Paying for College
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Grants and Scholarships
- The Centennial Scholars Program: The Centennial Scholars Program celebrates the UH System's centennial and provides an opportunity for the state's brightest students to attend a UH campus. Beginning in the fall 2007, all 10 UH campuses will provide a scholarship of $1,000 per year ($500 per semester) to qualified Hawaii residents.
- Federal Pell Grant (PELL): The Federal Pell Grant is a program for high need undergraduate students who have not earned a first Bachelor's degree. To qualify for a Pell Grant, you must be enrolled at least half-time. In some cases, less than half-time students may qualify. Award amounts are based on a student's expected family contribution (EFC). The EFC is determined by the U.S. Department of Education based on congressional funding. Awards will be adjusted based on enrollment status.
- Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG): The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is for undergraduate students attending at least half time with exceptional need. Normally, the grant is awarded to students who are eligible for a Federal Pell grant and who have the lowest expected family contribution (EFC). Depending on the availability of funds and a student's demonstrated need, a SEOG award for full-time enrollment can be as much as $4,000 per year.
- Hawaii State Need-Based Opportunity Grant: Recipients must be bona fide residents of Hawaii. The awards are for students with financial need who are enrolled at least half-time. The award amount can be up to the cost of tuition.
- Hawaii Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program (LEAP): This program provides tuition grants to bona fide Hawaii residents with financial need. Recipients must also be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant.
- Hawaii State Merit-Based Achievement Scholarships: These scholarships are available to resident and non-resident students who merit assistance because of their achievement and/or service to UH Hilo. The award may cover up to the cost of tuition.
- State of Hawai’i B Plus Scholarship: Funds that are available to students who have graduated from a public high school in the State of Hawaii since 2006, had a high school GPA of at least 3.00, had a rigorous high school curriculum, and have demonstrated financial need. It requires at least half-time (6 credit hours) enrollment.
- Second Century Scholars Program: Grant funds are available to Undergraduate, Graduate or Professional students with Native Hawaiian ancestry, and priority to residents of Hawaii. The awards are for students with financial need who are enrolled at least half time. As a recipient of the scholarship, you may be selected to verify your Hawaiian ancestry. If selected, you will need to provide evidence of Hawaii ancestry (birth certificates, ancestry certification, etc.).
- Veterans Assistance: All programs available to veterans/children of veterans are administered through the Records Office. If you are eligible for assistance through these programs, please contact your home campus Records Office. Questions concerning eligibility may be directed to the Veterans Administration by calling 1-888-GIBILL1.
- Walter Serikawa Scholarship: For UHCC students with documented disabilities. The late Walter Serikawa's goal was to financially support students with documented disabilities to provide access to quality post-secondary education programs in Hawaii.
- Hawaii Student Incentive Grant (HSIG): A federal grant that is matched with institutional and state funds for legal residents of Hawaii enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours), and who are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant.
- Campus Scholarships: Scholarships are available to students for a specific campus within the University of Hawaii System. Check with your home campus for more information.
- Outside Scholarships: These are scholarships from sources that are outside of the University of Hawaii System. If you are receiving an outside scholarship, you are required to notify the Financial Aid Office. Scholarships will first be used to reduce any unmet need and/or any need-based work/loans in the financial aid award. If necessary, awards may also be adjusted.
- Student Employment & Cooperative Education (SECE): www.hawaii.edu/sece
- Federal Work-Study Program (FWS): The Federal Work-Study Program is used to provide part-time employment to students with financial need. Recipients must be enrolled at least half-time to participate. Students are paid at least the minimum wage and are paid twice a month. The Financial Aid Office determines earning limits and you will be notified of this limit via the financial aid award. Visit the student employment website, www.hawaii.edu/sece, or contact the Student Employment Office of your home campus to view job openings.
- General Student Employment: Employment opportunities for students who do not have financial need, but are interested to work on-campus to meet their college expenses. Visit the student employment website, www.hawaii.edu/sece, or contact the Student Employment Office of your home campus.
- Bridge-to-Hope (BTH): An employment option for welfare (TANF/TAONF) recipients and First-to-Work participants who want to work and attend college full-time. To learn more about Bridge-to-Hope, please visit www.hawaii.edu/bridgetohope/index.htm and contact your home campus student employment office to see if they participate in the program.
- Federal Perkins Loan Program: The Federal Perkins Loan is a low interest (5%) loan for students with exceptional financial need. Repayment begins nine months after a student graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment. Perkins Loan recipients must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and entrance counseling once an award has been accepted. The maximum loan per year is $4,000. NOTE: First-time borrowers must complete an entrance counseling before loan funds can be released.
- Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan: The Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans are available to students who demonstrate financial need and are enrolled at least half time. The Federal Government makes these loans. Students who have been awarded and accept a loan must complete additional application materials. NOTE: If this is your first loan, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling. There is also a 30-day delay for all first year (0-24 credits), first-time borrowers.
Federal Direct Stafford loans are disbursed in two equal disbursements for the loan period (one at the beginning and one at the midpoint). Loan funds are paid directly to your student account. If there is a credit balance, the funds will be refunded directly to you.
On an annual basis, freshmen may borrow up to $3,500; sophomores may borrow up to $4,500; juniors and seniors may borrow up to $5,500. This loan has a fixed interest rate of 3.4% for undergraduate students. Each loan is subject to a fee that may be deducted by the lender prior to the disbursement of funds. Interest starts accruing after you graduate, leave school or are no longer enrolled at least half-time. Repayment of the loan normally begins six months after you graduate, leave school or are no longer enrolled at least half-time.
In some situations, you may be able to defer payment of your loan. Deferments can be granted for such things as returning to in-school status, disability, and economic hardship. Deferments can only be granted by your lender and should be contacted for complete information and eligibility criteria.
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is available to students who may not qualify for a Subsidized Stafford Loan. This loan is not based on financial need. The unsubsidized loan has the same basic terms and procedures as the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan except that the interest rate is 6.8% and the interest will start accruing from the time that the loan is disbursed. The interest does not have to be paid while you are enrolled at least half time but it will accrue and be added to the loan principal at repayment.
Dependent undergraduate students are eligible for $2,000 per year. Students classified as independent by the U.S. Department of Education are eligible to receive additional funds through the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Program. At the freshman and sophomore levels, students are eligible for an additional $4,000 per year. At the junior and senior levels, students may be eligible for an additional $5,000 per year.
- Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS): The Federal Direct PLUS Loans are made to parents who want to help pay for their dependent children's education. The amount that a parent can borrow will be determined by the cost of attendance per child minus any other financial aid. All PLUS applicants are subject to a credit check for approval. This loan has a fixed interest rate of 7.9%. Repayment begins 60 days after the last disbursement of the loan.
- State Higher Education Loan (SHEL): Loan funds are available to qualified bona fide Hawaii residents who demonstrate financial need. Students may borrow up to $4,000 annually, up to $8,000 aggregate for the first two years of undergraduate work and up to $20,000 aggregate for a bachelor's degree. The interest rate is a fixed 5% with repayment beginning 9 months after a student ceases to attend at least half time. Loans are repaid in monthly installments over a ten-year period. Recipients must complete a promissory note that will be mailed after the loan has been accepted on the Financial Aid Award Letter. Note: First-time borrowers must complete an entrance counseling session before loan funds can be released.
- Alternative Loans Loan funds from private lenders that are available to students. These are subject to a credit check for approval. Interest rates vary. Check with the lenders for more information.