Scholarships for Hawaiians
Types of Scholarships available for Hawaiians
There are several types of scholarships available for those who are of Hawaiian or Polynesian descent. The three main types of scholarships are those offered by individual colleges and universities, those scholarships offered by individual foundations and organizations, and those types of scholarships offered through State and Federal Government programs.
Though many colleges and universities across the United States have scholarship options available for those of Hawaiian or Polynesian descent, the colleges and universities in Hawaii and on the West Coast of the US (including Alaska) are more likely to have scholarship programs tailored specifically for Hawaiians. Most of these will require proof of ancestry and some may be available only to those students of Hawaiian descent who demonstrate financial need.
Those scholarships offered by individual foundations and organizations are more likely to be based purely on ancestry, though demonstration of high academic achievement or leadership skills may be a part of the requirements for application. It is important to pay attention to the fine print of these sorts of scholarships so that you will be sure to include proof of the information they require.
And finally there are the State and Federal Government programs that have put in place for students of Hawaiian descent. These are usually based on a combination of demonstrated ancestry and financial need and are more likely to be available to Hawaiian students attending any center of higher education in the United States.
Popular Hawaiian Scholarships
Some of the more popular Hawaiian Scholarships include The Native Hawaiian Leadership Project (NHLP). The NHLP is a program put into place by the U.S. Department of Education, Native Hawaiian Higher Education Act. Scholarships are awarded for undergraduates, graduates and those pursuing doctorial degrees. More information on this program can be found at the U.S. Department of Education.
The Hawai’i Community Foundation (HCF) has a number of scholarships available for both students who reside in Hawaii, and those who are native Hawaiians. Scholarships range in amounts awarded and are available to both undergraduate and graduate students. Some of the larger amounts awarded depend on community involvement and demonstration of leadership skills.
Again, for those planning on attending college or university in Hawaii, The Prince Kuhio Hawaiian Civic Club has a well-funded scholarship program that awards a good number of scholarships to deserving students of Native Hawaiian descent each year.
An example of west coast regional scholarships for Native Hawaiians is The Hawai’i’s Daughter guild of California, which offers scholarships to women of Polynesian ancestry who are residents of California. The scholarships vary in amount, and applicants can be enrolled (or planning on attending) any college or university in California, either private or public.
Finally, if you are a Native Hawaiian who is planning on attending the University of Hawai’i, you may want to consider seeing if you are eligible for a tuition waiver from Kua’ana: Native Hawaiian Student Development Service. While not many qualify, there are a number of students each year who receive 100% free tuition if they meet the specifications.