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student in graduation attire with $5.5M Hawaii Promise Scholarship graphic

Higher education is now more accessible and affordable for all prospective and current University of Hawaiʻi Community College students.

UH and the State of Hawaiʻi have committed $5.5 million this year for the Hawaiʻi Promise Scholarship, the most ever. Enrolled students who are Hawaiʻi residents are eligible for consideration.

Alena Fontaine
Alena Fontaine

The funds will help to cover direct education costs not met by other forms of financial aid, including tuition, fees and an allowance for books and supplies.

“The Hawaiʻi Promise scholarship has allowed me to work towards completing my degree at a part-time status so I can still work full-time without the burden of extra tuition and book costs,” said Kapiʻolani CC student Alena Fontaine.

UH Maui College student Christina Faye said, “After losing my home along with my hometown in the Lahaina wildfire, the Hawaiʻi Promise Scholarship has helped me get back on my feet by supporting me financially and not having me worry too much about spending my whole paychecks on my tuition.”

Christina Faye
Christina Faye, UH Maui College student

To be considered for Hawaiʻi Promise, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For the upcoming fall semester, students should complete the FAFSA by July 1.

For free help in completing the FAFSA, email or call the FAFSA Hotline at (808) 842-2540, and someone will respond within 24 hours.

“We are committed to making higher education accessible for all,” said Erika Lacro, vice president for the UH Community Colleges. “The Hawaiʻi Promise Scholarship is our promise to Hawaiʻi residents that cost should not be a barrier to attend our seven amazing community college campuses. We hope this scholarship will open more doors to unlimited opportunities and empower individuals to achieve their academic and career goals.”

More on the Hawaiʻi Promise Scholarship

The UH Community Colleges continue to be one of the most affordable higher education options in the nation. In 2023–24, the average tuition and fees for public two-year colleges was $3,990, according to the American Association of Community Colleges, compared to a $3,200 for a UH Community College.

Helping hundreds of Hawaiʻi students

Desiree Fleming
Desiree Fleming

In fiscal year 2023, $3.8 million in Hawaiʻi Promise Scholarship funds were awarded to 1,774 eligible students across the seven UH Community Colleges. The average award per student was $2,142.

Since its inception in 2017, the Hawaiʻi Promise scholarship has served more than 8,600 UH students.

“Being an older student and starting the path to my dream endeavor, was ONLY made possible by the Hawaiʻi Promise Scholarship,” said Desiree Fleming, a Kapiʻolani CC student. “Had I known I could have qualified or have this kind of financial support toward my dream, I most certainly would have entered college sooner. I can now say that I’m a college student even at my age. I am so very thankful and blessed to have received such a gift of support!”

Michael Amado
Michael Amado

“The Hawaiʻi Promise Scholarship was incredibly helpful for me in continuing my college education and transferring from Kapiolani CC to UH Mānoa,” said Michael Amado, a former Kapiʻolani CC student. “The scholarship not only helped with living expenses but also allowed me not to have to work as many hours so I could devote more time to my studies. …the Hawaiʻi Promise Scholarship is a shining light for students who want a better future for themselves and their families.”

For more information on eligibility and how to apply for the Hawaiʻi Promise Scholarship, visit

By Lesli Yogi

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