HONOLULU (KHON2) — It has been almost two years since the COVID pandemic started and the University of Hawai’i campuses have seen a record-high of graduates for the 2020-21 academic year.

University of Hawai’i President David Lassner gave his report to the UH Board of Regents on Feb. 17 to share information from each of the 10 campuses, which he said gave him hope.

“But the fact that we’re setting the records shows we are moving all of these numbers in the right direction on each of our campuses,” Lassner said. “And we don’t get to where we want to be if we don’t continuously improve.”

UH Manoa has the highest four-year graduation rate standing at 39.7% for full-time, first-time students and two-year record at 30.9%. It also has a four-year graduation rate of 64% for full-time transfer-in students, according to Lassner.

UH Hilo successfully had its second-highest six-year graduation rate of 42.7% for full-time, first-time students. The campus also achieved a three-year rate of 47.5% and a four-year graduation rate of 58.1% for full-time transfer students. While achieving a four-year rate of 47.9% for part-time transfers.

The increase in graduates could also be the result of UH campuses collaborating with high school programs. Lassner said the one-year graduation rates over 2% at Leeward Community College, UH Maui College and Windward Community College are likely the result of UH’s active Early College programs in those regions.

Lassner added, “Early College is a partnership between the Hawai’i Department of Education and UH that allows high school students to take college classes for credit.”

“Not all of these are numbers we can be satisfied with, but the fact that we are setting these records shows we are moving many numbers in the right direction on each of our campuses,” Lassner said. “We have not let COVID defeat us or our students and we need to keep improving through and past COVID.”

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The University of Hawai’i’s increased graduation rates proves that Hawaii residents and visitors are thinking about furthering their education while facing their own adversity.