Opening enrollment for the University of Hawaiʻi’s fall 2013 semester is 59,288 students, a slight decline of 1,345 students, or 2.2 percent compared to fall semester 2012.
This decrease comes after record-breaking enrollments in each of the last five years. Since 2007, enrollment has grown by 17 percent.
The UH System’s newest campus, UH West Oʻahu saw its enrollment significantly increase to 2,403 students, the largest numerical and percentage gain with 380 students for an 18.8 percent increase.
Windward Community College reported a 2.2 percent increase with 62 students for a total enrollment of 2,840.
Kauaʻi Community College also posted a gain of 1.3 percent with 19 students for a total enrollment of 1,531.
However, UH Mānoa’s enrollment slightly declined by 2 percent or 408 students for a total enrollment of 19,912.
UH Hilo posted a 3.3 percent drop of 138 students for a total enrollment of 4,034.
The dip in enrollment follows recent national trends. The U.S. Census Bureau released new statistics this month, that show college enrollment in fall 2012 plunged by half a million (476,000) across the country compared to fall 2011. The Census Bureau says the decline follows a period of substantial growth—3.2 million—between 2006 and 2011.
The decline in college enrollment was driven by students 25 years and older, according to the Census Bureau.
“Enrollment in higher education typically runs counter to economic growth. Students often leave college when the economy provides more jobs. This is particularly true of the community college students,” said Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Linda Johnsrud.
Overall, UH Community Colleges saw a 3.5 percent decrease in enrollment with 1,179 students for a total enrollment of 32,939.
Specific figures for the community college campuses
- Hawaiʻi Community College: 3,442 students, a decrease of 6.6 percent or 244 students
- Honolulu Community College: 4,437 students, a decrease of 4.6 percent or 213 students
- Kapiʻolani Community College: 8,523 students, a decrease of 6.1 percent or 558 students
- Kauaʻi Community College: 1,531 students, an increase of 1.3 percent or 19 students
- Leeward Community College: 8,069 students, an increase of 0.4 percent or 30 students
- UH Maui College: 4,097 students, a decrease of 6.3 percent or 275 students
- Windward Community College: 2,840 students, an increase of 2.2 percent or 62 students