The University of Hawaii experienced an enrollment decline of 3%, or about 1,300 students, compared to this time last year, according to new data.

Enrollment has declined from a high of around 59,000 just after the Great Recession of 2008. Universities nationwide tend to see spikes in enrollment during and just after recessions followed by troughs during economic highs.

The declining enrollment means UH could bring in less revenue from tuition and student fees.

UH’s revenues are expected to drop $5.3 million in 2020, a 1.6% decline, compared to fiscal year 2019, according to the proposed operating budget.

Total tuition revenues are still expected to be more than $333 million, or about a third of the university’s $1 billion operating budget.

In addition, revenue from tuition could drop an estimated $5 million in future fiscal years as the result of  the Board of Regents approval of a tuition freeze beginning next school year.

However, UH is still expected to end this school year in good financial health with reserve funds of over $98 million.

We need your help . . .

Our small newsroom believes wholeheartedly that news and information is a public service – not something to be hidden behind paywalls or diluted by ads. Your donations ensure that our reporting remains free and accessible to all communities, regardless of a person’s ability to pay. Support independent, fact-based, nonprofit news by making a tax-deductible gift. We rely on your support.

About the Author