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Thursday, February 3, 2011

University of Hawaii tuition unsustainable?

Worried about the price of college? Check out this article at

The opening sums up the problem, but read the whole thing: “Higher education in America, historically the envy of the world, is rapidly growing out of reach. For the past quarter-century, the cost of higher education has grown 440%, according to the National Center for Public Policy and Education, nearly four times the rate of inflation and double the rate of health care cost increases. The cost increases have occurred at both public and private colleges.”

Is this true for Hawaii, too? Hawaii State Data Book to the rescue!

Here were the 2009 UH tuitions, for a semester, for full-time, regular session undergraduates:
$3,384 resident
$9,408 non-resident

Digging through our office reference library for a musty old hard copy of the 1991 Data Book, I found these tuitions, per semester, for 1989:
$615 resident
$1,840 non-resident

That increase is three times higher than inflation alone would account for. Here’s what the rates would be, adjusting 1989 prices to 2009 dollars:
$1,065 resident
$3,185 non-resident

UH is three times harder for local families to afford than it was 20 years ago. Is it three times better? Aside from some buildings added since then, the overall facilities seemed to have actually decayed over that time. I haven’t attended since, well, 20 years ago, so I couldn’t speak to the quality of the education itself.

Hat-tip Instapundit for the Forbes link.

Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2011 in Permalink

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