UH Head Proposes To Freeze Undergraduate Tuition, Lower Graduates' Costs

May 14, 2019

The University of Hawaiʻi should freeze undergraduate tuition and lower costs for some graduate students, its president says.

University President David Lassner has submitted a proposal intended to attract more students and keep college fees affordable, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday.

The proposal would freeze undergraduate tuition at all 10 campuses for three years beginning in the fall of 2020.

The plan would also reduce graduate tuition by 2% for residents and 10% for non-residents at the University of Hawaii-Manoa in 2020-21 and then freeze those rates until 2023.

The university's Board of Regents is scheduled to consider the plan at a meeting Thursday at Windward Community College on Oahu.

Undergraduate tuition at the flagship Manoa campus in Honolulu is currently projected to be $11,304 annually for Hawaii residents and $33,336 for nonresidents in the 2019-20 academic year. Graduate tuition is priced at $15,912 for residents and $37,392 for nonresidents.

In addition to greater affordability, administrators hope to make the university more competitive, since enrollment has dropped as tuition has gone up, according to a presentation posted online in preparation for the regents' meeting.

Tuition at the university's four-year institutions "has risen above many of its peers, especially for non-residents," Donald Straney, university of vice president for academic planning and policy, wrote in a memo to the board.

The regents rejected a similar proposal in January that sought to cut graduate tuition and keep undergraduate tuition flat by avoiding planned 1% and 2% increases this fall.