UH approves 2-year freeze on tuition

  • Stephen Watkins / Special to The Garden Island file

    Brandon Wong, right, Jennifer Karol Escobedo Zegarra, left, and Erin Hansen, background right, collaborate on a creation in the Kaua‘i Community College creative media studio in this 2019 photo.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island file

    Kaua‘i Community College culinary arts student Alexis Youn-Esona, left, works with visiting chef Kenneth Lee in creating an orange-juice-based sauce in 2020 during the visiting chef program at Kaua‘i Community College in Puhi.

HONOLULU — The University of Hawai‘i has formalized its tuition fees for the next four academic years.

The UH Board of Regents voted 9-1 to approve a two-year freeze on tuition at all campuses. The decision was made on Jan. 19.

Tuition will remain the same for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 academic years, but that will be followed by 2 percent increases in resident undergraduate rates at UH Hilo, UH Manoa and UH West O‘ahu in the 2025-26 and 2026-27 academic years, the University of Hawai‘i said in a press release.

Nonresident undergraduate rates will also increase by an equivalent dollar amount.

Community college and graduate student tuition rates will remain frozen for all four years, but that rate will exclude law school students. The UH Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law will increase tuition by 2 percent for three years beginning in the 2024-25 academic year.

“Tuition is the most challenging subject the regents face,” said Board of Regents Chair Randy Moore in a statement.

“We are always trying to find a balance between how much can be afforded while also trying to keep up with the resources that we need to provide a quality education. We attempted to do that by keeping the freeze on the community college tuition while approving a modest increase in the tuition at the four-year campuses.”

The vote followed five public hearings at UH campuses across the state. The hearings began on Nov. 15, 2022.

Interim-student Regent Abigail Mawae was the only member to vote against the proposed changes.

“I think that my concern is that the small increase, as it is 2 percent, is that it will be again 2 percent, and that while it is small now, what would that look like going forward?” said Mawae in a statement. “I am a little worried about that.”

Full-time resident undergraduate tuition is currently $5,652 per semester at UH Manoa; $3,836 per semester at UH Hilo and UH West O‘ahu; and $1,572 per semester at the seven UH community colleges ($131 per credit and 12 credits is considered full-time).

The release noted that a tuition increase was last approved in 2016, where resident undergraduate rates were increased by 1 percent to 2 percent in 2018-19 and 2019-20.


Emma Grunwald, reporter, can be reached 808-245-0441 or egrunwald@thegardenisland.com.


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