As if going to college wasn’t already expensive enough, the Board of Regents at the University of Hawaii voted 9-3 today to approve a proposal that will increase tuition on all campuses through the next five years. This brings me to my next question. Is college even worth it anymore?
The second leading cause of bankruptcy in America is college debt, or unpaid school loans. This doesn’t happen because people don’t want to pay, it happens because people simply can’t pay.
Nevertheless, under the proposal, annual tuition at UH-Manoa will rise by 35 percent over the next five years for a resident undergraduate student — to $11,376 a year in 2016, from the current $8,400 a year. Tuition next year will rise by $264, to $8,664.
Resident tuition at UH-West Oahu will go up 49 percent over five years, to $7,656 in 2016-2017, from $5,136 this year, equal to what UH-Hilo students would pay.
“All we ask is that you keep students at the forefront of your minds and keep it (tuition) affordable for us,” said Martin Trevino, vice chairman of the UH student caucus. Trevino said the student caucus passed a motion to support substantiality efforts to bring tuition down by saving on utility costs.
“The tuition hikes are unreasonable and unjustified,” said student Brandi Hyden. She said administrators haven’t fully explained how the university will use the increased tuition revenue.
In a memo to the regents, UH President M.R.C. Greenwood called the increases “modest,” and said they are needed to make up for budget cuts.
“Given the fiscal realities of the state, the university must rely on tuition revenues more than it has in the past,” Greenwood said.
Immediately after the vote, regents chairman Eric Martinson told the gathering, “This is probably the hardest decision …” when student Zuri Aki began clapping in a slow cadence, spoke in Hawaiian and said in English, “Shame on you guys for doing this.” Aki then thanked the three regents who voted against the increase.
We will see what happens next, but it looks as though you will have no choice but to pay more if you want to attend UH.