The University of Hawaii Board of Regents will decide this fall whether to increase tuition costs — and by how much. The price hikes would help fill an $86 million hole in the university’s operating budget.

Regents on Thursday learned about the proposed tuition schedule that would raise prices at every campus. The new price for one full-time semester at UH Manoa would be $4,332. The increases would be:

  • $132 at UH Manoa
  • $120 at UH Hilo
  • $60 at the community colleges
  • $228 for UH West Oahu, which has to deal with start-up costs

University officials are aware the cost hike may pose a hardship for some, but said it is necessary given the university’s financial situation.

Amid budget cuts, faculty salaries had to be restored to pre-recession levels this year as negotiated in 2009. The university did not receive the $12 million it requested from the Legislature to help do that. The university’s John A. Burns School of Medicine also lost $4 million per year in tobacco settlement money from the state.

“These increases, we believe, are reasonable,” said UH President M.R.C. Greenwood in a press release issued Thursday. “They were kept as low as possible in light of how Hawaii families are struggling financially in these times. These increases will allow us to provide more financial aid, start addressing our long-delayed repair and maintenance backlog, upgrade our business systems to better manage enrollment and the need for classes, and expand the degree offerings in fields that we know will offer good-paying jobs of the future.”

The current tuition schedule, which expires in 2012, already raised prices since 2009 by about $800 to $4,200 per semester for Manoa students. Students at UH Hilo and West Oahu saw their tuition rise by about $500, to $2,820 and $2,568 per semester, respectively.

Current Tuition

Proposed Tuition

The university has scheduled 11 community meetings throughout the next several weeks to explain the reasoning behind the current proposed increases and to receive feedback.

  • Sept. 16, 1 p.m., Windward Community College
  • Sept. 20, 1 p.m., UH West Oahu
  • Sept. 22, 2:00 p.m., Leeward Community College
  • Sept. 23, 2:30 p.m., Honolulu Community College
  • Sept. 28, 3:30 p.m., UH Hilo
  • Sept. 29, 2 p.m., Hawaii Community College
  • Sept. 30, 2:30 p.m., Kapiolani Community College
  • Oct. 7, 3 p.m., UH Maui College
  • Oct. 10, 3 p.m., UH Manoa
  • Oct. 12, 3 p.m., Kauai Community College
  • Oct. 21, 11:30 a.m. via HITS

The Board of Regents is expected to vote on the proposal in mid-fall.

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