Getting into college is a dream for many, but the cost of tuition can be daunting. Fortunately, there are several grants and scholarships available to help students pay for college without graduating with a mountain of debt. The Pell Grant is a federal grant with state matching funds that is open to Hawaiian residents with exceptional financial need and enrolled at least part-time (usually 6 credit hours). This grant can be found on www.grants.gov.
The Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) is another grant intended to protect low-income students' access to higher education. To qualify, students must prove their financial need on the FAFSA and be residents of Hawaii. More information about the grant can be found at www.hawaii.edu. Scholarships, on the other hand, are gifts that are awarded to students based on merit, need, recommendation, and other factors. There are several scholarships available for Hawaiian students, some of which must be used at a college or university in Hawaii, while others can be used at any post-secondary institution in the United States.
The Gates Program selects 1,000 students from around the country to receive a full scholarship “valid until graduation” for use at the college or university of their choice. Students will also be mentored by leadership guidance from the Gates Foundation during their college education. The Native Hawaiian Education Program offers scholarships for native Hawaiians who wish to pursue post-secondary studies. The GEARUP Fellowship Scholarship helps GEARUP fellows pay for college and can be used for any educational expenses, including books, housing, and meal plans. It is renewable for up to four years. ABC stores offer two scholarships: the ABC Stores Jumpstart School Scholarship and the ABC Stores Vocational Education Scholarship (VoEd).
The first is available to any employee or employee dependent on ABC or Island Gourmet Company Markets stores and who is a resident of Hawaii. The second is open to students enrolled in AS or AAS career or technology programs within the University of Hawaii community college system. The Hawaii Community Foundation scholarship program consists of more than 170 different funds, each with specific eligibility criteria defined by the donor when the fund was established. Most scholarships require students to be residents of the state of Hawaii, plan to attend an accredited college or university for two or four years as undergraduate students, or have Filipino ancestry. The Fukunaga Scholarships Foundation are awarded to encourage high school students from the state of Hawaii who intend to pursue a career in business to pursue higher education at any accredited four-year college or university. College students who meet the requirements are also eligible to apply. The American Hydraulic Works Association awards the Hawaii Section One AWWA Operator Scholarship to two Hawaii-based hydraulic works operators to support them in their education.
The AFCEA Hawaii Education Foundation (AHEF), which stands for Communications and Electronics Association of the Hawaii Armed Forces, is another nonprofit organization that offers merit-based scholarships in honor of Hawaiian leaders in the armed forces. With so many scholarship options available, Hawaii is a great place for students to get the right funding to access higher education. All of these funding sources can help students achieve their educational goals with the support they need.