Applications now being accepted to help Hawaii residents pay for the rising cost of higher education.
The Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF) is offering more than 200 scholarship funds totaling more than $4.5 million for post-secondary students.
A single application, which must be submitted online, will match high school seniors and college students to all the scholarships that they are eligible to receive.
“There is a greater need than ever for financial assistance to enable higher education in Hawaii, empowering students to achieve their dreams,” said Kelvin Taketa, president & CEO of Hawaii Community Foundation. “Owing to the generosity of our donor community, we are able to offer scholarships to make it possible for thousands of students to take the next step toward reaching their full potential.”
Past recipient John Aiwohi was once homeless and addicted to drugs. He says the scholarship helped turn his life around.
Aiwohi is now in his first year of nursing school.
“I have a hopeful future now and it’s because my education is getting paid for,” he said. “I don’t have to stress out on how I’m going to pay for my schooling and what am I going to do. I can concentrate on my studies.”
Applicants can go online to search available scholarships, fill out and save their application, and track their progress.
Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria defined by the donor when the fund is established, and may require additional questions or documentation. General criteria that apply to most scholarships include:
- Residence in the state of Hawaii
- Demonstrated financial need
- Attendance at an accredited two- or four-year college or university within the United States as either an undergraduate or graduate student
- Status as full-time student as determined by the institution (typically 12 credits undergraduate; 9 credits graduate)
- Minimum 2.7 GPA (unless otherwise stated)
Applications submitted by the early deadline of Jan. 29, 2016 will be reviewed to ensure that all required supplementary materials are valid and have been properly submitted.
The final deadline for applications is Feb. 18, 2016 at 4 p.m. HST.
In 2014, HCF distributed more than $4.5 million in scholarships to deserving students, making it the third largest private provider of post-secondary scholarships in Hawaii.