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Hawaii Scholarships and Financial Aid

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

So you’ve decided to go to school in Hawaii. Hawaii is the newest state added to the union, but that does not mean students will go without support. Students planning to earn their post-secondary degree in Hawaii have the choice of attending one of the 10 University of Hawaii campuses or one of four private universities (Brigham Young University at Hawaii, Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii Pacific University, and University of the Nations). Hawaii students may be eligible to receive financial aid in the form of grants, loans, and scholarships.

Where to Look for Hawaii Scholarships and Financial Aid

If you are searching for Hawaii scholarships and financial aid, here are the best places to look:

  • U.S. government
  • Hawaii government
  • Hawaii universities and colleges
  • Individuals and organizations in Hawaii

Federal Financial Aid for Hawaii Students

Federal financial aid programs are offered to U.S. citizens and legal residents who have financial need. To see if you qualify, submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is usually due on June 30 the year you need the aid, but students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. FAFSA applications open January 1 the year before. Hawaii universities and colleges may also have their own FAFSA priority deadline, so check with your financial aid/scholarship office to make sure you turn your application in on time.

After you submit your FAFSA, the government will calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and it will be sent to your school in a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR). Your school’s financial aid/scholarship office will decide how much money you need. Hawaii financial aid packages may include federal grants and loans. Federal grants do not need to be paid back, but loans do. If you are offered loans, you may take out the full amount, a partial amount, or none at all. Federal loans have low interest rates and may offer deferment possibilities. For more information on federal grants and student loans, see the Guide to Federal Grants and Guide to Student Loans.

Hawaii State Financial Aid Programs

All Hawaii state scholarships are offered through the University of Hawai’i System. Your Hawaii financial aid package may include some of these scholarships:

The State of Hawaii B Plus Scholarship
High school seniors with a 3.0 GPA or higher are eligible for this award. Submit a FAFSA application to be considered.

Regents and Presidential Scholarship
Twenty Regent Scholarships are available to new freshmen students. Scholarship covers tuition and includes a $2,000 stipend a semester and a one-time $2,000 travel grant. Ten Presidential Scholarships are available to new junior students. Juniors receive the same award amounts. Students must have high academic achievement and be attending one of the University of Hawaii campuses. Deadline is February 1.

Centennial Scholars Program
Hawaii high school seniors are eligible to apply for this $1,000 per year scholarship. Applicants must have a 3.8 GPA or a minimum SAT score of 1800 (or a 27 on the ACT). No application is required. Students are automatically considered upon admission.

Second Century Scholarship
Native Hawaiian students with financial need are eligible to receive this need-based scholarship. No application is necessary. Students attending a school in the University of Hawaii system need only follow all financial aid procedures in order to receive this scholarship.

Hawaii Scholarships Provided by Universities and Colleges

Hawaii universities and colleges provide scholarships to students with high academic achievement, financial need, special abilities, academic interests, and many other qualities. The University of Hawaii at Manoa, for example, offers the Chancellor’s Scholarship to incoming freshman students with high academic achievement. Another example is the Pacific Islander Achievement Grant offered by the University of Hawaii—Maui Community College to Pacific Islander students from outside Hawaii.

The University of Hawaii Foundation offers many scholarships to students. For example, food science and nutrition students attending Kapiolani Community College are eligible to receive the Katherine B. Gruelle Scholarship in Food Science and Human Nutrition.

Some Hawaii merit-based scholarships are administered by the admissions offices at each campus. All you need to do is submit your application of admission on time, and you will automatically be considered. Other scholarships, such as those offered by the University of Hawaii Foundation or offered through specific university or college departments, may require a separate application. For example, the University of Hawaii—Hawaii Community College requires students to apply online to be considered for scholarships. Wayland Baptist University, a private school, requires a personal letter of request and a university application. Check with your school for specific application requirements.

Other Hawaii Scholarships

Hawaii individuals and organizations offer scholarships to students. Here’s a list of available Hawaii scholarships:

Hawaiian Homes Commission Scholarships Program
One year scholarships are available to students of Hawaiian ancestry. Applicants must be full-time students at a degree-granting post-secondary institution. Applications are available January 1 and due March 1. Call (808)-537-6333 or send an email to scholarships@hcf-hawaii.org for more information.

Mason Contractors Association of Hawaii Scholarship
Four $1,500 scholarships are available to students who have at least one parent who is a Hawaii resident. Students must have graduated from a Hawaii high school and be attending a 2- or 4-year post-secondary institute in Hawaii or the contiguous U.S. Call (808) 841-6433 for more information.

Hawaii Pacific Health—Wilcox Health Scholarships
The Samuel R. Wallis Scholarship is offered to University of Hawaii medical students, and the Mabel I. Wilcox Scholarship is offered to nursing students at community colleges. For more information, please contact the Wilcox Health Foundation at (808) 245-1198.

Pacific and Asian Affairs Council (PAAC) Scholarships
Academic scholarships from $300 to $1,000 and travel scholarships are available to students who were involved in PAAC. For more information, contact the council at paac@paachawaii.org.

Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) Scholarships
HSMA is committed to the promoting awareness of issues in Maui’s travel industry. They offer scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 to high achieving students who have contributed to their community. Students must submit an essay. Additional $250 awards are given to students who may not be chosen to receive the main scholarships. Please see the website for current contact information.

Hawaii Community Foundation Scholarships
The Hawaii Community Foundation awards more than 150 scholarships, created by individuals, businesses, and organizations in Hawaii. Students looking to pursue scholarships from the Hawaii Community Foundation need to submit their FAFSA by February and meet the March application deadline for most scholarships. For more on individual scholarships, click here.

Edith Kanaka’ole Foundation Scholarship
This scholarship in memory of Edith Kanaka’ole, a scholar and community leader, offers supplemental financial assistance to students who are of Hawaii ancestry. Students must be attending a school on the Hawaii Island and maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher while they are in school. Request an application from Edith Kanaka’ole Foundation, Higher Education Scholarship, 1500 Kalaniana’ole Ave., Hilo, Hawai‘i 96720-4914. Applications are available in April.

Ke Ali’i Pauahi Foundation (KAPF) Scholarships
KAPF’s mission is to continue supporting students of Hawaiian ancestry in achieving post-secondary education goals. To be eligible for scholarships, students must be pursuing a degree at a 2- or 4-year university. Click here for the online application. Applications are available February 15 and due April 1.

Liko A’e Scholarships
Liko A’e is a program funded by the U.S. Department of education to support the post-secondary attainment of native Hawaii students. Qualified students must show financial need by submitting a FAFSA and be enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution. Apply here.

The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program of Papa Ola Lokahi
This scholarship covers tuition, fees, and books for a full-time student studying a field related to health. An addition stipend is given each month. Each year of funding from this scholarship requires a year of service in an underserved area of Hawaii. Click here for an application.

Prince Kuhio Hawaiian Civic Club Scholarship Program
Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole supported the enhancement of native Hawaiians through education. Scholarships of $500 to $1,000 are offered to Native Hawaiians pursuing a post-secondary education at an accredited university or college. Click here for an application. The deadline is usually in April.

Three Things to Remember About Hawaii Financial Aid and Scholarships

  • Students who are from out of state or who are not native Hawaiians may have a slight disadvantage at finding outside scholarships in Hawaii. That does not mean there are no scholarships for these students. Most federal financial aid and university and college scholarships are usually available to these students.
  • The University of Hawaii System offers hundreds of scholarships through the University of Hawaii Foundation. Check out their site and make sure you are aware of scholarships for which you may be eligible.
  • If you are a native Hawaiian student or have native Hawaiian ancestry, you may be eligible to apply for many scholarships from individuals and organizations in Hawaii. See the list above or do your own search for local organizations that offer scholarships to native Hawaiians.

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