BYU-Hawaii: Increasing influence, serving more students


Like most universities, BYU-Hawaii has experienced an increase in applications and corresponding enrollment during recent years. All students who come to BYU–Hawaii are fortunate to interact with other students from different cultural backgrounds, which is made possible through the University's mission to serve students in Hawaii, the Pacific, Asia and the U.S. mainland. As the number of students from these areas interested in attending BYU-Hawaii continues to grow, the university has and will continue to create opportunities for more students to attend. Plans are in place to gradually admit more students over time, allowing for moderate growth. In so doing, the university will be more suited to fulfill the prophecy of David O. McKay that "from this school … will go men and women whose influence will be felt for good towards the establishment of peace internationally."

"We are grateful for each young man and young woman who makes their decision to pursue an education at BYU–Hawaii," said Debbie Hippolite-Wright, vice president for student development and services. "As we make adjustments to the number of students we serve, we're committed to offering the best services for all students, including housing, food services, activities and anything that affects their student experience on our campus."

For Fall 2010, there is an eight percent increase in enrolled students compared to Fall 2009. Of the gradual increase in students over the course of the past few years, the majority have come from continuing students (students who were enrolled in the previous semester). Larger numbers of students are choosing to continue and complete their education than has been the case in the past. Compared to the previous year, the number of new freshmen in Fall 2010 increased by 70, while the number of continuing students increased by 150.

"Colleges and universities nationwide are experiencing this influx of students," said Arapata Meha, director of enrollment services. "For a variety of reasons, higher education is attracting more people to not just enroll, but to stay and complete their degrees."

The university is also expanding its ability to reach an even larger student body through the development of online curriculum. BYU-Hawaii Online has 845 students enrolled in courses. The majority are students on campus who use the online courses to add flexibility to their schedules, while many others are taking BYU–Hawaii courses online from locations around the world.

Through this growth, the school has retained the focus in its target area of the Pacific and Asia. The ratio of domestic to international students will remain as they historically have been, thus continuing the cultivation of diverse understanding, respect and spiritual development for every student.

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