While current students mull over their college acceptances, perhaps it is time to look back at a time when Punahou74 faced the same decision. A 05/08/74 Honolulu Advertiser article examined the issue for the Punahou and Iolani classes of 1974.
The crux of the article was that Punahou and Iolani graduates were increasingly attending the University of Hawaii rather than mainland colleges. The prime reason? Cost. With mainland colleges costing $4,500 to $5,000 per year, the $500 tuition charge at the UH was (and still is) a relative bargain.
UH applicants from the class of 1968 included 36% of the Class. By 1974, 54% of the class made a similar decision.
As for those who enrolled? 12% of the class of 1968 went to the UH; 20% of 1974. (The class of 1971 then held the record with 87 of 405 graduates attending, or 21% of the class.) Iolani, by contrast, sent 22% of its graduates to Manoa in 1970 and 37% in 1973.
’74 dean Marian DeHolczer echoed the importance of the cost factor: “The cost of attending a Mainland college–including tuition, travel, room and board, books, everything–is astronomical.”
But another factor was also cited in the trend towards staying home: disenchantment with Mainland college communities, especially those in California. Said Punahou president Dr. Rod McPhee, “This isn’t local kids that feel this way: it’s essentially haoles. And it isn’t just homesickness. It is more an antipathy against things in the college community itself, especially pollution.”
Other private school educators disagreed, however, noting no increase in the number of “turn-arounds”, students who return to Hawaii after attending a mainland college for a year or two. But Punahou dean James Iams opined that more students were attending UH for a year or two before transferring to a mainland college: “It’s not a difficult thing to do if you do well during your first year or two here.”
So where did we end up? Here are the overall stats as reported by the Autumn ’74 Punahou Bulletin: 406 graduates, 32 working/traveling, 38 undecided, 1 married … with the rest in college at the UH and beyond.