Despite declining enrollment, the good news is that each year UH Hilo is meeting the growing graduation performance targets set by the UH System.
Enrollment at the University of Hawaiʻi’s 10 campuses dropped slightly in fall 2017 to 51,674 total students, a decrease of 1,744 students, or 3.3 percent compared to fall 2016.
The overall decline was no surprise, as UH continues to graduate more students on time while competing for students with a tight local labor market experiencing extraordinarily low unemployment. University leadership remains committed to reversing the enrollment declines through a proactive enrollment management program informed by statewide data and analysis.
“We need to continue our great work increasing timely graduation of students while building greater successes in our recruitment, retention and transfer programs,” says David Lassner, UH president. “There are a number of positives in this fall’s data, but it is just a start.”
Fall 2017 enrollment at UH Hilo is 3,539 students, down 3.5 percent from last fall. But it’s important to note that graduation rates are improving; UH Hilo set a record in 2017 with 798 undergraduate baccalaureate degrees awarded, a 37.3 percent increase from 2011.
“The good news is that each year we are meeting our ever growing graduation performance targets set by the UH System,” says Marcia Sakai, UH Hilo interim chancellor. “Last year our goal was to graduate 926 students and we exceeded that with 955 students receiving degrees and/or certificates. But this success, while we are absolutely doing what we need to do, has a negative effect on enrollment.”
- See Interim Chancellor’s Message: Update on enrollment management (UH Hilo Interim Chancellor’s Blog, Sept. 1, 2017)
Despite the decline in enrollment, UH Hilo recruited 415 first-time freshmen in fall 2017, up 12.5 percent from last fall. And there are 740 students living in UH Hilo residence halls compared to 672 students last fall. This represents an all-time high for occupancy in university housing.
Learn more about graduation and recruitment
- Read more about the successes at UH Hilo in growing enrollment: Message from the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs: New strategies gaining momentum (UH Hilo Interim Chancellor’s Blog, Oct. 2017).
- Read more about graduation and recruitment at all 10 campuses in the UH System: Graduation and recruitment continue to improve as overall enrollment declines (UH System News, Oct. 3, 2017).