-Hilo's enrollment and 32 percent of UH-Manoa's nonmilitary enrollment in fall 2005.
School recruiters said they will focus on finding more local students, and they will have to limit the number of mainland transfers.
"It's going to take a while (to drop below the cap) because local recruitment is not easy," said UH-Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng. "We have to do more recruitment locally."
At the university's West Oahu campus, there were only 7.3 percent nonresidents in fall 2005. Hawaii Community College and six other community colleges all kept within their 15 percent nonresident limit.
"A public university's first responsibility is to provide higher-education opportunities for qualified students from the community that supports it," according to the Board of Regents' policy.
The board's rules do not impose penalties for exceeding the nonresident cap, said David Iha, executive administrator and secretary to the board.
Out-of-state students use scarce dorm room space and drive up the cost of off-campus housing, said Board of Regents Chairwoman Kitty Lagareta.
"I am not against out-of-state students coming in, but we have to do it in moderation," she said.
For UH-Hilo to get its enrollment in line, it would need to add 315 more students from Hawaii while decreasing its nonresident population by the same number, said Keith Miser, vice chancellor for student affairs.
Half of the Hilo campus' 3,422 students came from the Big Island last fall. The Manoa campus had a total of 20,644 students.
University recruiters in Hilo are now advertising locally, visiting Hawaii high schools more frequently and stressing that financial aid is available, Miser said.
In addition, 10 percent fewer students will be accepted from schools in western states that partner with UH-Hilo in exchange programs that give lower tuition to nonresidents, Miser said.
But Tseng said the university would not be as prosperous without its out-of-state students.
Full-time nonresident tuition is $4,020 per semester, while Hawaii residents pay $1,236.