The Best Scholarships in Hawaii

​Heading off to college is a big transition The world you know is replaced with both the familiar and unfamiliar. New opportunities are everywhere. And any financial boost you can give yourself will help ease that transition, while opening up even newer, grander opportunities.

​Scholarships allow you to take whatever hard/diverse/interesting work you did in High School, and turn that effort into cold hard cash. Or housing. Or books. Or any number of new considerations you might find yourself faced with.

This list will cover a variety of scholarship opportunities in Hawaii, with all the information you need to pursue them. While the number of options can feel overwhelming, each one represents a chance to spend your time in college worrying less about money, and more about your own personal and professional development.​

1. Hawaii Community Foundation Scholarships

Amount : Varies 

Minimum GPA: 2.7

Application Deadline: Varies 

Recently ranked as the third largest private scholarship fund, with over $4.5 million given in 2014 alone, the HCF offers a range of scholarships which reflect the interests and values of an array of donors. Residents who are full-time students are expected to demonstrate good moral character and financial need to be considered for any of the awards. Individual criteria are defined by the donors to each particular fund, detailed in some of these entries, and it's a good place to start looking for a college scholarship that fits your trajectory.

You can learn more about the ​Hawaii Community Foundation Scholarships here

2. Aiea General Hospital Association Scholarship

Amount: Around $1,000 annually, yearly reapplication required

Minimum GPA: 2.7

Application Deadline: February 18th ​

After shutting down in 1983, Aiea General Hospital's board of directors established a trust in 1985 as a way to give back to the community which supported it. This scholarship is open to residents of Leeward Oahu ZIP codes (96701, 96706, 96707, 96782, 96792, 96797) who are full-time undergraduates in a health-related field. 26 awards are offered each year, and students are expected to demonstrate academic and personal achievement.

You can learn more about the ​Aiea General Hospital Association Scholarship here

3. Office of Hawaiian Affairs Higher Education Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Minimum GPA: 2.0 for undergrads, 3.0 for graduate students

Application Deadline: March 1st

OHA's goal is to provide help to Native Hawaiian students enrolled full or part-time at accredited two and four-year colleges. Open to students with verified Native Hawaiian ancestry, this is one of two scholarships that award over $500k annually. For residents of Hawaii and the continental United States, applicants must be classified as an undergraduate or graduate student to be considered.

You can learn more about the ​Office of Hawaiian Affairs Higher Education Scholarship here

4. NIADA Foundation Regional Scholarships

​Amount: $3,500

Minimum GPA: Undefined, SAT and ACT scores are given weight

Application Deadline: March 18th

The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association hands out four awards each year to applicants from four major regions (Hawaii is Region IV.) It's only open to high school seniors, and the field is competitively large, with an emphasis on educational excellence. The scholarship can apply to the college or university of the student's choosing, and applicants are expected to present evidence of academic excellence across their high school transcript, as well as their scores on the SAT or ACT.

You can learn more about the NIADA Foundation Regional Scholarships here

5. R.W. "Bob" Holden Scholarship

​Amount: $1,000

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Application Deadline: July 1st​

Started as a tribute to Bob Holden's hotel experience by the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association, this fund seeks to invest in those pursuing careers in the hotel industry, while supporting the continued educational efforts of the industry at large. This award is restricted to Hawaiian residents in their junior or senior years at an accredited university, majoring in Hospitality Management and/or Travel/Tourism.

You can learn more about the ​R.W. "Bob" Holden Scholarship here

6. Hawai'i Pacific University James Vaughan Award for Poetry

​Amount: $250 Annually, non-renewable

Minimum GPA: NA

Application Deadline: December 30th

The Hawai'i Pacific University awards one scholarship each year to students with a drive to create unique pieces of writing, rather than simply focusing on the classics. While the award may seem small, specialized scholarships like this can allow your extra-curricular passions to support your larger goals. Interested students must be a high school senior at the time of application. Applicants must send three poems with a 100-line limit each along with a five-line biography. Poems must be written in English, typed, and be the wholly original work of the applicant.

You can learn more about the ​Hawai'i Pacific University James Vaughan Award for Poetry here

7. Marion Maccarrell Scott Scholarship

​Amount: $1,384 annually, non-renewable, students free to reapply

Minimum GPA: 2.8

Application Deadline: February 18th​

The Hawai'i Community Foundation delivers approximately 331 awards annually to high school seniors and older who are committed to full-time undergraduate and graduate studies. You must have graduated a public high school in Hawaii, but the scholarship can apply to any U.S. college or university. All applicants must demonstrate financial need and excellent character.

You can learn more about the ​Marion Maccarrell Scott Scholarship here

8. Mitsuo Shito Public Housing Scholarship

​Amount: $500 annually, non-renewable, open to reapply

Minimum GPA: 2.7

Application Deadline: February 18th

Established in 1997 by The Friends of Hawai'i's Public Housing as a way of supporting and encouraging those in public housing units specifically. Six awards are given out each year to public housing residents planning full-time education at two or four-year colleges. Proof of financial need and good moral standing are required.

You can learn more about the ​Mitsuo Shito Public Housing Scholarship here

9. Duck Brand Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest

Amount: $10,000

Minimum GPA: NA

Application Deadline: May 31st

For those students who may excel at crafts more than curriculum, the Henkai Corporation awards ten scholarships each year to any students who submit a picture of prom attire made completely of duct tape. One color photograph is the only qualification required, though crafting the outfit will present plenty of challenge on its own.

You can learn more about the ​Duck Brand Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest here

10. Hawaii Education Association Student Teacher Scholarship

Amount: $3,000

Minimum GPA: Undefined

Application Deadline: April 1st

A scholarship for members of the HEA, as well as the children and grandchildren of members (must be in good standing for at least one year). Intended to ease the financial burden during student-teacher semesters, applicants must be student teachers in full-time undergrad or post-grad programs. Proof of financial need is required.

You can learn more about the ​Hawaii Education Association Student Teacher Scholarship here

11. Henry & Joyce W. Sumid Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Application Deadline: April 30th

Created to help students in pursuit of theater arts who are in financial need. Applicants will need a 500-word essay as well as some evidence of their efforts in the field. Actors, Directors, Designers, Technicians, and Playwrights are all welcome to apply (with particular requirements for each).

You can learn more about the ​Henry & Joyce W. Sumid Scholarship here

12. Korean University Club Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Minimum GPA: 2.7

Application Deadline: February 18th

The Korean University Club of Hawaii has been providing academic assistance to students of Korean descent for over 65 years. Full-time students who can demonstrate financial need, as well as heritage, are encouraged to apply. The KUCH prides itself on community outreach and cultural preservation, so an engagement with community service is particularly important for applicants. 

You can learn more about the ​Korean University Club Scholarship here

13. Lloyd M. Fujie Scholarship for Accounting Major Students

Amount: $2,500

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Application Deadline: March 18th

This scholarship is open to full-time undergraduate freshmen who have graduated from a public high school in Hawai'i. Final awards are determined at the time of admission, with heavy weight given to academic abilities. A combined SAT score of 1500 is recommended, and applicants must intend to pursue a major in Accounting.

You can learn more about the ​Lloyd M. Fujie Scholarship for Accounting Major Students here

14. Kawasaki-McGaha Scholarship

Amount: $1,166 annually, non-renewable, open to reapply

Minimum GPA: 2.7

Application Deadline: February 18th​

Established in 1995, this scholarship is for current and future students of Hawai'i Pacific University. They must major in computer science or international studies, and need to demonstrate financial need and a solid moral foundation. Full-time students only.

You can learn more about the ​Kawasaki-McGaha Scholarship here

15. Fukunaga Scholarship Foundation

Amount: $16,000

Minimum GPA: Undefined

Application Deadline: February 19th

With ten new recipients per year, this four-year scholarship of $4,000 annually can provide a massive boost to financial aid. Residents of Hawaii who are full-time students pursuing a degree in Business Administration or related fields at four-year universities are eligible. However, maintaining the full amount over four years will depend heavily on continued academic performance.

You can learn more about the ​Fukunaga Scholarship Foundation here

16. MGMA Western Section Scholarships

Amount: $2,500

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Application Deadline: May 1st

A range of scholarships are available to members of the Medical Group Management Association enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs, in fields related to medical practice management. The MGMA sponsors scholarships for administration, management, and in particular, students actively working in the medical field while pursuing their education. 

You can learn more about the ​MGMA Western Section Scholarships here

17. Margaret Jones Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund

Amount: $888 annually, non-renewable, open to reapply

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Application Deadline: February 18th

Getting its start all the way back in 1917, the proceeds from a benefit concert for the Hawai'i Nurses Club (now the Hawai'i Nurses Association), were directed towards a fund to help nurses pursue their educational goals. Today, this award goes to residents of Hawaii who are enrolled full-time in a B.S.N. or M.S.N. nursing program at UH-Manoa, UH-Hilo, or Hawai'i Pacific University (as well as any U.S. Ph.D program). Preference is given to members of the Hawai'i Nurses Association.

You can learn more about the ​Margaret Jones Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund here

18. Honolulu Community College Hawaiian Tuition Waiver

Amount: Up to cost of full-time (15 credits) tuition

Minimum GPA: Undefined

Application Deadline: TBA

Designed for those with full or partial Hawaiian ancestry, this waiver was established to support the increasing numbers of Native Hawaiians seeking higher education. Open to those with any verified Native Hawaiian ancestry. Applicants must have been accepted into a degree-seeking program at HCC as full or part-time students, and must demonstrate financial need through FAFSA.

You can learn more about the Honolulu Community College Hawaiian Tuition Waiver here. ​

19. Dr. Hans & Clara Zimmerman Foundation Education Scholarship

Amount: $2,825 annually, non-renewable, open to reapply

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Application Deadline: February 18th

Dr. Hans Zimmerman spent his life encouraging many to pursue education in the fields of health, and in his death this effort continues. One of the largest scholarship funds in Hawaii, 28 awards are offered annually to full-time students pursuing a major in education. Preference is given to applicants of native heritage, or students from neighboring islands who plan to teach in Hawaii.

You can learn more about the ​Dr. Hans & Clara Zimmerman Foundation Education Scholarship here

20. OHA Native Hawaiian Science & Engineering Mentorship Program Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Minimum GPA: Undefined

Application Deadline: TBA

Providing scholarships and wrap-around services for full-time students with Hawaiian ancestry, this fund applies to any of the University of Hawai'i campuses. Preference is given to non-traditional, first-generation students pursuing degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Applicants should expect to demonstrate academic achievement, service to the school and community, and leadership ability.

You can learn more about the OHA Native Hawaiian Science & Engineering Mentorship Program Scholarship here

21. Filipino Nurses' Organization of Hawai'i Scholarship

Amount: $1,000 annually, non-renewable

Minimum GPA: 2.7

Application Deadline: February 18th

The Fillipino Nurses' Organization of Hawai'i initiated this scholarship in 2001. The fund is for full-time nursing majors who are residents of Hawaii and are of Filipino ancestry. Established in 2001 to support the Filipino community of Hawai'i, applicants are expected to demonstrate financial need and outstanding moral character.

You can learn more about the ​Filipino Nurses' Organization of Hawai'i Scholarship here

22. Fletcher and Fritzi Hoffmann Education Fund

Amount: $500 annually, non-renewable, open to reapply

Minimum GPA: 2.7

Application Deadline: February 18th

This fund was started by a pair of concerned citizens in order to benefit the families impacted by the shuttering of area sugar plantations. Open to long-time residents of the Hamakua Coast, preference is given to graduates of Honoka'a High School. Applicants must plan to attent a college or vocational school on the island of Hawai'i as a full-time student. As usual, financial need and good moral character are expected.

You can learn more about the ​Fletcher and Fritzi Hoffmann Education Fund here

23. George Mason Business Scholarship Fund

Amount: $1,000 annually, non-renewable, open to reapply

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Application Deadline: February 18th

Started in 2003 by Pacific Business News to support college seniors majoring in Business Administration at a four-year college in Hawaii. Applicants must be residents of Hawaii who are current, full-time seniors at a college or university in Hawaii majoring in business administration. Students are expected to demonstrate financial need and good character.

You can learn more about the ​George Mason Business Scholarship Fund here. 

24. E.E. Black Scholarship Fund

Amount: $1,642 annually, non-renewable, open to reapply

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Application Deadline: February 18th

The scholarship goes to dependents of employees of Hawaii Independent Energy as a tribute to the former chairman and president of the original company. Applicants must be a resident of Hawaii, a dependent of an employee at HIE or its subsidiaries, with proof of financial need and good moral standing.

You can learn more about the ​E.E. Black Scholarship Fund here 

25. Gerrit R. Ludwig Scholarship Fund

Amount: $14,750 annually, non-renewable, open to reapply

Minimum GPA: 2.5

Application Deadline: February 18th

This fund is exclusive to residents of Hawaii who are graduates of one of the following East Hawaii public schools: Hilo, Honoka'a, Kea'au, Laupohoehoe, Pahoa, or Wakiakea. Preference is given to those full-time students who are pursuing a degree in the fields of Fine Arts and Classics. Three awards are handed out annually.

You can learn more about the ​Gerrit R. Ludwig Scholarship Fund here

26. David L. Irons Memorial Scholarship Fund

Amount: $500 annually, non-renewable, open to reapply

Minimum GPA: 2.7

Application Deadline: February 18th

Applicants must be Hawaiians residents who are attending Punahou School in Honolulu. They must be high school seniors at the time of application who are planning to attend any accredited two or four-year program as a full-time student. Proof of financial need and moral character are expected. 

You can learn more about the ​David L. Irons Memorial Scholarship Fund here

27. Esther Kanagawa Memorial Art Scholarship 

Amount: $1,000 annually, non-renewable

Minimum GPA: 2.7

Application Deadline: February 18th

Open to residents of Hawaii who plan to attend full-time at a two or four-year university. Applicants must major in Fine Arts, particularly drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, or photography. Preference is given to those students who have entered works into local or national artistic competitions, or have comparable experience pursuing their artistic talents.

You can learn more about the ​Esther Kanagawa Memorial Art Scholarship here

28. Hawaii Chapter/David T. Woolsey Scholarship

Amount: $2,000 annually, non-renewable

Minimum GPA: Undefined

Application Deadline: February 15th

Open to those students studying landscape architecture at a LAAB-approved (Landscape Architecture Accrediting Board) institution. Applicants must be in their third, fourth, or fifth year of undergraduate or graduate study.

You can learn more about the ​Hawaii Chapter/David T. Woolsey Scholarship here

29. Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship

Amount: $1,000 annually, non-renewable

Minimum GPA: 2.8

Application Deadline: December 3rd

Paying for college is hard enough, might as well let Comcast pick up part of the tab! Open to high school seniors who are within reach of Comcast's services. With over 2,000 awards offered annually, the selection is based on academic success, evidence of leadership abilities, and a strong commitment to community service.

You can learn more about the ​Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship here

30. National Peace Essay Contest

Amount: Up to $10,000

Minimum GPA: Undefined

Application Deadline: March 15th

While hardly your standard scholarship, this competition represents a significant source of potential financial assistance for students who may excel at English while maintaining a rougher overall GPA. Results are determined entirely by the essays submitted. Specific judging criteria include: quality of research, analytical insight, and overall style and execution. Full details are found in the link below, and any students hopeful for the opportunity should study them carefully.

You can learn more about the​ National Peace Essay Contest here

31. Eizo & Toyo Sakumoto Trust Scholarship

Applicants for this scholarship must have been born in Hawai'i, be of Japanese ancestry, attend college in Hawai'i, and be a current graduate student. Dedicated to Toyo Sakumoto, born in 1904, it is intended to encourage and support the higher education of those with financial need and excellent personal character.

Amount: $1,500 annually, non-renewable, open to reapply

Minimum GPA: 3.5

Application Deadline: February 18th

You can learn more about the ​Eizo & Toyo Sakumoto Trust Scholarship here

32. Castle & Cooke Mililani Technology Park Scholarship Fund

Amount: $1,000 annually, non-renewable, open to reapply

Minimum GPA: 2.7

Application Deadline: February 18th

This fun was established during the building of Mililani Technology Park as a way of recognizing and encouraging exceptional students from Central O'ahu. Applicants must be a graduating senior of one of the following schools: Leilehua High School, Mililani High School, or Waialua High School. Residents of Hawaii who are planning to attend a two or four year university as full-time students must demonstrate financial need and good character. Preference is given to those students pursuing a major in high technology fields such as science or engineering. 

You can learn more about the ​Castle & Cooke Mililani Technology Park Scholarship Fund here

33. Hawai'i Veterans Memorial Scholarship Fund

Amount: $1,115 annually, non-renewable, open to reapply

Minimum GPA: 3.5

Application Deadline: February 18th

Open to college graduates or older, this scholarship is intended to support those pursuing even more education. Applicants need not be veterans or related to veterans to be accepted, with financial need, moral standing, and community outreach being primary criteria for the awards.

You can learn more about the ​Hawai'i Veterans Memorial Scholarship Fund here

34. HCF Community Scholarship Fund

Amount: $1,508 annually, non-renewable, open to reapply

Minimum GPA: 3.0 for initial award, 3.3-3.8 to maintain

Application Deadline: February 18th

Open to residents of Hawaii who are a first generation college student. Preference is given to college sophomores who have already demonstrated success in a full-time program. Criteria for acceptance include an emphasis on initiative, motivation, and outreach. Out of state schools are acceptable, with preference given to those who plan to direct future professional efforts within the community of Hawaii.

You can learn more about the ​HCF Community Scholarship Fund here

35. Cora Aguda Manayan Scholarship Fund

Amount: $1,000 annually, non-renewable, open to reapply

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Application Deadline: February 18th

Applicants must be residents of Hawai'i, with some preference given to those continuing their studies in-state. Funded by Dr. Cora Manayan, a well-known doctor and activist in Hawai'i who wants to emphasize dedicating oneself to the service of others. Students of Filipino ancestry who are majoring in a health-related field are welcome to apply. 

You can learn more about the ​Cora Aguda Manayan Scholarship Fund here