Yvonne Yokono in graduation attire
UH Mānoa nursing graduate Yvonne Yokono was one of many OHA scholars to earn degrees in 2018.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) is providing $1 million for need based scholarships for Native Hawaiian students attending University of Hawaiʻi campuses over the next two years. The Hoʻonaʻauao Higher Education Scholarship program aligns with UH’s and OHA’s commitments to better serve Native Hawaiian students and to improve college access, college affordability, student support and graduation.

The scholarships are expected to support approximately 200 Native Hawaiian students each year with awards ranging from $2,000 for students at community colleges, $3,000 for undergraduates at four-year universities and $4,000 for graduate students.

“There’s a need, a gap in the educational attainment of Native Hawaiians in the state,” said project director Joshua Kaakua. “But it’s on its way up…And if we can improve education, research shows it can affect other measures of individual and community well-being—everything from economic opportunity to quality of life.”

Last year the UHOHA partnership awarded scholarships to 181 students across the state, including UH Mānoa nursing graduate Yvonne Yokono, who completed her doctorate of nursing practice in May.

“It wasn’t always easy and I couldn’t have done it without the support from OHA and my mentors at UH,” Yokono said. “I’m glad the UHOHA program will be here for students in the future.”

The scholarship application is available to all current and potential students seeking a degree at any of the 10 campuses in the UH System via the online portal, October 1, 2018–March 1, 2019. Priority consideration will be given to:

  • Non-traditional students (including student parents);
  • First-generation college students;
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) majors; and
  • Education/teaching majors.

For more information about the scholarship and application process, visit the UHOHA Hoʻonaʻauao Scholarship website, or send an email to ohastem@hawaii.edu.