Hawaii Promise benefits 101 HCC students

A reported 101 additional Hawaii Community College students will attend school for free this fall under the newly established Hawaii Promise scholarship program.

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A reported 101 additional Hawaii Community College students will attend school for free this fall under the newly established Hawaii Promise scholarship program.

The program was established at the 2017 Legislature and awards state aid to qualifying, low-income community college students to pay for tuition, fees, books, supplies and transportation costs not already covered by federal grants, other state aid and private scholarships.

The 101 students will collectively receive $178,099.

They’re among about 1,000 community college students statewide — about 4 percent of all UH community college students — receiving an estimated $1.4 million in aid through Hawaii Promise, according to a University of Hawaii news release.

That aid averages $1,416 per student.

HCC Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas previously said the Hawaii Promise program will be a game-changer at the community college, where 64 percent of its roughly 2,900 students qualify for the Federal Pell Grant program — higher than anywhere else in the state. Pell grants are awarded to economically disadvantaged students.

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Around 116 HCC students had some amount of unmet need in the 2015-16 school year, averaging $368 per student. Statewide, unmet need averaged $295 per student.

Email Kirsten Johnson at kjohnson@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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