20 Scholarships for Native Hawaiian Students to Apply for in 2024

Native Hawaiian students are among the least likely to graduate with student-loan debt in the United States. In fact, Hawaii boasts the lowest percentage of college graduates in debt across all states and territories, with only 8.4% of residents in debt. What’s the secret? A wealth of scholarships that reduce the burden of student debt. 

Our team at ScholarshipInstitute.org has carefully researched and found the top 20 scholarships for Native Hawaiian students, including opportunities for all grade levels. Whether you’re planning to attend a private institution in Hawaii or elsewhere, these financial aid opportunities can make your educational journey considerably less taxing. 

The 20 Best Native Hawaiian Students’ Scholarships

Without further ado, here are the top 20 scholarships for Hawaiian students, including their details, application deadlines, and award amounts. 

“Be Bold” No-Essay Scholarship 

Bold.org‘s recurring scholarship is for students with bold characteristics, regardless of study, education level, and GPA. Applicants should tailor their Bold.org profiles to the scholarship’s requirements, which is an excellent opportunity for Hawaiian students to showcase their unique backgrounds. 

  • Amount: $25,046
  • Next Application Deadline: September 1, 2023
  • Next Winner Announced: December 1, 2023

Faatuai and Fatilua Memorial Scholarship 

Any Pacific Islander undergraduate or graduate student with a 3.0 GPA or higher can apply for this scholarship annually. Applicants must submit a brief essay explaining what it means to attend college and why they think they deserve to win. 

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Next Application Deadline: November 25, 2023
  • Next Winner Announced: December 25, 2023

500 Bold Points No-Essay Scholarship 

Hawaiian students who create ambitious Bold.org profiles and have at least 500 Bold points are eligible for this easy scholarship. Offered annually, students of any grade level, field of study, and GPA can apply. 

  • Amount: $5,000
  • Next Application Deadline: September 1, 2023
  • Next Winner Announced: December 1, 2023

Across Cultures “Expand Your Horizons” Scholarship 

Students open to learning about new cultures or sharing experiences of their own can use this scholarship to travel and learn. Hawaiian students who share this passion can apply by tailoring their profile to the scholarship’s requirements. 

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Application Deadline: April 28, 2024
  • Winner Announced: April 30, 2024

Elijah’s Helping Hand Scholarship Award 

High school seniors, undergraduate, and graduate students, including those from Hawaii, are eligible to apply for this annual scholarship. Applicants must describe how they’ve been impacted by mental health, suicide, or LGBTQIA+ experiences in a brief essay. 

  • Amount: $500
  • Next Application Deadline: May 12, 2024
  • Next Winner Announced: June 12, 2024

Bold.org No-Essay Community Scholarship 

If you’re a Hawaiian student who values a thriving community and invites friends to join Bold.org, you can apply for this scholarship annually. Any student is eligible and should invite as many friends as possible to increase their chances of winning. 

  • Amount: $5,000
  • Next Application Deadline: September 1, 2023
  • Next Winner Announced: December 1, 2023

Derk Golden Memorial Scholarship 

Native Hawaiian student-athletes with at least a 3.0 GPA can apply for this scholarship by writing a brief essay. Applicants should describe their passion for sports and what they’ve learned about themselves. 

  • Amount: $950
  • Application Deadline: March 15, 2024
  • Winner Announced: April 15, 2024

Bernard W. Creque III Scholarship 

This scholarship is for high school seniors and undergraduate students who are family relatives of fallen soldiers. Hawaiian students who qualify can submit an application by writing about how their experiences have made them stronger and more ambitious. 

  • Amount: $2,500
  • Application Deadline: October 1, 2023
  • Winner Announced: November 1, 2023

“A Daring Path” No-Essay Scholarships 

This is a no-essay scholarship for students willing to take chances and won’t allow their fears to control them in pursuing their dreams. If the applicant is bold and wishes to get the most out of life, this is the scholarship.

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Application Deadline: October 30, 2023
  • Winner Announced: November 30, 2022

Joanne Pransky Celebration of Women in Robotics 

If you’re a female-identifying Hawaiian student interested in a career in robotics, you can apply for this scholarship by submitting an essay about the challenges/opportunities of robotics. High school and two or four-year undergraduate students are eligible. 

  • Amount: $3,000 (3 winners, $1,000 each)
  • Application Deadline: February 29, 2024
  • Winner Announced: March 31, 2024

FMA College Scholarship 

Undergraduate students pursuing a career in flood risk reduction should apply for this scholarship if they attend an accredited college in Hawaii, Nevada, or California. Eligible fields of study include STEM, engineering, earth or social sciences, and related topics. 

  • Amount: $10,000
  • Application Deadline: May 31, 2023
  • Winner Announced: June 30, 2023

WayUp Dream Job No-Essay Scholarship 

Hawaiian students who graduate between 2020 and 2026 can apply for this annual scholarship and receive access to WayUp’s job and internship platform. Applicants who make the most of the WayUp platform, create an outstanding profile, and apply for positions will have greater chances of winning. 

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Next Application Deadline: September 2, 2023
  • Next Winner Announced: August 1, 2024

Cappex Adult Learners Scholarship 

This annual scholarship is for students 25 or older who plan on starting school or completing their Bachelor’s degree. Eligible Hawaiian students who apply will also receive access to various resources from Cappex. 

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Next Application Deadline: September 2, 2023
  • Next Winner Announced: August 2, 2024

VNutrition and Wellness’ Annual LGBTQ+ Vitality Scholarship 

High school senior, undergraduate, and graduate LGBTQ+ students are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Hawaiian students who wish to apply must write a 400—600 word essay explaining how they plan on using education to improve society. 

  • Amount: $500
  • Next Application Deadline: July 1, 2024
  • Next Winner Announced: July 31, 2024

Scholarship Institute’s Annual Women’s Leadership Scholarship 

If you’re a female-identifying Hawaiian student with exceptional leadership skills, you can apply for this scholarship by submitting a brief essay. Eligible applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents, whether high school seniors, undergraduate, or graduate students. 

  • Amount: $500
  • Next Application Deadline: July 1, 2024
  • Next Winner Announced: July 31, 2024

The GIST Women’s Sports Business Scholarship 

This annual scholarship is for students passionate about women’s sports and journalism. Hawaiian students who apply will receive The GIST, a sports business newsletter, and should read and share it to increase their chances of winning. 

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Next Application Deadline: September 2, 2023
  • Next Winner Announced: August 2, 2024

Trudgers Fund 

High school seniors or undergraduate Hawaiian students who have struggled with addiction can apply for this bi-annual scholarship by submitting a brief essay. Eligible applicants must also currently be sober. 

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Application Deadline: November 1, 2023
  • Winner Announced: December 1, 2023

Jose Montanez Memorial Scholarships 

This scholarship is specifically for high school seniors who plan on pursuing an undergraduate degree or trade school certification. Students studying music, arts, or a related field or from the foster care system are especially encouraged to apply. 

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Application Deadline: April 15, 2024
  • Winner Announced: May 15, 2024

ProjectGiveBack Scholarship for Black Women 

This scholarship is for Black, female-identifying college or GED students. If you qualify as a Hawaiian student, write a 500—1000 word essay based on one of the provided topics. 

  • Amount: $2,000 (2 winners, $1,000 each)
  • Application Deadline: August 30, 2023
  • Winner Announced: September 30, 2023

Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarships

This scholarship is for students in any educational level and field who have had some form of personal experience with a mental illness, whether it be their own or that of a friend. Eligible Hawaiian students can apply by writing a 500–1000 word essay about how their experience with mental health influenced them.  

  • Amount: $500
  • Application Deadline: November 30, 2023
  • Winner Announced: December 31, 2023

About Scholarships for Hawaiian Students

Navigating the path to higher education poses unique challenges for Hawaiian students. Scholarships for these students embrace their Native Hawaiian heritage and help address the financial burden of education, serving as a bridge to educational opportunities. By applying for these scholarships, Hawaiian students take a step toward their academic goals while staying connected to their roots. Whether they are high school seniors or already enrolled in a degree program or trade school, all Hawaiian students can find opportunities to make education more affordable.

What are Hawaiian Student Scholarships?

Hawaiian student scholarships are designed to support and encourage students to pursue higher education. These scholarships provide financial assistance to those in need and foster participation in Hawaiian culture. They range from general scholarships, such as merit-based awards with a minimum GPA, to specific programs for degree-seeking students, including Native Hawaiians. 

What Qualifies Someone for a Hawaiian Scholarship?

Qualifications for a Hawaiian student scholarship vary depending on the program. Generally, scholarship programs consider factors such as Hawaiian ancestry, residency in Hawaii, financial need, academic achievement, or commitment to studying Hawaiian culture. Some programs may also require enrollment in a specific degree-seeking program or institution. Since the qualifications differ, checking the particular criteria for each scholarship is best. 

Types of Scholarships for Hawaiians

Hawaiian students can leverage several kinds of higher education scholarship programs. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common types. 

Merit-Based Scholarships

Some scholarships measure students’ performance, whether their GPA, extracurricular achievements, or other abilities. Merit-based scholarships usually have minimum requirements, so Hawaiian students should check each application page to ensure they qualify. Similarly, students will likely need to show proof, such as a high school transcript or recommendation letters. 

Athletic Scholarships

Hawaiian student-athletes sometimes qualify for athletic scholarships, whether in recognition of their athleticism or to encourage their participation in college sports. These can range from general athletic scholarships to sport-specific opportunities. 

Need-Based Scholarships

These scholarships are awarded based on the financial needs of Hawaiian students. They often require students or families (depending on the student’s age) to submit records to demonstrate financial need for support. For more information, the FAFSA application is one of the most common need-based programs to get federal assistance. You can also contact your school to determine if they have a Native Hawaiian tuition waiver.

Student-Specific Scholarships

These scholarships target students who qualify based on race, gender, religion, family, or other defining traits. Scholarships for Hawaiian students are one example of student-specific scholarships, but they may qualify for others depending on their background and future goals.

College-Specific Scholarships

Colleges, universities, and trade schools may offer scholarships to students planning to attend their institution. They may consider their previous academic and extracurricular history to decide who qualifies, while other programs provide scholarships if students meet specific benchmarks. For more information, contact your school’s financial aid office to discover the available opportunities.

Career-Specific Scholarships

Hawaiian students pursuing a specific career path, such as medicine, STEM, or education, can find scholarships for their respective fields. While opportunities vary depending on the career path, Hawaiian students can often find programs to help them work toward their desired area. 

How to Find Scholarships for Native Hawaiian Students

You can search for relevant scholarships online, but Bold.org is the best way to find Hawaiian student scholarships. Bold.org lists several scholarships specifically for Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students on top of hundreds of other opportunities exclusively offered on its platform. It’s completely free to use, and there’s no limit to how many students can apply for. 

You can also find scholarships for Native Hawaiian students through the Office of Hawaiian Affairs or by contacting your current or future school to see if they have any opportunities. Colleges can also offer scholarships to Native Hawaiian students for accomplishments like community service, social work, leadership work, assistance work, or campus or department work.

How to Apply for Hawaiian Student Scholarships

Hawaiian students can apply for scholarships online or through their school, but the easiest way is to use Bold.org. Here’s a tutorial on how to get started. 

Step 1: Visit Bold.org

Start by visiting Bold.org, a scholarship platform with hundreds of opportunities. In addition to scholarships for Hawaiian students, you can find different kinds based on your background, achievements, and interests. 

Step 2: Create Your Profile

In order to apply for these scholarships, you will need to create a free Bold.org account and profile. Your profile is public and shared with scholarship panels, so give it your best effort and ensure it reflects your background and unique experience as a Hawaiian student. 

Step 4: Explore Scholarships

Review all the scholarship opportunities on Bold.org and note their application deadlines and requirements. Look for scholarships that align with your timeframe and circumstances. These may include merit-based, career-specific, or exclusive scholarships for Hawaiian natives and Pacific Islander students. 

Step 5: Apply for Eligible Scholarships

Once you’ve identified relevant scholarships, read the instructions carefully and start applying. Each opportunity has its own application process, so tailor each to meet the specific requirements. Try to give yourself plenty of time and submit your applications as soon as possible. 

Step 6: Track Your Applications 

When you’re finished applying, you can revisit your Bold.org dashboard to track application statuses. And if you win, Bold.org automatically helps you apply the funding to your school’s tuition directly, eliminating extra work on your end. 

Tips for Winning a Hawaiian Student Scholarship

Hawaiian students have unique experiences worth sharing in scholarship applications. Here are some helpful considerations for when it’s time to apply. 

Tip 1: Start Your Scholarship Hunt Early

Procrastination rarely favors students, and scholarships are no exception. By starting your scholarship search in advance, you get more time to find applicable opportunities and get your applications in before everyone else. 

Tip 2: Make Your Application Unique

Since every scholarship has unique criteria, you should tailor each application to fit these requirements. When appropriate, leverage your experiences and achievements as a Hawaiian student that resonate with the scholarship’s intentions. 

Tip 3: Apply for Multiple Scholarships

Students can apply for as many scholarships as they want, so don’t limit yourself to just one opportunity. Apply for all the scholarships you qualify to increase your chances of securing financial aid. 

Tip 4: Optimize Your Bold.org Profile

An authentic and unique Bold.org profile helps you stand out among other candidates, so highlight your unique journey as a Hawaiian student. Draw attention to your interests, background, and what you hope to achieve with your education. 

Tip 5: Craft a Compelling Essay or Personal Statement

If your scholarships ask for an essay, take it as an opportunity to tell your story. Pay attention to the prompts, but also weave in your first-hand perspectives and experiences to sound unique and compelling. 

Tip 6: Learn About the Scholarship Donors

Bold.org has several donors on its platform, each with different goals and values behind their scholarships. Take time to understand these motives and what the donors seek, and in turn, show why you make the best candidate in your applications. 

The Challenges of Native Hawaiian Students Applying for College 

Private colleges are less expensive for many residents, and many native Hawaiian students attending private institutions have to rely more heavily on personal loans and financial aid. 

Native Hawaiian Students Loan Debt vs. The National Average

Native Hawaiian students have loan debts above or below average, depending on the age group, despite receiving federal student aid. However, considering that most college students and college graduates are under the age of 34, the level of student loan debt for the age group that matters remains below the national average.

However, applying to a scholarship program or for financial aid can benefit any student, including a native Hawaiian student.

FAQs About Hawaiian Scholarships for Students

student in the library

Financial aid is available for those attending and enrolled full-time at a higher education facility, like a college or university. There may still be questions surrounding eligibility requirements or how to find financial help. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers regarding scholarships for Hawaiians.

Are Hawaiian Scholarships Legit?

Hawaiian scholarships are legit and heavily focused on securing the financial future of Native Hawaiians. However, they sometimes have a few application requirements, but they are shared amongst Hawaiian colleges and give Hawaiians options.

What’s the Best Way to Apply for Hawaiian Scholarships?

Bold.org is the best scholarship platform for all students, including Hawaiian students. Bold.org conveniently sorts scholarship opportunities by demographic, state, degree, and other factors to help students find programs quickly. And after students apply, it’s easy for them to track their applications in one place. 

How Can I Improve My Chances of Winning Hawaiian Scholarships?

You can improve your chances by submitting your applications early and tailoring them to each scholarship program. Also, you can improve your chances of winning a scholarship program for Hawaiians by including a cover letter showing your experience as a native Hawaiian.

How Many Hawaiian Scholarships Can You Get?

There is no limit to the number of scholarships. You can apply for as many as there are available. You can apply for multiple scholarships at once and potentially cover 100% of your tuition if you receive adequate funding. 

Are Hawaiian Scholarships Taxable Income?

Hawaiian scholarships are sometimes taxable, depending on their use. If you use the scholarship for tuition, enrollment fees, or supplies, it is not taxable. However, it is taxable if you use it to pay for other expenses, like housing or living expenses. 

Can I Reapply for a Scholarship if I Didn’t Win the First Time? 

Generally, you can reapply for a scholarship if you still meet the eligibility criteria whenever the application opens again. For instance, some scholarships may only target students with a specific graduation year, so be sure to check the application details to see if you can reapply. 

Are Hawaiian Student Scholarships Available for Graduate Students? 

Yes, scholarships are available for Hawaiian graduate students, whether prospective or currently enrolled in graduate school. You can find dozens of graduate student scholarships on Bold.org, contact your school, or check if your state has scholarship programs available. 

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