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Regents scheduled to approve tuition increase Wednesday

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    Students arrive on campus for the first day of classes at the University of Hawaii at Manoa on Monday.

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents is scheduled to approve a proposal that would increase tuition on all campuses over the next five years.

Administrators unveiled the plan in August and solicited comments in a series of meetings over the last month.

Approval of the tuition increase is on the agenda for Wednesday’s 9 a.m. meeting at the Hawaii Carpenters Union Training Center in Kapolei at 2040 Lauwiliwili St.

Under the proposal presented to the regents in August, annual tuition would rise by 35 percent over the next five years for a resident undergraduate student — from the current $8,400 a year to $11,376 in 2016.

Resident tuition at UH West Oahu would 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.

Based on comments from the public meetings, UH administrators made a few changes to the tuition proposal. Tuition for the UH law school will increase by an extra one percent under the new proposal. The administration says UH law school tuition is "substantially lower" than the projected national average, but balanced the increase with the need to keep rates "affordability low." Law school tuition would go up by a total of $1,512 a year by 2016.

The university is also looking at providing more on-campus jobs to help students pay tuition and increasing financial aid at community colleges with the some of the additional tuition revenue.

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.

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