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Joshua Hooper with his free scholarship books

This semester 19 students from University of Hawaiʻi campuses across the state were selected as winners of free books as part of the 15-to-Finish UH Bookstores Promotion. This program encourages incoming freshmen to take 15 credits per semester or 30 credits in a year to graduate on time.

UH Mānoa civil engineering sophomore Joshua Hooper saved more than $350 on his textbooks this semester. “Getting free textbooks was unexpected and I was surprised when I found out,” he said. “This really helped to save me money this semester, and I was able to get the hardcover textbooks that I wanted, which I find makes it easier for me to learn.”

When UH Maui College student John Denver Maglaya stopped by the bookstore for his free books worth close to $300 he said, “I’m really appreciative as it is very helpful. This scholarship will help me pursue my degree and succeed through the semester and it will also help promote better studying.”

All freshmen who earned at least 30 credits last academic year and were in good standing (minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA) by May 31, 2019 were eligible for a drawing to win free textbooks for the fall 2019 semester. Winners were randomly selected from a pool of more than a thousand eligible students across the university system. Incoming freshmen completing 30 credits or more this 2019–20 academic year will be eligible for next year’s drawing for free textbooks.

“We appreciate the UH Bookstores’ willingness to partner with us and promote the 15-to-Finish campaign,” said Donald O. Straney, UH System vice president for academic planning and policy. ”The evidence shows that students who take 15 credits each semester, earning 30 credits per year are more likely to graduate, and they also will graduate on time (four years for a bachelor’s degree and two years for an associate degree). Additionally, they earn better grades, are more likely to continue on to the next semester, and to complete more of their courses,” he said.

“This is our sixth year in partnering with the UH System’s 15-to-Finish initiative and we are proud to be able to award free textbooks to these deserving students,” said Tricia Ejima-Zane, UH bookstores director. “This important program is one of the ways that the bookstores 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 the 15-to-Finish website.

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