The University of Hawaii is hoping to expand a successful scholarship program, already available to eligible community college students, to the system’s four-year campuses.
UH has requested from the state Legislature funds to expand the Hawaii Promise program to qualified students attending four-year campuses at Hilo, Manoa and West Oahu, which will cost $17.7 million annually.
According to an annual report on the Hawaii Promise scholarship program provided to lawmakers in December, the state Legislature in 2017 appropriated $1.8 million to the community colleges for the initiative, which provides “last dollar” scholarships to help qualified students enrolled at any community college campus in the UH system cover unmet education costs like tuition, books, supplies, fees and local transportation.
In 2018, another $700,000 was provided for the 2018-19 fiscal year to provide additional financial assistance to community college students, and the act was later codified as part of state statutes.
During the 2019 legislative session, an additional $700,000 was appropriated for fiscal years 2019-20 and 2020-2021.
The proposed four-year program, however, will only be available to students eligible for federal Pell grants and will only cover tuition and fees.
UH awarded more than $1.6 million in scholarship money for the 2018-19 academic year, helping 1,378 eligible community college students.
Scholarship recipients received an average scholarship of $1,190.
There were 75 recipients who received a total of $96,404 in scholarships at Hawaii Community College.