Students & Parents | Costs

Funding, tuition income per student high at UH

STAR BULLETIN   |  August 24, 2009 by Craig Gima

Over the five fiscal years ending in June 2008, state appropriations and tuition income per student at the University of Hawaii grew 32.1 percent, the highest percentage increase in the nation, a new report shows.

The annual State Higher Education Finance report also notes that state support for UH grew 27.9 percent over the last five years, making Hawaii second only to Alabama, which saw 37 percent growth in state funding.

Tuition revenue in Hawaii rose 50 percent per capita over the last five years, reflecting a six-year tuition increase plan approved in 2005. Six states saw greater tuition increases than Hawaii, including Kentucky, which had a 80.1 percent increase per full-time equivalent student.

But the report points out that while state and local funding for higher education increased an average of 5.7 percent nationwide last year, this fiscal year is likely to see cuts in state funding for higher education.

UH is having to cut about $74 million from its budget this year after the Legislature reduced state appropriations for the 10-campus university system by $46 million and the governor restricted an additional $50 million in taxpayer funds. The cuts are being offset by about $22 million in federal stimulus funds.

“Over the past few years the state has been very supportive of the university during strong economic times. Now with the current economic and financial condition of our state and the resulting reduction in appropriations by the Legislature and budget restrictions by the governor, we are facing significant challenges,” said UH spokeswoman Carolyn Tanaka.

The report by the State Higher Education Executive Officers, or SHEEO, also notes that as state funding for higher education is cut, enrollments are likely to rise, although some states might limit enrollment because of budget cuts.

UH is expecting a record 60,000 students this fall on its 10 campuses, with most of the growth in the community colleges. Classes start today.

The report also notes that tuition nationwide saw a greater percentage growth than both state funding and enrollment last year and that over the last 25 years, colleges are becoming more dependent on tuition for revenue.

In Hawaii, tuition accounts for about 20 per- cent of higher-education revenues.

UH-Manoa gets C for general education requirements

A new report from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni gives the University of Hawaii at Manoa a C grade for its general education requirements.

But the same report gives F grades to some of the most prestigious universities in the country, including Brown, Berkeley, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern and Yale.

The report, released Wednesday, is titled “What will they learn?” and evaluated 100 universities and liberal arts colleges on whether their general education requirements covered seven key subjects: English composition, literature, foreign language, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science.

According to the report, UH-Manoa requires composition, at least three semesters of foreign language and a natural or physical science course. But the university does not require U.S. government or history, economics, a comprehensive literature course or college-level mathematics.

The report noted that UH-Manoa gives credit for a “Math for Elementary Teachers II” course that does not involve college-level math.

Only five of 100 institutions studied received an A grade; 33 earned a B; 20 got C’s; 17 got D’s and 25 received an F.

Among 60 state flagship institutions like UH, A’s went out only to the University of Arkansas, the City University of New York at Brooklyn, the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M. The fifth A went to West Point.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni is an independent nonprofit organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees and education leaders to support liberal arts education, high academic standards and the free exchange of ideas on campus.

The report is available online at

A Web site has also been set up at that rates more than 125 colleges, with more schools being added.


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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