UH considers tuition hike

LIHUE — University of Hawaii officials are considering a tuition hike of up to 2 percent that would affect Kauai Community College.

The proposed increases are scheduled to go to the UH Board of Regents in June to help fund backlogged maintenance projects, said Dan Meisenzahl, UH spokeman.

The tuition increase would take effect in 2018, when yearly tuition would cost $3,096 for Kauai residents. In 2019, tuition is proposed to rise another 2 percent, reaching $3,168 for residents.

Residents are currently paying $2,880 and non-residents are paying $7,872, according to the release.

For non-residents, the proposal means tuition would rise to $8,304 by 2019.

There are 1,224 students enrolled at KCC for the spring semester.

Some KCC students say the proposed tuition increase would have a positive change on the campus.

“We need the increase because there’s a schedule for maintenance projects, but we don’t have the funding to make it happen,” said Matthew Kanna.

Kira Spencer, another KCC student, agreed.

“Some of the furniture is from the 1970s, so it’s old and has mildew,” she said.

Other students have reservations.

“Two percent is a lot, especially for students who are paying out of pocket for everything,” said Jordan Serrano.

Added Alma Aguzar: “It may affect my budget; it’s a little too far down the line, but it’s scary.”

While Aguzar gets some financial aid, added costs of tuition, coupled with trying to pay bills is daunting, she said.

“I want to move out of my mom’s house, but paying for school and bills, it’s another thing to think about,” she said.

In addition to refurbishing projects, other work that may be offset by the increases include rebuilding the Hawaiian Studies building and building a new creative arts building, Kanna said.

Public meetings will be held while officials consider the tuition increases. The Board of Regents will take that feedback into consideration before making a ruling, Meisenzahl said.

A public meeting is scheduled 10 a.m. April 29 at KCC.

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