Accredited Schools & Colleges in Hawaii

Hawaii College Guide – What You Need to Know

Best Colleges & Universities in Hawaii

Hawaii is a one of the smaller states in the U.S., but that doesn't mean it is lacking in education. In fact, it is home to a robust state university system, a healthy community college system, and several private colleges. In fact, the small size of the state has the direct result of yielding smaller colleges and universities. While you can still graduate with a top-notch education from a wide range of degree programs, your class sizes will be smaller, and your relationships with your fellow students far more intimate.

If, however, you wish to travel off the island for college, you can study at a public university for in-state tuition, thanks to the Western Undergraduate Exchange program. Thus, you can attend college in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and many other schools that are part of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. The converse applies, in case you live in an applicable state and wish to study in Hawaii.

What are the most popular bachelor's degrees offered in Hawaii?

Students in Hawaii wish to pursue the same sorts of professions as students in the rest of the U.S. They have dreams of succeeding in business, becoming healthcare providers, or running a hospital. Hawaiians might put their own particular spin on how those careers manifest. For instance, many who pursue business might find themselves in the hotel/resort industry or some part of the state’s flourishing tourism trade. Engineers might work more with maritime issues than their counterparts, and accountants might do taxes for more suntanned surf-shop owners than the average CPA.

Top Majors in Hawaii:

How Much Can You Make by Having a Degree in Hawaii

$27,040* $37,024* $43,472* $60,996* $72,852* $90,636*

Cost of Hawaii College Education & Salaries

Education is a costly proposition. In fact, the vast majority of students must take out some sort of loan in order to complete their degrees in a timely fashion. While there are programs that help you work off your loan obligation by working in either the nonprofit or public sector, most will enter private businesses and thus need to start paying back their loans approximately six months after graduation.

When you start looking for colleges and universities for your bachelor's degree, try to remain in-state. However, if you find that the programs in Hawaii don't provide what you need, you should look to other states. When you look to the mainland, try to focus on public schools in the WICHE region that offer in-state tuition to students from other member states. For instance, you can attend college in California, Oregon, Washington, or Arizona for their standard in-state fees. Other states are part of the program, too.

There are other ways to reduce or contain costs, such as attending community colleges for your core courses, applying for scholarships or grants, and finding employers who provide tuition assistance. If you choose a community college, you might be able to graduate with an associate's degree in your chosen field that will allow you to work and gain experience while you complete a bachelor's degree. If you study accounting, for instance, you might be able to work part-time as a bookkeeper while completing an accounting or business degree.

Ultimately, your education will likely be costly but it is always worth it to pursue your dreams. Not only will you find personal fulfillment in your career, you will find that your salary more than makes up for any short-term financial sacrifices you must make. Any degree is a worthwhile investment in yourself and your future.

College Cost Analysis - Hawaii vs National

Average Hawaii Tuition & Fees at 4 Year Public Schools

In-State Tuition - $10,800

National – $10,000

Out-of-State – $20,772

National out-of-state – $25,600

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid – 63%

Financial Aid Received Federal Grants Average $ per Recipient
Hawaii 40% $12,602
Nationally 37.7% $10,927

Institutional aid represents grant and scholarship funds directly awarded by a post-secondary institution.
* Financial aid data represents 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Hawaii College Tuition Costs Vs Salary Potential

Helping You Maximize Your Education Earnings

Hawaii Colleges Tuition & Fees In State Tuition & Fees Out Of State Books & Supplies Room & Board Campus Room & Board Off Campus Graduation Rate Undergrads Median Salary
Hawaii Pacific University $24,550 $24,550 $1,200 $14,204 $17,616 45% $49,900
University of Phoenix - Hawaii $9,900 $9,900 $1,120 n/a $5,570 24% $47,100
University of Hawaii - Manoa $11,754 $33,786 $1,012 $13,673 $13,673 58% $45,800
Brigham Young University - Hawaii $5,400 $5,400 $1,300 $6,310 $6,000 53% $42,200
Argosy University - Hawaii $13,438 $13,438 $1,500 n/a $6,328 n/a $41,400
University of Hawaii – West Oahu $7,440 $20,400 $1,012 n/a $14,662 23% $38,600
Chaminade University of Honolulu $24,514 $24,514 $24,514 $13,100 $12,777 52% $38,400
University of Hawaii - Hilo $7,648 $20,608 $1,000 $11,064 $14,662 37% $37,900
University of Hawaii – Maui College $3,158 $8,294 $1,000 n/a $14,662 13% $29,900
Pacific Rim Christian University $10,460 $10,460 $850 $9,806 $10,000 43% $29,500

**Salary after attending is a median salary, your degree and field can affect your median salary.

Best Scholarships for Hawaii

  • NHSA
  • UHS
  • HSFS
  • TTS


Native Hawaiian Scholarship ʻAha

Amount: Varies
Deadline: March 1
If you are a native Hawaiian and are headed to a school in the University of Hawaii system, there are approximately 200 scholarships available to outstanding students. To qualify, you must demonstrate financial need, have a minimum GPA of 2.0 if you are studying for a bachelor's degree and 3.0 if you are working towards a graduate degree. The scholarship committee gives priority to students studying STEM subjects, who are non-traditional students, first-generation college students, and to education majors – especially if you intend to teach a STEM subject.



University of Hawaii Scholarships

Amount: Various
Deadline: March 1
There are a number of scholarships available to University of Hawaii students, including campus-specific scholarships, community college scholarships, system-wide scholarships, and five scholarships for the University Hawaii at Manoa. You can apply to them all with a single online application form.



Hawaii Softball Foundation Scholarship

Amount: $1,000 (Up to 6 Awards)
Deadline: May 4
If you are a high school softball player, this is the scholarship for you. The Softball Foundation awards up to six $1,000 scholarships to student-athletes, and this number may indeed rise in the future. Soon, they may be able to help a whole team pay for books and tuition.



Horatio Alger State Scholarship Program

Amount: $10,000
Deadline: August 1, October 25
This scholarship program is intended to help students who have overcome particular difficulty and obstacles in their youth. To help them achieve success and realize their dreams, the foundation awards $10,000 annual awards to qualifying students. To qualify, you must demonstrate financial need, be enrolled as a high school senior, display integrity and perseverance, maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better, and demonstrate your strong desire to achieve a bachelor's degree.



The Takitani Scholarship

Amount: $2,000 (+ an additional $3,000 Award for the top applicants)
Deadline: Various (many deadlines, check website for details)
If you are a high school senior with plans to attend college, this is a relatively easy scholarship to apply for. You’ll need to turn an application into your college counselor and be designated as your school’s selection for the award.


UH Tuition Waivers for Native Hawaiian Students

Amount: The cost of up to 15 Credits
Deadline: N/A
If you are a native Hawaiian headed to the University of Hawaii – Maui College, you may qualify for tuition waivers. To apply, you must fill out a FAFSA form to demonstrate financial need and be enrolled in UH-Maui for half-time or greater. The fund can waive up to 15 credits per semester of lower division tuition at UH-Maui.