Think About It: What Price is Right? - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

September 5, 2013

Think About It: What Price is Right?

A proposed bill to freeze tuition at the University of Hawaii next year will possibly come before the legislature when it reconvenes in January. Currently, UH is in the midst of adding annual increases to tuition which will see student costs going up over 20% in the next three years. One theory says that more students will enroll if the tuition level is not increased, which would allow for revenue to help make up for the shortfall in not increasing the tuition rate.

A counterpoint to that might be- how big is too big- for class size, for infrastructure and parking, let alone housing? If class size grows, can teachers be effective dealing with larger numbers of students, and will student interaction be as valuable and productive? If tuition is not increased next year, will the assumed increase in enrollment really make up all of the much-needed revenue that a tuition increase will provide? Student debt in Hawaii is relatively low compared to the national average, but the burden of young people being in debt for a long time is a worrisome trend that continues to grow everywhere as college costs continue to rise.

One thing is for sure. The University of Hawaii and every other major state institution of learning need to continue to grow- in quality, in offerings, in relevance, in technical skills understanding, in financial aid, in keeping current with trends in teaching and learning, to name just a few areas. How the UH system accomplishes those basic goals while assuring that buildings are maintained and professors are fairly compensated is a challenge for next year and far beyond. Think about it…

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