The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents today approved a proposal by UH President David Lassner to reduce tuition increases for resident undergraduate students for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years. This change affects the previously approved seven-percent tuition increases in the fourth and fifth years of the current five-year tuition schedule approved in 2011 for all campuses.
The tuition increases for resident undergraduate students were reduced as follows:
- University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa – from 7% to 5% (note – 2% difference provided by UH System in 2015-16)
- University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo – from 7% to 4%
- University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu – from 7% to 4%
- University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges (seven campuses) – from 7% to 5% (4% for upper division)
“The Board of Regents has wrestled with balancing affordability with a high quality education,” said Board Chair Randy Moore. “We support the UH administration in striving to achieve this difficult equilibrium.”
President Lassner credited funding support from the state legislature with helping to position the university so that a lower tuition increase could be considered. “The UH administration is very focused on cost containment and improved efficiencies,” Lassner said. “I thank the legislature and our campuses for working extremely hard to ensure that high-quality public higher education in Hawaiʻi remains available and affordable for all.”
UH Mānoa will be allocated $3.7 million in additional funding during the 2015–16 academic year, roughly the same as the 2% difference in tuition, with the expectation that the campus will make substantial investments that will enhance its ability to meet performance targets.
UH Vice President for Budget and Finance Kalbert Young also credited the UH Board of Regents. “The board is demanding greater transparency and accountability in UH’s finances,” said Young. “We are committed to these principles as we work to support our students and faculty with quality educational experiences in a fiscally responsible manner.”
Tuition rates at public higher education institutions across the U.S. have increased dramatically since the early 2000s. In fall 2011, the Board of Regents approved a five-year tuition schedule for the academic years 2012-13 through 2016-17. That schedule was designed to ensure the availability of resources to meet burgeoning enrollment growth under declining state investment by applying modest tuition increases in the first two years, during the recession, in order to give students and their families time to plan for larger increases in the latter part of the schedule. Since then, enrollment and State appropriations have largely stabilized.