Dental Students

Due to budget uncertainties, funding for Hawaii PSEP for AY2021-2022 will be very limited and highly competitive. We appreciate your understanding and patience. 

The Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP) provides discounted out-of-state (or private) tuition support for students pursuing certain professional health care or veterinary degrees at WICHE participating universities. The State of Hawaiʻi offers financial support for the selected professional programs: Dentistry, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Physical Therapy and Veterinary Medicine.

The “support fee” is the annual payment paid by the state directly to the professional schools. The annual support fees are determined by the WICHE Commission after examination of the average educational costs in western professional schools. Each healthcare field has a maximum number of years or academic terms for which a student can receive WICHE support. To remain eligible, PSEP students can not concurrently receive a Federal scholarship or stipend or other support which fully covers tuition and commits graduates to a service obligation following completion of the professional training; this includes military scholarships. In addition, students must remain in good academic standing and make satisfactory progress toward the designated degree to receive continued funding.

Funds for PSEP are appropriated by the state Legislature and then allocated by the Governor on an annual basis. Students certified eligible to be considered for support by the Professional Student Exchange Program and who are accepted by a participating school are not guaranteed support until the number of seats of each supported healthcare field are determined. If more applicants are accepted than the state is able to fund, then WICHE headquarters coordinates a ranking of the students with offers to select the most qualified ones, and they are offered support first. For more information on this process visit https://www.wiche.edu/info/publications/HowWICHEselectsPSEPstudents.pdf.

How does funding work?

  1. First, you must submit the application to the Hawaiʻi Certifying Office for residency certification by no later than October 15th of the year prior to academic enrollment. If it is determined that you are a bona fide Hawaiʻi resident, you will be “certified” and eligible to be considered for WICHE support.
  2. You must apply directly to the WICHE participating professional school(s) for one of the supported programs: Dentistry, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Optometry and Veterinary Medicine.
  3. If you are already in one of the above programs at a WICHE participating school. You can still apply for support.
  4. Once you are offered admission and have made your selection of which WICHE approved professional school and program to attend, your application will be ranked amongst other applicants.
  5. WICHE administration conducts rankings as necessary to determine which certified students will be offered WICHE support and then forwards the names and rankings to the Hawaiʻi Certifying Office.
  6. Depending on the amount of funding, the Hawaiʻi Certifying Office will inform WICHE administration of how many students per program will be supported that academic year.
  7. The Hawaiʻi Certifying Office then notifies applicants if they have been selected for PSEP support, and the amount of support you will receive for the coming academic year.
  8. The awardee’s school will be notified by WICHE Administration of funding support directly.

Eligibility

1. Academic Accomplishment

The selection for WICHE support is based on academic accomplishment and not on financial need. Authority and responsibility for selection are delegated jointly to WICHE administration and the receiving schools. When the number of students with offers exceeds the number of seats that the state can support, the receiving schools will rank Hawaiʻi certified applicants. The top students from this ranking will then be offered support. Please note that the ranking and admission offer process for veterinary medicine differs from the other professional healthcare fields.

2. Hawaii Residency

You must be a legal Hawaiʻi resident, since support funds are appropriated by the Hawaiʻi State Legislature. To qualify for Hawaiʻi residency for PSEP purposes, you must:

  1. Have been a bona fide resident of Hawaiʻi for at least 60 consecutive months prior to enrollment at a professional school if you are 18 years or older. If under 18, your parents or legal guardians must have been bona fide residents of Hawaiʻi for at least the past 60 consecutive months. It is possible that a combination of both your residency as well as your parents’ residency is necessary to make up the 60 consecutive months (e.g., for the past three years you have been 18 or older, so the last three years must be based on your residency, and for the two years prior, your residency must be based on your parents’ residency).
  2. Have demonstrated intent to make Hawaiʻiyour permanent residence.
  3. Not have been claimed as a dependent for tax purposes by your parents or legal guardians who are not bona fide residents of Hawaiʻi regardless of your age.

Bona fide residence for PSEP purposes is synonymous with the legal concept of domicile. A person’s domicile is the place where that person lives permanently and returns to after any absence. To be a bona fide resident of Hawaiʻi, a person must be physically present in the state and demonstrate intent to make Hawaiʻi his/her permanent home. Demonstrated intent can be shown by the following:

  1. Filing a Hawaiʻi resident personal income tax form
  2. Registering to vote and voting in Hawaiʻi
  3. Full-time employment in Hawaiʻi
  4. Purchase or lease of a residence in Hawaiʻi
  5. Dates when Hawaiʻi bank accounts were opened
  6. Any other documentation of proof of Hawaiʻi residency

Other considerations:

  1. U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status.
  2. Residency in Hawaiʻi and residency in another place cannot be held simultaneously.
  3. Permanent resident status must have been maintained for 60 consecutive months.
  4. The 60 consecutive months begin when the first action is taken to demonstrate intent to make Hawaiʻi the permanent residence.
  5. Resident status, once acquired, will be lost by future voluntary action of the resident inconsistent with such status. However, Hawaiʻi residency will not be lost solely because of absence from the State while a member of the United States Armed Forces, while engaged in navigation, or while a student at any institution of learning, provided that Hawaiʻi is claimed and maintained as the person’s legal residence.

 

The Hawaiʻi certifying officer determines the residency status of applicants.

3. Return of Service To Hawaii

Hawaiʻi PSEP recipients agree to return and practice their PSEP-supported profession in Hawaiʻi. Hawaiʻi PSEP recipients agree to provide one year of practice in the profession for each year of Hawaiʻi WICHE PSEP support received. If in an accelerated program, recipients agree to practice in Hawaiʻi for the length of a non-accelerated program. If recipients do not complete their service obligation or do not complete their course of study, they are required to pay back the Hawaiʻi WICHE PSEP support received, plus interest and fees, as determined by the Hawaiʻi WICHE PSEP Commission.

Involuntary induction into military service or other causes beyond your control that prevent the establishment of practice in Hawaiʻi may postpone your obligation until such cause is terminated.

If selected for funding

Continuing PSEP students do not need to reapply each year for certification. However, continued sponsorship is subject to annual legislative appropriations and allocations, as well as the student’s continuous maintenance of his or her Hawaiʻi residency status.

  • Maintain good full-time academic standing and make satisfactory progress toward the designated degree to receive continued funding:
  • Maintain your bona fide Hawaiʻi residency status;
  • Prompt notification to the Hawaiʻi Certifying office of any changes to your contact information ( address, phone, email) or for changes in residency, leave of absence for family or medical reasons, academic performance problems, or withdrawal from the program.

Upon completion of your professional program, you must report on your progress of returning to Hawaiʻi to fulfill your return of service obligation. Hawaiʻi PSEP recipients agree to provide one year of practice in the profession for each year of Hawaiʻi WICHE PSEP support received. If in an accelerated program, recipients agree to practice in Hawaiʻi for the length of a non-accelerated program. If recipients do not complete their service obligation, or do not complete their course of study, they are required to pay back the Hawaiʻi WICHE PSEP support received, plus interest and fees, as determined by the Hawaiʻi WICHE PSEP Commission.

Involuntary induction into military service or other causes beyond your control that prevent the establishment of practice in Hawaiʻi may postpone your obligation until such cause is terminated.

Apply for Funding

Applications are available beginning August 1 of the year prior to enrollment and must be received no later than October 15th of the year prior to enrollment. You are encouraged to apply as early as possible. In the event of a ranking tie, submission date may be used to determine the funding recipient. Applicants for Veterinary Medicine PSEP support are strongly encouraged to submit their PSEP application no later than September 15th.

  1. Read all of the WICHE PSEP program information
  2. Login to the Hawaii WICHE PSEP Online Application *** A new online application is now available ***
    1. Create a login account.
    2. Fill out all pages and either save and return or submit. *Only fully submitted applications will be reviewed.
  3. You will receive a confirmation email once you hit submit. Please review the email for next step information.  You can log back in to look at your application.
  4. You will be notified if you are not certified for residency. Those certified will be followed up with much later in the application cycle to inquire about admissions offers.
  5. If you have questions contact the Hawaii WICHE Certifying office at the information below.

Hawaiʻi State Certifying Office

2444 Dole Street
Bachman Annex 9-6
Honolulu, HI 96822

  (808) 956-8753
WICHE@hawaii.edu

Last modified: October 7, 2020