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GEAR UP Hawaiʻi, Hawaiʻi P–20 Partnerships for Education’s college access program, will offer free statewide virtual FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) completion workshops on Wednesday evenings through April 24. Registration is now open.

“This is a challenging year because the FAFSA application window opened much later than usual on December 31, rather than October 1. We have focused our efforts to ensure families in all communities have as many resources available as possible to successfully complete the FAFSA,” said Angela Jackson, GEAR UP Hawaiʻi project director. “We encourage all high school seniors to complete the FAFSA and explore what kind of scholarships and financial aid is available to help you pay for college.”

GEAR UP Hawaiʻi strives to provide all students with developmentally appropriate support to help them complete high school and pursue college.

In addition to the FAFSA workshops, GEAR UP Hawaiʻi also hosts in-person and online outreach opportunities throughout the state for students and families to better prepare for the transition to college, including financial aid and scholarship sessions, and advising for counselors.

UH degrees affordable, significant return on investment

A college education from any of UH’s 10 campuses offers a significant return on investment, no matter the degree type, according to a January 2024 UH Economic Research Organization (UHERO) report. UHERO researchers found that lifetime earnings are $2.8 million for bachelor’s degree holders, 27% higher compared to those who left the program without a degree, and $2.7 million for Associate of Science (AS) and Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree holders, 22% higher than compared to those who left without a degree.

UHERO also found that while college tuition has significantly increased nationally over the last 20 years, even after adjusting for inflation, tuition within the UH system has become more affordable over the last decade. In addition, college completion significantly boosts economic mobility for individuals from lower socioeconomic households.

See this UH News story for more on the UHERO report.

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