Hawaii Pacific University Raises Tuition for Part-Time Students

Article excerpt

As Hawaii Pacific University gears up to start the new academic year next week, part-time students are facing a 74 percent hike in their tuition, a move that will bring the rate in line with the price paid by full-time students.

The cost per credit jumps to $617 this fall, up from $355 last year. Full-time tuition, meanwhile, rises to $18,500 annually, up 12 percent from $16,500 last year. The new rates were announced at the start of the spring semester and take effect when classes begin Tuesday.

"As tuition increased over the years, the part-time rate was left very low, and it just had not been adjusted," said Scott Stensrud, special assistant to the president for student retention at HPU. "We had a full-time rate and then a very, very discounted part-time rate. It is difficult then to be able to provide the services needed."

Last year's full-time annual tuition of $16,500 works out to a proportional rate of $550 per credit with a typical load of 30 credits per year. But part-timers paid $355 per credit last year.

"It just didn't make any sense when you divided it," Stensrud said.

The university set aside nearly $2 million more in financial aid to help cushion the cost for continuing students.

"We had a lot of concern initially," Stensrud said. "There was a big push to reach out and get students to apply for financial aid to make sure they had access to funds they needed from all the sources."

Part-time students may still apply for the school's Holomua Scholarship for continuing students, which normally is only for full-timers, as well as other aid, he said.

"We have extended the deadline," Stensrud said. "We're trying to work it out on an individual basis. …