Hawaiʻi Community College student Nemuel Palilio with his free scholarship books.

Eighteen students from University of Hawaiʻi campuses across the state will receive their textbooks for free this semester as part of the 15 to Finish UH Bookstores Promotion, which encourages incoming freshmen to take 15 credits per semester or 30 credits in a year to graduate on time.

The UH Bookstore selected 18 winners from more than 1,300 eligible students and will continue this successful promotion. Incoming freshmen completing 30 credits or more this 2019–20 academic year will be eligible for next year’s drawing for free textbooks.

UH Mānoa sophomore Madison Anzai, 19, saved more than $300 on her textbooks this semester.

“I felt a mixture of both happiness and relief that my books would be paid for,” Anzai said. This scholarship will help the kinesiology major be prepared to learn this semester. “There were some optional books for my class and because of this scholarship I was able to get them. I’ll not only be classroom ready, but have the resources to gain so much more knowledge.”

When picking up his free books, Nemuel Palilio, 19, Hawaiʻi Community College culinary arts sophomore said, “I was surprised and so appreciative.” He mentioned borrowing his books last year because of the cost, but thanks to the 15 to Finish scholarship, Palilio is able to start the semester with a savings of more than $400.

All freshmen who earned at least 30 credits last academic year and were in good standing (minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA) by May 30, 2018, were eligible for a drawing to win free textbooks for the fall 2018 semester. Winning students were randomly selected across the university’s 10 campuses.

“We have found that students who earn 30 credits or more per year are more likely to graduate and graduate on time (four years for a bachelor degree and two years for an associate degree), earn better grades, continue to the next semester and complete more of their courses,” said Donald O. Straney, vice president for academic planning and policy. “We appreciate the UH Bookstores’ willingness to partner with us and promote 15 to Finish.”

“We enjoy partnering with the UH System’s 15 to Finish initiative,” said Tricia Ejima-Zane, UH Bookstores director. “We take pride in the bookstores’ mission of providing students everything they need for college life. Awarding students free books is one way for us to give back to our university community.”

The 15 to Finish campaign is part of the Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative, a systemwide initiative to increase the number of UH graduates to meet the state’s 55 by ’25 goal, which strives to have 55 percent of working age adults hold a two- or four-year degree by the year 2025. For more information about the promotion, go to 15 to Finish.