(BIVN) – UH-Hilo has seen its first enrollment increase since 2012, part of an overall enrollment increase for the University of Hawaiʻi 10-campus system this year.
According to the university, four UH schools saw enrollment increases: UH Mānoa, UH Hilo, Leeward Community College and Windward Community College. Overall enrollment at UH’s seven community colleges is down 3.2% less than the national trends of 9.5% decreases last year, school officials say.
UH Hilo enrollment was up for the first time since 2012, with a 2.5% increase. There are 3,243 students enrolled at UH Hilo including 459 first time freshmen, the second highest since 2013 and only three students shy of last year’s record freshman class.
UH Hilo enrollment was also buoyed by a significant increase in transfer students (20.8%) and students who returned to finish their degrees after leaving school because of the pandemic.
“This is no small feat. Turning against a national trend that has been exacerbated by the pandemic is a testament to our faculty, staff and administrators who have been working tirelessly to improve the educational experience for our students in extremely trying times,” said UH President David Lassner. “We are also proud of our students who have shown resilience and perseverance to continue their higher education pathways in the face of so many obstacles created by COVID-19.”
Also on Hawaiʻi island, Hawaiʻi Community College reported an enrollment of 2,248, which is a 7.5% decrease.
“Local high school students participating in the free Early College program increased by 3.4% over fall 2020,” the university wrote. “Across the state, 2,959 students are taking UH courses and earning college credits that also count toward their high school degree. The partnership between UH and the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education is supported by the Hawaiʻi State Legislature.”
“Research shows that students who participate in dual credit programs such as Early College are more likely to do better in high school and then attend and finish college,” the university news release added.