This FAQ applies only to UH System Scholarships
If you have a question about scholarships awarded by a specific campus, please contact the campus financial aid office.
What do I need to gather before logging into the online common scholarship application?
The UH System Common Scholarship Application consists of basic student demographic information, affiliations, special background questions, a personal and community service essay, as well as additional optional essays. Each UH campus also has an additional section which you may complete if you intend to enroll in a program at that specific campus. Students are also asked to submit transcripts and letters of recommendation. In order to apply for both system scholarships and campus scholarships, students are encouraged to set aside a sufficient amount of time to complete all application components. New Warrior and Presidential Scholarships have unique requirements and any students wishing to apply for these UH Manoa scholarships should first read through their website to learn all important information prior to completing your application.
I am a prospective student, can I still do an application?
Yes, there are a number of scholarships tied to the UH System Common Scholarship Application, and both incoming and continuing students can apply.
Are there scholarships for graduate students?
Yes, there are a handful of system scholarships that are primarily designated for students at the graduate level. There are also many system scholarships that can be used toward both undergraduate or graduate study. Each year the system office is tasked with offering scholarships to meet system and institutional enrollment goals and initiatives.
Are there scholarships for international students?
While there are only a few scholarships designated for international students, there are also additional scholarships which may apply to all students regardless of citizenship. However, please note that although there may not be a citizenship restriction, there may be further restrictions (i.e. Hawaii state residency, graduation from a Hawaii high school) that may affect an international student’s ability to qualify for other scholarships.
Who is eligible to apply for scholarships?
The UH System scholarships are open to any student seeking a degree at any of the ten UH campuses. Some scholarships can also be applied to certificate programs, however, all system scholarships require the student to be enrolled in at least half-time (6 credits for undergraduate students) unless noted otherwise. Eligibility requirements for campus-based scholarships vary.
How many scholarships are available?
There are numerous scholarships offered through the UH System Common Scholarship application. There is one application for all UH System scholarships, and by filling out the application, you will automatically be matched to any funds for which you are eligible. Once the application closes, committees will review the applications of eligible applicants. Campuses also use this application to award campus specific scholarships, and amount of awards available varies by campus.
What is a System Scholarship?
System Scholarships are scholarships awarded by our UH System Financial Aid Office. These scholarships are typically able to be applied toward attendance at more than one campus. In some cases, scholarships are applicable to attend any of our ten campuses, in other cases, the agreement may specifically state that the student must be attending a specific major at any campus, any of the community colleges, etc.
How do I apply for UH System Scholarships and what do I need to submit?
Applications are available online beginning October 1st, and typically closes on or around March 1st. Where March 1 falls on a weekend, the application will close the first following business day. Applications are for students interested in applying for the following fall and spring terms. Upon visiting the website, students are asked to create a profile. Additional information can be found here.
Do I need to complete a FAFSA if I don't receive financial aid?
Since some scholarships are based on “need”, the way in which campuses can best make this determination is by looking at the student’s EFC, or Expected Family Contribution. This is why completing a FAFSA by the scholarship application deadline is suggested, so that if a committee must determine need, they are able to do so with information that is already available to them. Without being able to determine need, a student may not be considered for need-based scholarships that are tied to the UH System Common Scholarship application.
Is there a time limit for the online scholarship application?
As a security feature on Scholarship Manager, you have 45 minutes to complete each question.
Can I save my application and return to it at a later time?
Yes, your answers are saved as you answer each question. It is only after you submit your application that you will be unable to make changes to your application.
May I make changes to my online application once it is submitted?
No. Once your online application is submitted, you will NOT be allowed to make changes or corrections.
Am I required to apply for all of these scholarships or can I select which ones I want to apply for?
Students submitting the online UH System Common Scholarship Application are automatically considered for all scholarships tied to the application that match their qualifications. If an optional essay is required for a scholarship for which you do not wish to apply, simply skip the essay and leave that essay section completely blank.
Do I need to complete a personal statement?
Yes, submitting a personal statement is required to submit your UH System Common Scholarship application. This ensures that students can be considered for as many scholarships as possible, so long as they meet other listed criteria.
Which scholarships require essays?
One 900-word max personal statement/essay is required for all students submitting the online scholarship application. There is also a community service essay that all students should complete, however it is listed as optional since some scholarships do not require previous community service. There are additional optional essays that are required if you want to apply for those specific scholarships. Optional essays are marked.
Do transcripts need to be official?
No, transcripts do not need to be official. However, there may be scholarships which will require you to submit an additional official transcript at a later date after you have completed your high school program. Campuses may also make a request after you have submitted your application, or you may see specific questions within a portion of the application that may instruct you otherwise for very specific scholarships. When submitting transcripts, students are encouraged to submit the most recent copy.
I personally submitted transcripts and test scores to my campus earlier, do I need to submit them again?
Transcripts and test scores submitted directly to campuses for admissions or other scholarship application purposes will not satisfy scholarship application requirements. If it is required for a scholarship, students need to submit the appropriate transcripts and test score information via their scholarship application as well.
Letters of Recommendation
How can I check to see if my letters of recommendation have been submitted?
To view the status of your letters of recommendation, you will need to log into your scholarship account (https://www.hawaii.edu/tuition/scholarships/how-to-apply/#start-application).
- If you haven’t submitted the form, under My Applications, click on Continue Application. If your reference(s) have not yet completed the recommendation letter, click Send Reminder button next to the reference’s data. Don’t forget to remind your recommender to check his/her Spam mail, and to remind your references of the appropriate Letter of Recommendation deadline.
- If you have submitted the form, under My Applications, click on Manage/Edit letters of recommendation. If your reference(s) have not yet completed the recommendation letter, click Send Reminder button next to the reference’s data. Don’t forget to remind your recommender to check his/her Spam mail, and to remind your references of the appropriate Letter of Recommendation deadline.
How can I change a recommender or update their email address?
You will need to log into your scholarship account (https://www.hawaii.edu/tuition/scholarships/how-to-apply/#start-application).
- If you haven’t submitted the form, under My Applications, click on Continue Application. Click Withdraw next to the reference’s information. Then, enter the new or updated recommender information.
- If you have submitted the form, under My Applications, click on Manage/Edit letters of recommendation. Click Withdraw next to the reference’s information. Then, enter the new or updated reference information.
What if my recommender sent me a letter to attach to my application?
Since the application is completely online, and committees review all application materials online, students need to be sure to let their Recommender’s know that the letter of recommendation is also done online. Since it is confidential, students do not have the ability to attach letters themselves, and our office will not accept paper or emailed letters of recommendation on behalf of the student. The Recommendation process contains a combination of questions that the Recommender will need to answer regarding the applicant, and will also be presented with an opportunity to attach a letter if they choose.
I went back to my Letters of Recommendation page, but it won't let me add another individual. What do I do?
If you have submitted your Letters of Recommendation form, you can manage/edit your recommenders by clicking Manage/Edit letters of recommendation under My Applications. Click Add Recommender and enter the new recommender information.
If you haven’t submitted the form, you can manage/edit your recommenders by clicking Continue Application under My Applications. Click Add Recommender and enter the new recommender information.
After you Review and Submit, you will receive the following screen to review your answers. If all is correct, click Submit Application. In order to make updates, click update and edit, as needed.
How can I confirm my application was submitted?
Immediately after submitting your application, you will receive an email confirmation at your Hawaii.edu email account. Students should also check their spam folders to see if it had been received there. If you did not receive an email confirmation, then your application did not submit. Students waiting until the final day or minutes approaching the deadline may experience difficulties as a large number of students are also attempting to complete the application before the deadline. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE! The application cut-off is automatic, whether or not your computer or personal device indicates a slightly different time. Late exceptions will not be made.
When will I be notified if I was selected for a scholarship?
If you have been selected as a system scholarship recipient, you will be notified between May and June via email. Campuses are responsible to notify students if they are selected for campus scholarships. As such, notices to students may vary.
I submitted my application in December, why is it taking so long to hear if I received anything?
Regardless of when you submit your application, committees will not begin reviewing until after the posted deadline. Turning in an application early does not give you priority consideration for scholarships, and it is the goal of committees to review applications for all those eligible, so long as the student meets listed criteria and submits an application before the designated deadline.
How do I know if I was awarded a scholarship?
If you are selected for a UH System Scholarship, your scholarship will be reflected in the “My Awards” section when you log back into the application portal. Selections for UH System Scholarships are typically made between April and June, however some students may receive notification as late as end of summer or beginning of the coming fall term. Campus scholarships can vary, so you will want to check with your home campus as to when they intend to make their selections and how you would be notified.
Can I receive scholarships from more than one fund?
Yes, you may receive more than one scholarship if you are eligible.
If I am awarded a UH System Scholarship, will it affect my financial aid?
You must check with your home campus financial aid office. Most scholarships are considered a student financial resource, available to pay for educational costs. If your financial aid awards currently meet your full financial need, government regulations specify that any scholarships you receive may lower your financial need and the financial aid office may need to reduce your other financial aid awards to accommodate the scholarship you were awarded.
If I am awarded a scholarship and decide to change my UH home campus, am I still eligible?
Awards are based upon the criteria set forth by the donors and the UH campus you listed on your application.
If your home campus changes, you must inform the UH System Scholarship Office and your award will be re-evaluated based on the new information and you will be notified of the decision.
I do not see the scholarship in MyUH?
It can take up to a few weeks for campuses to update your financial aid offer accordingly. If the name of the scholarship says “(System)” on the end, you can also contact our UH System Scholarship Office for additional help, if not, contact your home campus Financial Aid Office.
Do I need to do anything to accept my System Scholarship?
Unless you received an email with specific instructions indicating you must accept your award, no further action is needed in order to receive the scholarship. The campus you listed in your application is automatically notified, and your financial aid award offer is typically updated with the scholarship within a few weeks. From there, disbursement would occur as normal, no sooner than 10 days prior to the start of the semester, assuming you still meet all the requirements listed.
Where can I find more information about the scholarship I received?
Information about requirements for your system scholarship are usually listed when you review your “My Award” tab. If you received a campus scholarship, you may want to check directly with the campus regarding any requirements, next steps, etc. as the campus may have additional information communicated outside of the scholarship application portal.
How do I know if the scholarship I am receiving is a UH System Scholarship or a campus scholarship?
If the name of your scholarship says “(System)” after its name, then the scholarship was awarded by our UH System Office. Anything else would have been awarded by the campus you listed in your scholarship application.
How will I receive the scholarship funds?
For U.S. citizens and permanent residents, UH Foundation pays scholarships directly to the University via the respective campus Financial Aid Office. Any remaining balance after the funding is applied to tuition, books, fees and loans will be reflected on your MyUH portal payment screen. The Cashiers Office will issue refunds either by mailed check or direct deposit by E-refund. You can sign up for E-Refund through your MyUH portal.
For international students, UH Foundation will pay scholarships to the student directly. International students must provide additional foreign national information to UH Foundation in order to process scholarships. The respective UH scholarship administrator should provide these documents upon processing of the scholarship.
When will I be paid the scholarship?
Scholarships for Fall and Spring semesters will be disbursed to student accounts generally ten days before the first day of classes along with all of your other financial aid, assuming all requirements and eligibility have been satisfied.
If I receive a scholarship, should I send a “Thank You” note? If so, where do I send it?
Thank You letters are highly encouraged. Donors and selection committees enjoy reading Thank You letters and it encourages continued donations for future scholarship opportunities. After your scholarships have disbursed, you will receive an email from UH Foundation indicating next steps to thank your donor(s).
For more information, please visit UH Foundation’s webpage, Thanking Your Scholarship Donor.
If I receive a scholarship one year, will I automatically receive an award for the following year?
No. You must re-apply every academic year. Applications are generally available in October with a deadline of March 1. Some selection committees may give preference to renewal applicants.
If you were awarded a renewable scholarship, the requirements to continue receiving are listed in the Scholarship Information under your Awards.
What if I change my major?
As mentioned in the application instructions, students cannot make any changes to their application once it has been submitted. Changes that occur after submission and after the application deadline may affect eligibility as committees will review and make selections based on information within your application. Further concerns about changes should be directed to our UH System office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are these scholarships taxable?
If you receive a scholarship or fellowship grant, all or part of the amounts you receive may be tax–free. Qualified scholarship and fellowship grants are treated as tax–free amounts if all the following conditions are met:
- You are a candidate for a degree at an educational institution that maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regular enrolled body of students in attendance at the place where it carries on its educational activities; and
- Amounts you receive as a scholarship or fellowship grant are used only for tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance at the educational institution, or for fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of instruction. Any amounts in excess of these expenses are considered taxable.
You must include scholarship or fellowship grants in gross income amounts used for incidental expenses, such as room and board, travel, and optional equipment, and generally amounts received as payments for teaching, research, or other services required as a condition for receiving the scholarship or fellowship grant.
Please consult with a tax preparation expert for advice or visit the Internal Revenue Service website for more information.
Who selects the scholarships?
There are committees set up for the different funds that will evaluate applications after the closing date.