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The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa welcomed its largest-ever freshmen class in its 115-year history in the fall 2022 semester. Overall, UH Mānoa enrollment dipped by just 0.1% in the fall, compared to a 1.1% decrease nationally, according to preliminary data. There are 19,074 students enrolled at UH Mānoa (just 24 fewer compared to fall 2021), including a record 3,106 first-time freshmen, a 5.7% increase from the record high set last year. The average high school GPA for the freshman class is 3.69, also up from 2021.

“Our fall enrollment numbers, particularly the first-time freshmen and the quality of those students, is further proof that the people of Hawaiʻi and beyond are seeing UH Mānoa for what it truly is—one of the best universities in the country that is also incredibly affordable,” said UH Mānoa Provost Michael Bruno. “The credit goes to our enrollment management team, and our outstanding faculty and staff, and the fact that we are doing a much better job of sharing our story with the world.”

There were also enrollment increases among Native Hawaiian and part-Hawaiian students (12.8% of total enrollment vs.12.2% in 2021), Filipino students (11.5% vs. 11.0% in 2021) and a 1.3% increase in the number of students from Hawaiʻi.

Record high graduation rates

students sitting on steps

For the 12th straight year, UH Mānoa set a record in on-time graduation rates, with 44.1% of
first-time, full-time freshmen earning their degrees in four years. That is a 4.3% increase from 2021. The four-year graduation rate has steadily increased from 17% to 44.1% over the past 12 years. The six-year graduation rate is also at a record high of 62.3%, reflecting a 3.4% increase from last year.

“The credit really goes to so many people as these efforts to improve our graduation rates started in earnest more than 15 years ago, and we continue to build on our success each year,” said Bruno. “Our work is far from over as we ensure that our students not only graduate in a timely manner but are ready to make a difference and contribute to our state and society.”

Bruno cited a number of initiatives responsible for the improving graduation rates, including the STAR GPS system and its advising tools and graduation pathways that keep students on track, the funding of summer scholarships that help students catch up and/or complete their prerequisite courses, strengthened growth and development activities that better support students and the timely disbursement of financial aid as financial hardships are one of the main reasons students leave school before graduation.

Related: UH enrollment dips as graduation rates, first-time students rise, October 2022

More than $57.9 million in financial aid was disbursed to 8,857 students when the fall semester started, $3.4 million (and 156 students) more than in 2021.

“Financial aid is a significant factor in making a UH degree affordable for more than 46% of our students, and ensuring this aid is disbursed in a timely manner to all our students is a tremendous kuleana,” said UH Mānoa Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Nikki Chun. “The Financial Aid staff are among the campus’ unsung heroes, and I admire their dedication to serving our students with care.”

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