University of Hawai‘i fall 2008 enrollment reaches all-time high

University of Hawaiʻi
John Morton, (808) 956-7038
Office of the Vice President for Community Colleges
Posted: Sep 11, 2008

Preliminary opening credit enrollment figures for the University of Hawaiʻi indicate that there are 53,509 students registered for classes throughout the 10-campus system for the fall 2008 semester, the highest in the institution‘s history and a year after its centennial anniversary. Systemwide figures for the fall 2008 semester reflect an increase of 2,705 students, or 5.3 percent, compared to fall 2007. The previous opening enrollment high was in fall 1994 at 52,229.

"Reaching 53,509, our highest all-time enrollment, is not just about the state's economy. Our 10 campuses have set goals to increase the college going rate of Hawaiʻi‘s high school graduates and their efforts are paying off. Enrollment is not the only story; we have set goals for increasing the number of students who graduate. UH Mānoa graduated 8 percent more students in spring 2008 than spring 2007, producing more educated citizens, which is exactly what Hawaiʻi's workforce needs," said UH Vice President for Academic Planning and Policy Linda Johnsrud.

Enrollment at UH Hilo, UH West Oʻahu and the UH Community Colleges have all increased from a year ago, while UH Mānoa experienced a minimal decrease. UH Mānoa enrollment stands at 19,969, which is 37 fewer students, or 0.2 percent fewer students than fall 2007.

UH Hilo‘s enrollment increased to 3,786, a gain of 178 students, or 4.9 percent, compared to a year ago. At UH West Oʻahu, enrollment increased to 1,163, an increase of 192 students, or 19.8 percent, in contrast to fall 2007.At the UH Community Colleges, combined enrollment is at 28,591, a gain of 2,372 students or 9 percent, from last fall.

"Hawaiʻi needs more people with a post-secondary degree. With funding assistance from the state legislature, we have been able to expand our offerings and are delighted that so many students have chosen to enroll in the community colleges," said John Morton, UH Vice President for Community Colleges.

Community college campuses reported percentage increases ranging from 2.7 percent to 14 percent. Specific figures per campus follow:

  • Hawaiʻi CC recorded 2,909 students, a gain of 358 or 14 percent;
  • Honolulu CC enrolled 4,188 students, a gain of 110 or 2.7 percent;
  • Kapiʻolani CC enrolled 8,327 students, a gain of 671 or 8.8 percent;
  • Kauaʻi CC recorded 1,101 students, a gain of 52 or 5 percent;
  • Leeward CC registered 6,890 students, a gain of 843 or 13.9 percent;
  • Maui CC totaled 3,236 students, a gain of 235 or 7.8 percent; and
  • Windward CC recorded 1,940 students, a gain of 103 or 5.6 percent.
The greatest percentage growths in enrollment were at UH West Oʻahu at 19.8 percent, followed by Hawaiʻi CC with 14 percent and Leeward CC at 13.9 percent. Leeward CC also posted the largest numerical gain with 843 students followed by Kapiʻolani CC with 671 students.

For a complete list of enrollment figures by campus and a historical comparison of fall semester enrollments from fall 1998 to fall 2008, visit

Established in 1907 and fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the University of Hawai'i is the state's sole public system of higher education. The UH System provides an array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees and community programs on 10 campuses and through educational, training, and research centers across the state. UH enrolls more than 50,000 students from Hawai'i, the U.S. mainland, and around the world. For more information, visit