UH enrollment remains stable
Overall enrollment for the 10-campus University of Hawaii system increased by one student to 50,310 despite tuition increases that went into effect this fall, university officials said.
Increases in enrollment at UH-Hilo, UH-West Oahu and at community colleges offset a slight decline in the number of students attending the system's flagship UH-Manoa campus.
UH system President David McClain said last week that he was pleased with the preliminary enrollment numbers, noting that it "suggests we were successful at increasing financial aid" so that students can still afford the higher tuition.
UH-Manoa's preliminary enrollment numbers showed a decrease of 312 students to 20,307.
Undergraduate resident tuition at UH-Manoa rose to $180 from $146 per credit hour compared to $56 per credit hour this fall at community colleges. Tuition this fall at UH-Hilo is $125 per credit hour and is $114 at UH-West Oahu.
Interim Chancellor Denise Konan said in a news release that after dramatic increases in enrollment since 2000, the current student population "puts us in a more stable situation in which we can focus more directly on enhancing student life and learning,"
Kapiolani Community College posted the largest gain among the 10 campuses with 173 more students than last year, a 2.4 percent increase to 7,480. UH-West Oahu's enrollment rose by 28 students to 897, an increase of 3.2 percent.
With 86 more students, UH-Hilo reported a 2.5 percent gain to 3,517 students -- the school's ninth straight year of enrollment increases.
UH-Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng said yesterday she's pleased that most of the growth is due to students from Hawaii, many of them native Hawaiian.
"Usually with a tuition increase, you see a decline in students," Tseng said.
Enrollment should increase again next fall when the new pharmacy school opens, Tseng added.
Among community colleges, Kauai CC had the largest percentage increase -- 5.3 percent -- gaining 56 students for a preliminary enrollment of 1,116. Windward CC saw an increase of 54 students or 3.1 percent to bring its preliminary enrollment to 1,786 and Honolulu CC saw a 0.8 percent increase of 34 students to 4,194.
Maui CC saw a 1.6 percent decrease in enrollment to 2,837, a loss of 45 students. Leeward Community College lost 56 students -- a 1 percent decline to an enrollment of 5,823. Hawaii CC's enrollment was at 2,353, a 0.7 percent decrease or a loss of 17 students.
Increase of 2 percent forecast for HPU's student enrollment
It looks like enrollment at Hawaii Pacific University will increase about 2 percent this fall to about 8,200 students, university officials said.
The biggest percentage increase is in graduate students, up an estimated 8 percent to 10 percent to 1,250 students, said Jeffrey Philpott, vice president of student affairs.
Nursing and natural science programs are also reporting increases in the numbers of students, with about 1,500 enrolled in nursing, according to preliminary enrollment figures.
In a news release, university officials credited the increase in enrollment to the international diversity of HPU's student body and the university's retention rate, which indicates that many continuing students return to campus.
Final enrollment numbers will be available next month.