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    Top Colleges in Hawaii

    Written by Gabriel Jimenez-Ekman

    Gabriel Jimenez-Ekman is a content editor and writer at Scholarships360. He has managed communications and written content for a diverse array of organizations, including a farmer’s market, a concert venue, a student farm, an environmental NGO, and a PR agency. Gabriel graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in sociology.

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    Updated: May 7th, 2024

    Beautiful beaches and pristine waters are only a couple of many reasons to go to school in Hawaii. The state is home to a strong public university system with locations in Honolulu and Hilo. Compare the top Hawaii colleges below by price, size, graduation rate, acceptance rate, and more:

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    6 colleges
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    Top College Top College
    Top College Top College: Affordability

    Brigham Young University-Hawaii

    Laie, HI • Private, Non-Profit, Town

    Laie, HI

    Private, Non-Profit, Town

    88% acceptance rate
    2,861 undergraduate students
    71% graduation rate
    $14,904 average per year after aid
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    University of Hawaii at Manoa

    Honolulu, HI • Public, City

    Honolulu, HI

    Public, City

    70% acceptance rate
    13,839 undergraduate students
    59% graduation rate
    $13,430 average per year after aid
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    Chaminade University of Honolulu

    Honolulu, HI • Private, Non-Profit, City

    Honolulu, HI

    Private, Non-Profit, City

    90% acceptance rate
    1,536 undergraduate students
    66% graduation rate
    $27,021 average per year after aid
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    University of Hawaii at Hilo

    Hilo, HI • Public, Town

    Hilo, HI

    Public, Town

    92% acceptance rate
    2,630 undergraduate students
    43% graduation rate
    $13,259 average per year after aid
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    University of Hawaii-West Oahu

    Kapolei, HI • Public, Suburb

    Kapolei, HI

    Public, Suburb

    95% acceptance rate
    2,651 undergraduate students
    37% graduation rate
    $12,423 average per year after aid
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    Hawaii Pacific University

    Honolulu, HI • Private, Non-Profit, City

    Honolulu, HI

    Private, Non-Profit, City

    85% acceptance rate
    2,726 undergraduate students
    42% graduation rate
    $27,434 average per year after aid
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    About the Data

    We sort colleges on our lists according to their Scholarships360 Top Colleges Index Score. This score is calculated using up-to-date information taken directly from the College Scorecard. Additional information is sourced from the colleges themselves, as well as other publicly available information. If you see an error, feel free to contact us.

    State grants in Hawaii

    Hawai’i Promise Scholarship

    The Hawai’i Promise Scholarship is a need-based scholarship for students in the University of Hawaii (UH) Community College, who are at least at a half-time status. This is a “last dollar” scholarship, so funds will be allocated based on other grants and scholarships received as well. Some students may be eligible to have their entire tuition, including fees and supplies, covered by Hawai’i Promise.

    Hawai’i B Plus Scholarship

    The Hawai’i B Plus Scholarship allows Hawaii residents to receive funding for a UH system school based on both their high school performance and financial need. Students who maintain a good academic standing with their institution are able to renew their scholarship each academic year. 

    Hawaii tuition reciprocity agreements

    Hawaii is a part of the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), which means that students have the opportunity to pay discounted tuition by attending participating institutions in partner states. 

    States in the WUE are listed below:

    Other college lists to explore

    Second Century Scholars

    Second Century Scholars is a program for Native Hawaiian students based on financial need, as determined by FAFSA. It is available across the entire University of Hawaii (UH) system. In order to be eligible, you may need to provide certain documents, so make sure to check your status within UH’s financial aid portal. 

    Frequently asked questions about colleges in Hawaii

    What is the hardest college in Hawaii to get into?

    The college with the lowest acceptance rate in Hawaii is the University of Manoa with only 70% of students being admitted. Many schools have similar ranges of scores and numbers for students who are admitted, yet have wildly different admission rates, so don’t let lower acceptance rates stop you from applying.

    Does Hawaii have tuition reciprocity?

     Yes! Hawaii is a part of the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE). States in the WUE are able to receive tuition discounts when going out of state in other WUE states.

    Why should I study in Hawaii?

    Well, for starters, many people consider Hawaii to be paradise, with its gorgeous beaches and tropical rainforests and majestic mountains. For any surfers out there, Hawaii is considered one of the best places in the world to catch a wave. But beyond this, going to school in Hawaii presents opportunities to study its tropical wildlife and marine sciences. You also have the unique opportunity to learn about native Hawaiian culture and history.

     

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