WICHE-PSEP Eligibility

You must meet the following three criteria to be eligible for certification for the WICHE – Hawai‘i Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP):


Selection for WICHE support is based on academic accomplishment and not on financial need. Authority and responsibility for selection are delegated jointly to WICHE administration and the receiving schools. When the number of students with offers exceeds the number of seats that the state can support, the receiving schools will rank WICHE-Hawai‘i certified applicants. The top students from this ranking will then be offered support. For additional details, please see How WICHE’s Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP) Determines Which Applicants Will Receive Support. Please note that the ranking and admission offer process for veterinary medicine differs from the other professional healthcare fields.


You must be a legal Hawai‘i resident, since support funds are appropriated by the Hawai‘i State Legislature.

To qualify for Hawai‘i residency for WICHE-Hawai‘i PSEP purposes, you must:

  1. Have been a bona fide resident of Hawai‘i for at least 60 consecutive months prior to enrollment at a professional school if you are 18 years or older. If under 18, your parents or legal guardians must have been bona fide residents of Hawai‘i for at least the past 60 consecutive months. It is possible that a combination of both your residency as well as your parents’ residency is necessary to make up the 60 consecutive months (e.g., for the past three years you have been 18 or older, so the last three years must be based on your residency, and for the two years prior, your residency must be based on your parents’ residency).
  2. Have demonstrated intent to make Hawai‘i your permanent residence.
  3. Not have been claimed as a dependent for tax purposes by your parents or legal guardians who are not bona fide residents of Hawai‘i, regardless of your age.

Bona fide residence for WICHE-Hawai‘i PSEP purposes is synonymous with the legal concept of domicile. A person’s domicile is the place where that person lives permanently and returns to after any absence. To be a bona fide resident of Hawai‘i, a person must be physically present in the state and demonstrate intent to make Hawai‘i his/her permanent home. Demonstrated intent can be shown by the following:

  1. Filing a Hawai‘i resident personal income tax form
  2. Registering to vote and voting in Hawai‘i
  3. Full-time employment in Hawai‘i
  4. Purchase or lease of a residence in Hawai‘i
  5. Dates when Hawai‘i bank accounts were opened
  6. Any other documentation of proof of Hawai‘i residency

Other considerations:

  1. U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status.
  2. Residency in Hawai‘i and residency in another place cannot be held simultaneously.
  3. Permanent resident status must have been maintained for 60 consecutive months.
  4. The 60 consecutive months begin when the first action is taken to demonstrate intent to make Hawai‘i the permanent residence.
  5. Resident status, once acquired, will be lost by future voluntary action of the resident inconsistent with such status. However, Hawai‘i residency will not be lost solely because of absence from the State while a member of the United States Armed Forces, while engaged in navigation, or while a student at any institution of learning, provided that Hawai‘i is claimed and maintained as the person’s legal residence.

The WICHE-Hawai‘i certifying officer determines the residency status of applicants.

There is an appeal process. The certifying officer may be contacted for information regarding appeal of the decision.


WICHE-Hawai‘i PSEP students are obligated to provide one (1) year of practice in your profession in the State of Hawai‘i for each year of WICHE PSEP support. Students in three-year accelerated programs in dentistry and pharmacy must practice in Hawai‘i for four years, since the accelerated program student receives an equivalent amount of support as compared to standard four-year programs. If you do not complete your service obligation, you will be responsible for repaying the entire amount awarded, plus five percent (5%) simple interest, upon completion of your degree or termination from your professional program.

Involuntary induction into military service or other cause beyond your control that prevents establishment of practice in Hawai‘i may postpone your obligation until such cause is terminated.