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UH Hilo fall enrollment reaches all-time high

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Date: Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

Enrollment at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo reached a new all-time high for Fall 2009. Opening enrollment figures from the University of Hawai’i System shows UH Hilo’s fall enrollment increased to 3,996, with a gain of 210 students, or 5.5 percent over the previous year. This year’s boost extends a steady, upward period of growth dating back to 1998.

“Consistency is the ultimate benchmark of success,” said Chancellor Rose Tseng. “What we’ve been able to do is grow at a sustainable pace over an extended period of time, which we believe validates the quality of UH Hilo’s educational product and the commitment of our faculty, staff and administration to meet the needs of our students.”

Higher retention played a major role in this fall’s enrollment increase, as UH Hilo’s continuing student population grew by 214 or 9 percent to 2,573. The number of transfer students increased by 130 or 2.5 percent to 659. Also boosting UH Hilo’s enrollment was the College of Pharmacy, which admitted the third of four initial classes of 90 students.

Those gains more than offset a 14 percent decline in freshman admissions, which totaled 479. The University also experienced a slight reduction in its international student population, which declined from 328 a year ago to 313.

International students this fall account for approximately 8 percent of the overall student body and span 36 countries, with the largest numbers coming from Japan (76), the Federated States of Micronesia (69), the Marshall Islands (34) and the Republic of South Korea.

Overall, approximately 70 percent of UH Hilo’s enrollment is comprised of Hawaiʻi residents, while out-of-state students now total 30 percent. This dynamic reflects the University’s focus on in-state recruitment and the challenging economic climate whose impact is greatest on out-of-state students who pay higher tuition.

The University has also set the System standard in at least one important area. UH Hilo students this fall topped all other schools in the ten-campus system in student-semester credit hours with an average of 12.7 credits.

“We made it a priority to do everything we could to ensure that our students could get the classes they need to fulfill their academic requirements,”said Dr. Luoluo Hong, vice chancellor for student affairs. “We don’t just focus on enrolling our students. We want to help them stay in school and graduate with a degree, so we’re pleased that we were able to maximize their opportunities.”

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