Colleges in Hawaii and Why it’s a Great Place to go to School

Deciding where to go to college can be tough. You need to think about your education, interests, goals, needs, and more! If you like warm weather and beaches, though, you might just want to consider attending one of the amazing colleges in Hawaii! The state is home to several amazing colleges and universities and has plenty to offer residents who want to get out on the weekend for a bit of adventure. Here’s why Hawaii should be at the top of your list.

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Top Colleges in Hawaii

  1. University of Hawaii at Manoa
    • Location: Honolulu
    • Enrollment total: 19,074
    • Acceptance Rate: 73%
  2. Chaminade University of Honolulu
    • Location: Honolulu
    • Enrollment total: 2,369
    • Acceptance Rate: 93.7%
  3. University of Hawaii at Hilo
    • Location: Hilo
    • Enrollment total: 2,977
    • Acceptance Rate: 84%
  4. Hawaii Pacific University
    • Location: Honolulu
    • Enrollment total: 4,876
    • Acceptance Rate: 87.2%
  5. University of Hawaii – West Oahu
    • Location: Kapolei
    • Enrollment total: 2,913
    • Acceptance Rate: 95.9%
  6. Brigham Young University – Hawaii
    • Location: Laie
    • Enrollment total: 2,735
    • Acceptance Rate: 34%
  7. See More

Why Go to College in Hawaii

Hawaii is known as a premiere vacation destination for families, so what better way to spend your four years of college education than on one of these beautiful islands? You’ll be able to get the best of both worlds – a solid education with access to amazing locations during your free time. Not to mention year-round warm weather! Here are a few things you’ll want to consider doing during your downtime at college in Hawaii.

1. History and Education

Hawaii is home to several historical sites, including National Historic Landmarks. One such site you can visit is the Iolani Palace in Honolulu. It’s the only royal palace in the United States and was the home of the last ruling monarchs of the islands: King Kalakaua and sister Queen Liliʻuokalani. Tours of the palace can be guided or self-led with audio.

Also worth a visit is the Pearl Harbor National Memorial which is home to the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, USS Arizona Memorial, Battleship Missouri, and the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, among others. Many of the tours do require reservations if you do not have an Active-Duty Military ID so it’s important to plan ahead if you’re visiting Pearl Harbor.

2. Culture

Hawaii is a state rich with a unique culture, and there are plenty of ways students can embrace that culture. A visit to the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu is a great way to explore the history of the islands and the Pacific. Visitors will be able to see more than 25 million items that have historical, cultural, and natural value to the area. The Hawaiian Hall in particular focuses on Native Hawaiian culture.

If you want to get outdoors and explore a bit of Hawaiian history and culture, there is also the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout and Hānaiakamalama. Hānaiakamalama was a summer retreat of Queen Emma, King Kamehameha, and their son. Today it is home to antiques and memorabilia. Not far is Nu’uanu Pali Lookout which has some amazing views and was the site of the Battle of Nu’uanu in 1795.

For students who are tired of eating in the dining halls, too, there are several options for amazing food on the islands! Poke is a staple, but there is also Spam musubi, shaved ice, poi, lomi lomi salmon, kalua pork, and more!

3. Fun

And, of course, Hawaii is home to endless fun activities! Students can head to the beach for some swimming, surfing, or snorkeling. And if you can’t surf, don’t worry – several organizations are more than happy to teach you. Students can also opt to go canoeing, cruising, paddle boarding, bodyboarding, and fishing. 

For those who want something different than the beach, inland also provides some amazing fun spots including the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Over 335,000 acres, the park is home to two volcanoes: Kilauea and Mauna Loa. Visitors can explore the volcanos, lava fields, rainforests, craters, coastlines, cultural sites, deserts, and more. There are plenty of sites to see wildlife, and students can opt to hike or even drive throughout the park.

Paying for Colleges in Hawaii

Hawaii can be an expensive state to live in, so saving money on college tuition can be a difference-maker if you’re planning on attending college here. For residents of Hawaii, there are quite a few state grants that can make tuition more affordable, including:

  • UH Opportunity Grant
  • Native Hawaiian Tuition Waiver
  • Hawai’i Promise Scholarship
  • Hawaii B+ Scholarship
  • Hawaii Community College Achievement Grant
  • Second Century Scholars Program

For those who don’t live in Hawaii, the state does participate in a tuition reciprocity program that could allow you to pay in-state tuition at select schools. Hawaii is part of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education along with Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Hawaii is a tourist destination, but it can also be a great place to learn, too. Students will find a healthy mix of outdoor recreation and academic programs that can be excellent for education and health. If Hawaii is at the top of your list, planning a visit to the state can help you determine if it’s the right place for your education!

Choosing a college can be difficult, but College Match from College Raptor has your back. Sign up today to start exploring which colleges and universities in Hawaii match your interests, needs, wants, and goals in education!

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