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Thursday, September 21, 2017
Record setting applications for UH Manoa--But Enrollment Still Drops
By News Release @ 2:32 PM :: 7302 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, Higher Education

Record setting applications for UH Mānoa

from UH News, September 20, 2017

More than 13,000 applications for enrollment at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa were submitted this year, the most received in a quarter century, thanks to continuous recruitment efforts by the Office of Admissions.

(But Fall 2017 enrollment at UHM dropped 2.5% from Fall 2016.)

Among the many recruitment initiatives is the annual high school counselors workshop held at Campus Center. This year, more than 150 counselors, including 34 from the neighbor islands attended the all-day workshop to learn about what UH Mānoa has to offer so they can guide students on how to make the most of their Mānoa experience.

Associate Director of Admissions Ryan Yamaguchi also unveiled the new Counselors Resource webpageon the Admissions website, which can assist counsellors as they speak with students at every stage of the college decision making process.

The workshop is an opportunity for counselors to be on campus while the semester was in session to experience all that UH Mānoa has to offer first hand. The workshop opened with a resource fair featuring UH Mānoa’s academic programs and student services.

In the breakout sessions counselors chose from a wide variety of workshops that included a campus tour, admissions, athletics, NCAA eligibility, financial aid, and STAR GPS, the UH registration system that helps students to graduate on time.

“Our high school counselors come in right after parents when advocating for higher education, especially with regards to the Mānoa campus. We value our partnerships with the high school counselors—we value their feedback, their concerns, and welcome the opportunity to dialogue in order to strengthen and improve the overall college admittance process,” said Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Director of Admissions Roxie Shabazz. “I am proud of the changes we’ve made that ultimately impact and benefit our future Rainbow Warrior students and we owe great thanks to that of our high school counselors who continuously support our efforts.”

“I enjoyed seeing all the different services available to our students who choose UH Mānoa,” said one of the counselors. “It was nice to be able to put faces and names to positions, where I now feel more comfortable calling if I were to have any further questions.”

Counselors provided feedback on their experience and 85 percent said that the workshop changed their impression of UH Mānoa in a positive way.

“I appreciate that Mānoa does outreach to the counselors; it gives a sense of valuing what we say as counselors – implementing changes based on what we’ve said and it is making a difference,” said Mililani High School College Counselor Denise Yamamoto. “Everything trickles down—information we get from events like these and experiences are what we are going to talk to our kids about.”  

  *   *   *   *   *

Graduation and recruitment continue to improve as overall enrollment declines

From UH News, October 3, 2017

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.

UH West Oʻahu is up 4.9 percent to 3,082 students, continuing the trend that began in 2012 when the school moved to its Kapolei campus. UH West Oʻahu was recently recognized as the fastest growing public baccalaureate campus in the nation. Windward Community College enrollment remained unchanged, while the other eight campuses experienced varying declines.

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,” said UH President David Lassner. “There are a number of positives in this fall’s data, but it is just a start.”

Fall 2017 enrollment

Enrollment successes

The fall 2017 numbers demonstrate a number of successes in enrollment. Along with UH West Oʻahu’s overall enrollment increase, UH Hilo recruited 415 first-time freshmen in fall 2017, up 12.5 percent from last fall.

There are 1,959 first year freshman enrolled at UH Mānoa in fall 2017, just 13 students off last year’s record. UH Mānoa received a record 13,196 applications during the past recruitment year, and its first-year retention rate is up two percent to 78 percent, reversing two years of declines.

The university has also achieved its overall goal of increasing the enrollment of traditionally underrepresented ethnic groups to the proportions of their populations in the state.

  • Native Hawaiian or part Hawaiian—12,036 students (23.3 percent of student body, 21.3 percent of state population)
  • Filipino—7,454 students (14.4 percent of the UH student and state populations)
  • Pacific Islanders—1,245 students (2.4 percent of the student population, 2.1 percent of the state population)

And in focusing on its mission as a public system to provide access to those with the least capability to afford higher education, the UH System and all major units increased the number of first-time freshmen receiving Pell Grants from the federal government.

Graduating more students on time

UH campuses have made great strides over the last decade to improve graduation rates. UH Mānoa improved its four-year graduation rate from 17.5 percent in 2010 to an all-time high of 34 percent in 2017, and awarded 3,347 undergraduate degrees and certificates in spring 2017, just 302 shy of the record 3,649 degrees in spring 2016.

UH Hilo set a record in 2017 with 798 undergraduate degrees awarded, a 37.3 percent increase from 2011. UH West Oʻahu awarded 623 degrees, a 144 percent increase from six years ago, and the seven UHCommunity Colleges awarded 5,118 degrees and certificates, the third highest ever and a 53.8 percent increase from 2011. Enrollment and degrees awarded in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs is substantially up from five years ago across the UH Community Colleges.

Economy’s impact on the CCs

Hawaiʻi’s strong labor market and low unemployment is one factor that affected enrollment at community colleges.

“The strong economy has certainly pulled students out of the community colleges,” said Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges John Morton. “We are working to be sure we provide a way for those students to complete their college degrees while working, as well as the many other students who have left college credits but no degree.”

Community college students with financial need are encouraged to contact their campus financial aid offices about the Hawaiʻi Promise Scholarship program that covers the unmet costs of tuition, fees, books and supplies for students with need.


Big Q: How concerned should the University of Hawaii be about enrollment dropping at most of its campuses?

SA: UH sees drop in enrollment of 3.3 percent

HTH: Enrollment down at UH-Hilo, HCC 

MN: UH-MC looking for ways to boost enrollment 

SA: UH needs to boost student enrollment


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