UH tuitionThe cost of a degree from the University of Hawaii may be going up beginning in the fall.
proposal calls for
next five years
Manoa undergraduates would
pay about 3 percent more
per credit every year
Have your say: Meeting times listed
By Suzanne Tswei
Under a new proposal, students would be facing tuition increases ranging from 1 percent to 3.5 percent each year for the next five years.
The average resident undergraduate student at the Manoa campus now pays about $1,500 a semester in tuition.
Their tuition will go up about 3 percent a year.
Students enrolled in the university's professional schools would be paying larger annual increases -- 6 percent for law students, 4.2 percent for medical students, 3.8 percent for nursing and dental hygiene students, and 22 percent for business administration students earning advanced degrees.
Highlights of proposed tuition increases for the University of Hawaii covering academic years 2001-2002 through 2005-2006:
Proposed tuition increases
At Manoa, undergraduates would pay annual increases of $4 more per credit. Full-time status is 12 credits or more a semester.
At UH-Hilo, the two-tiered tuition system -- a lower level for first- and second-year students and a higher level for third- and fourth-year students -- would be eliminated. For the first two years, the increases would be $4 per credit for lower division and $1 for upper division. In 2005, the increases would be $6 per credit for lower division and $2 for upper division.
At West Oahu, undergraduates would pay $3 more per credit.
At community colleges, students would have to pay for all credits for which they are registered. Beginning in 2003-2004, resident students would pay $2 more per credit.
University spokesman Jim Manke said the tuition increases would add $2 million to $3 million a year to the university budget. The money would be earmarked specifically for technology improvements, such as computer equipment and software for classrooms, he said.
The increases are modest, as they have been in recent years, Manke said.
Even at the end of the five years, the proposed increases would still place Hawaii's tuitions below last year's national averages at comparable institutions.
Financial aid is plentiful and the proposed increases would not discourage or disable potential students from earning degrees at the university, Manke said.
The proposal was released to student organizations and other groups last week.
It is being released to the public for comment.
The proposal is not scheduled for consideration by the Board of Regents, the governing body of the university, until March.
Any tuition increases would have to be approved by the regents, who voted down the last set of proposed tuition increases. In March, the board decided to continue the current tuition levels after student protests that were often raucous and emotional.
Mamo Kim, president of the Graduate Student Organization who helped lead the protest, said tuition increases, however modest, are not justifiable nor warranted.
"I have not seen any real improvements done for students," who would have to pay more while they receive fewer services, Kim said.
"The administration needs to look at themselves to improve their management style. They say they need more money, but they are losing money through their own mismanagement."
Kim said she cannot understand why the university wants to "tax the students more" while expecting to receive more resources from the Legislature.
"Unless students are willing to wage huge battles with the administration, we always end up with the short end of the stick," Kim said.
Kim said her organization has made no plans for protests. The initiative would have to come from the students, she said.
Chris Garnier, president of the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii, said he believes tuition increases are inevitable.
"Obviously, people are going to be upset if they have to pay more for something that they didn't have to pay before," Garnier said.
"But for somebody to think tuition increase isn't necessary (the person) is either ignorant or delusional."
The university needs more financial independence from the Legislature, and higher tuition is one way to raise needed funds, he said.
"The need is obvious, and the quality of education we receive at the University of Hawaii is well worth it.
"They can charge double and be able to justify it," Garnier said.
He does not wish to see his parents have to pay higher tuition for his education, but he understands the need to raise tuition, he said.
The public can comment on the proposed increases at meetings. Here is a list of meetings for undergraduate and graduate tuition proposals. All meetings will begin at 3 p.m.
To comment on tuition proposal
Feb. 2, Wentworth 1, Hilo campusPublic comment on proposed tuition increases for students of law, medicine, graduate and undergraduate nursing, dental hygiene fee and business masters is scheduled for 3 p.m. Feb. 5, Campus Center Ballroom at the Manoa campus.
Feb. 6, Room GT 105, Leeward campus
Feb. 7, student lounge, Maui Community College campus
Feb. 8, Campus Center ballroom, Manoa campus
Feb. 9, Campus Center student lounge, Kauai Community College
Students, faculty and others may view a briefing on the proposal on the university's interactive television system. The briefing is scheduled for 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 29.
Questions may be directed to each campus' top administrator or Colleen Sathre, vice president for planning and policy for the university, 2444 Dole St., Bachman Hall 110, Honolulu 96822. Or call Sathre's office, 956-7075. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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