Few have taken advantage of the University of Hawaii's free tuition offer for those facing a loss of income as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks, but the university hopes more applications will come in.
UHs offer of free tuition
attracts fewer applicants
Fewer than a hundred people
have applied for the timely waivers
By Treena Shapiro
As of Dec. 15, more than 41,000 people have submitted initial unemployment claims since Sept. 11.
Of those, fewer than 100 have applied for the UH tuition waivers.
"We were expecting more," said Jo Ann Yoshida, a financial aid specialist for the UH system. "We'd like to encourage them to apply."
The waivers will continue to be offered through the end of the spring semester. However, students applying now will most likely have to pay their tuition up front and be reimbursed later, Yoshida said.
Alan Yang, dean of student services at UH-Manoa, said the numbers have picked up recently, with about 80 people applying for the waivers at UH-Manoa alone.
However, that figure is still lower than predicted.
"I think that one of the rationales for that, maybe given the economy, is that people who are laid off are looking for employment just in terms of meeting their own immediate needs," rather than committing to a 16-week semester, Yang said.
The university is still offering prospective students a chance to take advantage of the waivers, he said. Although the deadline has passed to apply for admission for the semester starting Jan. 14, Yang said the university will accept late applications on a case-by-case basis.
"Of course, we do want people to apply as quickly as possible," he said.
The application process includes applying for federal financial aid to determine financial need. Some prospective students may be deterred by this criterion, as it includes an assessment of their previous year's income. However, Yang said that a portion of the application calls for professional judgments so that recent events, such as a layoff, can be considered.
"If people are even considering this, it is important to begin the financial aid process as quickly as possible," he said.
Students should contact the admissions and financial aid office 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