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David Lassner meets with Lahainaluna students
UH President David Lassner delivers news of a scholarship for all Lahainaluna High School Class of 2024 students. Photo by: Hawaiʻi State Department of Education

The University of Hawaiʻi is offering full scholarships to every Lahainaluna; High School (LHS) senior that will cover tuition, fees, books and supplies for full-time and part-time students at any of UH’s 10 campuses. This initial commitment to the Lahainaluna; Class of 2024 is for one academic year while UH seeks external or internal funding to extend these scholarships for a full two or four years of college, depending on the campus the student attends.

The Lahainaluna senior class, about 190 students total, was notified about the scholarships at a class assembly on Monday, September 18, at the school’s temporary location at Kūlanihākoʻi High School in Kihei. LHS was forced to relocate to Kūlanihākoʻi following the deadly August 8 wildfire that destroyed most of Lahaina town.

Lahainaluna students
Photo by: Hawaiʻi State Department of Education

“We are deeply grateful to the University of Hawaiʻi for providing our seniors with the opportunity to pursue higher education without having to worry about tuition and other costs. This means so much to our ʻohana, and we look forward to our Lunas taking advantage of UH‘s generous support,” Lahainaluna Principal Richard Carosso said.

In attendance from UH for the announcement were President David Lassner, UH Maui College Chancellor Lui Hokoana, Vice Chancellor Kulamanu Ishihara, and Dean Laura Nagle as well as Maui Regents Lauren Akitake and Ernest Wilson. Deputy Superintendent Tammi Chun of the Hawaiʻi Department of Education also attended.

“The seniors of Lahainaluna High School faced COVID in their freshman year, and now they and their families face unimaginable challenges around loss of ʻohana, homes, jobs and personal treasures,” said Lassner. “We are extending these scholarship offers to create at least one bright spot for these students and their families, to help them see a path forward to a better future.”

More on how to help Maui ʻohana and the Maui wildfires.

Since many LHS students moved or made alternate educational plans, the scholarship offer is available to every student who was enrolled as a senior at LHS on August 7, 2023 regardless of where they are enrolled for this academic year. The university will work closely with the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education and LHS to make the process of receiving the scholarship as easy as possible for students and their families. More details will be provided in the coming weeks including contact information for assistance, a webpage with Frequently Asked Questions and other resources.

This scholarship program is in addition to the extensive support UH is already providing to all current UH students from Maui who were impacted by the fires. UH is also looking at how to support future Maui graduates who were impacted by the fires in their higher education journeys.

“The hearts of all of us at UH go out to all who have suffered through this disaster,” said Lassner. “We know the hurt will never be gone. But we hope this small bit of assistance will help address one concern for students and their families.”

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