The Program encourages LIS students to apply for the many scholarships available through the University of Hawaiʻi and local and national organizations.
To review a list of scholarships available to University of Hawaiʻi students, visit the UH Scholarships page (click the “view only” link if you do not have a UH account).
Additional scholarship information is available in the “Tuition, Fees, and Expenses” section of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa catalog.
Below are a collection of opportunities provided by the University of Hawaiʻi, local organizations, and national organizations.
Note: Scholarship information changes frequently. Please consult with an LIS faculty advisor to confirm the information shown here is the most current information available.
Pacific Islander Scholarships are available to students who demonstrate financial need based on information provided on your FAFSA, are from eligible Pacific Island districts, commonwealths, territories, jurisdictions, states or nations which do not provide public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees and pay the 150% resident tuition rate at UHM. Since funding is limited, preference will be given to those who meet the FAFSA priority deadline of February 1st.
Ralph R. Shaw Scholarships and Awards
Named for the University Librarian, Ralph R. Shaw (1907-1972), who was also founding Dean of the UHM Graduate School of Library Studies, this scholarship was established in 1985 and is funded by his estate as well as other UH Mānoa LIS alumni. There are four types of scholarships and awards available. A student may receive up to two of these scholarships and/or awards in a given school year. There is no website available for this scholarship, only an email announcement every semester for UHM LIS students currently enrolled in the program, with instructions on how to apply.
Eileen P. and Lennus B. Urquhart Scholarship
This scholarship was established in 2021 to support graduate students in the Library and Information Science (LIS) Program at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. The Program uses this fund to match the ALA Spectrum Scholarship; inform the Program Chair if you have been selected for the Spectrum Scholarship. Otherwise, to apply, login to the UH Scholarship site, choose the Keyword Search option, and search for “Urquhart” to find the scholarship application.
H.W. Wilson Scholarship
This scholarship is based on prior academic performance and accomplishments. The award is open to students taking at least eight (8) graduate credits. Check with the Program Chair as to availability of the scholarship in any given year. Note: to apply, login to the UH Scholarship site, choose the Keyword Search option, and search for “Wilson” to find the scholarship application.
East-West Center Student Programs: Opportunities for Study & Scholarships
Various scholarship/fellowship opportunities for graduate program studies. Specific details are available on the East-West web site under the “Scholarships and Fellowships” section of the Student Programs page.
Friends of the Libraries of Hawaiʻi
Friends of the Library of Hawaiʻi awards up to $25,000 in scholarships annually to Hawaiʻi residents seeking a Master’s Degree in Library Science at the University of Hawaiʻi. The scholarships provide financial assistance to students who are currently enrolled in the Library and Information Science Program, or who have been accepted for enrollment in the fall or spring semester. Applications are typically due by late May.
Friends of the Libraries, Kona ($1000)
This scholarship is open to students pursuing a master’s degree in library science at the UHM. Students must be residents of the State of Hawaiʻi and preference is given to Big Island residents. For the application form and additional requirements, please visit the F.O.L.K. website. The annual deadline is in April and scholarships are awarded by June 1.
Hawaiʻi Association of School Librarians (HASL) Scholarship ($500)
Hawaiʻi residents who are HASL members and join the MLISc program may apply for this $500 scholarship offered once yearly. For the application form and additional requirements, please visit the HASL website.
Hawaiʻi Community Foundation
The Hawaiʻi Community Foundation recognizes the growing challenge of supporting students who are motivated to attain their degrees and achieve their career goals. HCF’s scholarship program consists of over 190 different scholarship funds established by generous individuals, businesses, organizations, and private foundations. All of them are dedicated to making sure that educational opportunities are available to Hawaii students who need and deserve them.
Hawaiʻi Library Association (varies, up to $1000)
This award is funded at various levels up to $1000. The number of scholarships awarded each year will be dependent on the current financial status of HLA. The HLA Scholarship committee will evaluate the applications and make the decisions on the awards.
Hawaiʻi State Federal Credit Union Scholarship
Established in 1996, the Hawaiʻi State FCU Lowell Kalapa Scholarship Program has awarded over $479,000 to some of Hawaiʻi’s best and brightest students who sought to improve their lives through the pursuit of a higher education.
Kamehameha Schools Scholarships
ʻKamehameha Schools (KS) college scholarships are available to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate financial need and are committed to contributing to the lāhui. KS policy is to give preference to applicants of Hawaiian ancestry to the extent permitted by law. The amount of the scholarship award varies each year depending on the availability of funds.
LIS Alumni Group Student Award (Up to $500)
Required: Completion of 9 credits in LIS or be a May or August LIS graduate continuing toward the Advanced Certificate Program, goals statement. See website for application information.
Mary Edward Professional Award (Up to $500)
Provides up to $500 for Hawaiʻi librarians, UH LIS graduates, and students in the Advanced Certificate program to further their professional goals. Can be used for travel and publication support. See website for application form. Contact: Jodie Mattos, LIS Alumni Awards Committee, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Hamilton Library, 2550 McCarthy Mall, Honolulu, HI 96822.
American Library Association (ALA) Scholarships (varying amounts)
The American Library Association (ALA) is committed to promoting and advancing the librarian profession. To demonstrate this commitment, the ALA and its units provide more than $300,000 annually for study in a master’s degree in library and information studies from an ALA accredited program, or for a master’s degree with a specialty in school librarianship that meets the ALA curriculum guidelines for a Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accredited unit.
The scholarship process is open annually from September – March. Applications and reference forms (which must be submitted on-line) are available during that time period. Instructions and general information remain available year round.
American Library Association’s “Scholarships and Financial Assistance” page
Provides tips on finding scholarships/financial assistance, as well as listing a few resources not referenced elsewhere on this page.
American Library Association Spectrum Scholarships
Spectrum recruits and provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students to assist individuals interested in obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the profession and our organization. Our aim is to increase the number of racially and ethnically diverse professionals working as leaders in the field of library and information science to best position libraries and institutions at the core of today’s culturally diverse communities.
Note: The Program matches the Spectrum scholarship. Inform the Program Director if you have been selected for the Spectrum Scholarship.
American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Scholarships (varying amounts from $1000-$3500)
The American Association of Law Libraries is committed to providing opportunities for professional growth. Each year, the Association awards scholarships in significant amounts to assist individuals in achieving their goal of becoming a law librarian. Students with any combination of Law degree, Library degree, or students seeking either degree may apply. Minorities are particularly encouraged to apply.
Association of Research Libraries Kaleidoscope Program
The ARL Kaleidoscope Program, funded by ARL member libraries, offers up to $10,000 in tuition support to students currently enrolled in an ALA-accredited MLIS program. The purpose of the program is to diversity the professions by providing generous funding for MLIS education and a suite of related benefits, including mentoring, leadership and professional development, and career placement assistance.
Art Libraries Society of North America
The Art Libraries Society of North America offers a number of awards and scholarships aligned with its mission to foster excellence in art and design librarianship and image management.
Beta Phi Mu Scholarships (varying amounts from $1250-$3000)
Several scholarships and the Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship are awarded annually by Beta Phi Mu. Applications for all scholarships and fellowships are accepted beginning November 15.
Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) (varying from $400-$1,000)
To encourage professional and leadership development in Chinese American librarianship, CALA offers several scholarships each year to students, new librarians, and library school faculty.
Medical Library Association Scholarship
The Medical Library Association (MLA) offers a variety of funding opportunities to assist qualified students in graduate library science programs and to enable practicing health sciences librarians to pursue professional development. There are three MLA Scholarships for students enrolled in or entering an American Library Association–accredited library school.
Paul Evan Peters Fellowship ($2,500 per year, awarded two consecutive years)
The Paul Evan Peters Fellowship was established to honor and perpetuate the memory of Paul Evan Peters (1947-1996), founding executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI). The fellowship will assist students pursuing graduate studies in the information sciences, librarianship, or closely related field, that advance the frontiers of digital information and technology. Nominees should demonstrate intellectual and personal qualities consistent with those of Paul Evan Peters.
REFORMA Scholarship (varies, up to $1,500)
Since 1971, REFORMA has supported the active recruitment of bilingual and bicultural librarians to meet the information needs of the Spanish-speaking community. The REFORMA Scholarship provides financial assistance to encourage and enable Latinos and/or Spanish speakers to pursue or advance a career in Library and Information Science. The scholarship is open to students who qualify for graduate study in Library and Information Science who are Spanish-speakers or interested in serving Latinos or the Spanish-speaking. The scholarships are not restricted by age, sex, creed, national origin, or minority group/association membership. Applicants must attend or plan on attending an ALA-accredited library school.
Society of American Archivists
The Society of American Archivists offers a variety of opportunities for financial assistance through awards, fellowships, and scholarships. The deadline for nominations/applications is February 28.