Receive College Money as a Student in Hawaii

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Students in Hawaii may be surrounded by white sand beaches and the crystal blue waters of the pacific ocean, but when it comes time to plan for college they face the same financial hurdles as their mainland brothers and sisters. For many Hawaiian students, the rising cost of tuition makes pursuing a college education prohibitive.

Fortunately, there are a wide range of scholarship opportunities dedicated to the financial needs of college-bound Hawaiians who are struggling to meet the costs of their post-secondary education. These programs are predominantly sponsored by the state university system, as well as by other state-based charitable foundations.Hawaii financial aid


Before applying for any financial aid for college, Hawaiian students must first fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid . The FAFSA is required by both state and independent scholarship and grant sponsors, and is used to determine a student’s eligibility for financial assistance. Once they have submitted their FAFSA, students will receive their Student Aid Report, or SAR, which will outline their expected family contribution as well as the levels of financial aid for which they have qualified. College-bound students, regardless of state of residence, should make the FAFSA their first priority when searching for financial aid for college.

Scholarships and Grants from the University of Hawai’i System

Hawaii’s state university system consists of ten colleges, and more than a dozen community colleges and research centers, located throughout the island chain. These institutions are governed by the University of Hawai’i System. The UHS regulates all aspects of Hawaii’s state-based post-secondary institutions, including administering a variety of scholarships and grants for resident students attending any one of the state’s public colleges or universities.

The following financial aid programs are administered by the University of Hawai’i System for resident students attending a state run college, university, or community college. Students may apply for any of the following scholarships and grants through their school’s offices of financial aid.

  • The Regents Scholarship is a merit-based award available to first-year college students with an outstanding academic history. Eligible students must have a combined SAT score of 1950, and must have a minimum GPA of 3.5. This is a full tuition scholarship, and recipients will also be given a $2000 stipend per semester plus a one-time $2000 travel grant. Twenty Regents Scholarships are awarded each year.
  • The Presidential Scholarship is a merit-based award available to incoming juniors enrolled in a baccalaureate program at any campus of the University of Hawaii. Eligibility requirements are similar to those for the Regents Scholarship. Ten full tuition scholarships are awarded each year. Recipients of the Presidential Scholarship will also receive a stipend of $2000 per semester plus a $2000 travel grant.
  • The Centennial Scholars Program was designed to support Hawaii’s best and brightest students by providing a $1000 annual scholarship ($500 per semester) to qualified applicants. To be eligible, students must be residents of the state who have graduated from an Hawaii high school no earlier than May 2007. Applicants must also have a minimum 3.8 GPA, and a combined SAT score of no less than 1800. The award is renewable for up to 8 semesters.
  • The Second Century Scholarship is a need-based award available to Native Hawaiian students who can demonstrate the requisite level of financial need. The scholarship is available to all Native Hawaiians attending any University of Hawai’i System institution. Award amounts vary, and are determined by the applicant’s financial need and the availability of funds.
  • The State of Hawai’i B Plus Scholarship is open to state residents who are recent graduates of an Hawaii public high school. Eligible students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and must be preparing to enroll in a state college or university. This is a need-based award, and final determination will be based on the students financial status.
  • The University of Hawai’i Manoa Chancellor’s Scholarship is available to full-time first year freshman enrolled at the University of Hawaii’s Manoa campus. Eligible students must have a minimum high school GPA of 3.5, and must have a minimum combined SAT score of 1600. Students must submit their high school transcripts, and two letters of recommendation, to be considered for the scholarship. The annual award is $10,000 ($5,000 per semester).
  • The University of Hawai’i Hilo Chancellor’s Scholarship is awarded to qualified incoming freshman students enrolled at the University of Hawaii’s Hilo campus. Students must have a minimum 3.5 GPA, and a combined SAT score of 1800 or better. This is a full tuition scholarship, and recipients will be expected to remain enrolled full time and to maintain a minimum 3.25 GPA. Fifteen scholarships are awarded each year.

These are just a few of the many scholarship and grant opportunities open to resident college-bound students of the great state of Hawaii. A great number of independently funded financial aid opportunities are also available for Hawaiian students looking to fund their college education. The Hawai’i Community Foundation and the University of Hawai’i Foundation provide scholarship searches for resident students looking for financial assistance to help them meet the rising costs of their college tuition. Hawaiian students are encouraged to use these resources to find further scholarship and grant opportunities for which they may be eligible.


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