Scholarships for Native Hawaiians

Author’s Note: this post was originally published in December 2010 and was recently updated in August 2016 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
 
 
Scholarships can come from a range of sources – federal, state, colleges and universities, professional organizations, and private endowments. To receive that FREE money, you’ll need to follow a few steps:

FIRST – fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov. Once your FAFSA has been processed, you’ll receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) which shows your financial aid package. This will give you a good idea of the federal funding options you may qualify for.

SECOND – register with the Kamehameha Schools’ Ho`oulu Hawaiian Data Center (HHDC) to verify your Hawaiian ancestry.

LASTsearch through the scholarships listed below! Typically, you must meet certain criteria (be of Native Hawaiian ancestry verified by birth certificate and/or HHDC, be a full-time student enrolled in an accredited institution, etc.), but be sure to research each program’s specific requirements to ensure that you qualify.


 

The Ke Ali’i Pauahi Foundation

2016-2017 scholarship applications are CLOSED

The Ke Ali’i Pauahi Foundation is a nonprofit corporation whose mission is to “develop new and diverse sources of income to support the ever-increasing educational needs and goals of people of Hawaiian ancestry.” The Pauahi Foundation administers scholarships that have been created by private donors and awards these scholarships supporting college level areas of study, as well as trade and vocational courses. Many awards may be determined based on merit, while some include specific criteria such as geographic location, field of study, financial need or grade point averages.

Scholarships are available to the general public and may not cover the full cost of education. Before proceeding, please read Available Pauahi Foundation Scholarship materials.

Eligibility requirements:

  1. Be a classified, degree-seeking student
  2. Be attending an institution in Hawai`i or the continental U.S.
  3. Be attending school as a full-time student unless specifically noted in the Scholarship Listing
  4. Be attending a two- or four-year accredited* institution

For more information on the Ke Ali’i Pauahi Foundation and its scholarships, please visit: pauahi.org/2016-2017-public-scholarships

 


 

Pacific Islander Health Partnership Scholarship

2016-2017 scholarship applications are CLOSED

The Pacific Islander Health Partnership Scholarship gives preference to college freshmen and continuing college students. Amount awarded: $250-$1,000 per academic year.

Eligibility requirements:

  1. Preference to students who self-identify as Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islanders as defined by the U.S. Census
  2. Desire to advocate in the Pacific Islander Communities
  3. Must enroll in a vocational, 2 year community college or 4 year university
  4. Must have a cumulative 3.00 GPA
  5. In the field of Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM)

Application Procedure: (found on PIHP’s website)

  1. Complete the Pacific Islander Health Partnership Scholarship application
  2. Write an essay answering required prompts
  3. Provide TWO letters of recommendation: School Instructor/Counselor/Administrator AND Pacific Islander Community Leader

For more information please visit: pacifichealthpartners.org/scholarships

or, Contact for questions: Toaono Vaifale, tvaifale@pacifichealthpartners.org
 


 

Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP)

2016-2017 scholarship applications are CLOSED
2017-18 scholarship applications will open December 1, 2016

The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP) is a federally funded, scholar-centered, support service-oriented scholarship program for Native Hawaiian college students interested in serving their Native Hawaiian community as primary health care professionals.

Their scholarships provide: full tuition, a monthly stipend, and other related school costs (books, lab materials, etc) as defined by your school’s financial aid office. As a Federal service scholarship, students who receive funding are obligated to perform one (1) year for each year awarded paid service/employment in a medically underserved area within the State of Hawai`i immediately after graduation/licensure.

Eligibility requirements:

  1. Be of Native Hawaiian ancestry (verified by birth certificate)
  2. Be a full-time student enrolled in an accredited institution
  3. Be pursuing one of the eligible professions listed above
  4. Be willing to relocate anywhere within the state of Hawai`i to fulfill your service obligation

For more information on the The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP), please visit: http://www.nhhsp.org/about

 


 

The Hawai’i Community Foundation (HCF)

2016-2017 scholarship applications are CLOSED

The Hawai’i Community Foundation (HCF) has scholarships available to Native Hawaiians, including one from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria defined by the donor when the fund is established.

Eligibility requirements:

  1. Be a resident of the State of Hawaii
  2. Demonstrate financial need
  3. Attend an accredited two or four year college or university within the United States as either an undergraduate or graduate student
  4. Be a full-time student as determined by your institution (generally,12 credits undergraduate; 9 credits graduate)
  5. Maintain a minimum 2.7 GPA (unless otherwise stated)

Hawai’i Community Foundation scholarships are listed at: hcf.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/ScholarX_ScholarshipSearch.aspx

 


 

The Hawai’i Daughters Guild of California

2016-2017 scholarship applications are CLOSED

Eligibility requirements:

  1. Female of Polynesian ancestry
  2. California resident
  3. Minimum 3.0 GPA

In addition, scholarship recipient must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Enroll as a full-time student, as defined by the academic institution, at an accredited college/university in the academic year following high school graduation
  • Enroll as a full-time student in the academic year immediately following scholarship award
  • Continuing full-time undergraduate student
  • Enrolled as a full-time graduate student in the academic year immediately following bachelor’s degree program

Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis. Consideration is given to scholastic achievements, extra-curricular activities, community service, financial need, background, and career goals. These topics should be covered in a required autobiographical essay.

In addition to the requirements listed above (and a few unlisted) a personal interview is also a part of the consideration process. For more information, please visit: hawaiidaughtersguild.webs.com/scholarships.htm

 


 

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund

Based in Washington, D.C., the APIASF is the nation’s largest non-profit organization devoted solely to providing scholarships for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. APIASF manages two scholarship programs: the APIASF scholarship and the Gates Millennium Scholars/Asian Pacific Islander Americans scholarship, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

APIASF SCHOLARSHIP AWARD consists of $2500-$5000. Eligibility requirements:

  1. Be of Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity as defined by the U.S. Census
  2. Be a citizen, national or legal permanent resident of the U.S., or a citizen of the Freely Associated States
  3. Be enrolling in a U.S. accredited college or university as a full-time, degree-seeking, first-year student
  4. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale (unweighted) or have earned a GED

GATES MILLENNIUM SCHOLARSHIP AWARD (award covers unmet need & self-help.) Eligibility requirements:

  1. Be of Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity as defined by the U.S. Census
  2. Be a citizen, national or legal permanent resident of the U.S., or a citizen of the Freely Associated States
  3. Be enrolling in a U.S. accredited college or university as a full-time, degree-seeking, first-year student
  4. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale (unweighted) or have earned a GED
  5. Meet the federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria
  6. Demonstrated leadership abilities through participation in community service, extracurricular or other activities

For more information, please visit http://www.apiasf.org/scholarships.html

 


 

`Aianahau O Kaleponi Hawaiian Civic Club

Address: 8855 Atlanta Avenue, Suite 147, Huntington Beach, CA 92646-7119
Telephone: (714) 536-0206

Please visit aokhcc.org/32nd-annual-scholarship-aha-aina for more information and details relevant to their scholarship program.

 


 

`Ahahui O Lili`uokalani Hawaiian Civic Club

Address: 735 Bennett Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90804
Telephone: (562) 987-0506

Please contact `Ahahui O Lili`uokalani Hawaiian Civic Club for more information and details relevant to their scholarship program.

 

9 comments on “Scholarships for Native Hawaiians”

  1. heather says:

    Happy to help, Steven!

  2. Raelynn K. Kamai says:

    aloha I am trying to see if I qualify for scholarship to go back to school. First do I have to be enrolled at a school then start to apply? Or apply for scholarships first? Please tell me what are the steps.

    mahalo,

    raelynn

    1. heather says:

      Aloha Raelynn,

      Most of the scholarships available require you to be enrolled at a college or university, or at least be accepted.

      First, you have to apply for your FAFSA and register with the HHDC – to prove you are of Hawaiian ancestry.

      Then you’ll need to apply to the schools you are considering (be selective, though – the application fees can be expensive) and then start applying for scholarships.

      Hope that helps!

      Heather

      1. Raelynn K. Kamai says:

        Mahalo Heather,

        Helpful information.

  3. Lindelle says:

    Mahalo so much for the info. I had a question. I am Born & raised in Hawaii & of Hawaiian Decent. My Ohana is the Kahalehoe’s and Pe’as. I worked hard and went to school & graduated in Las Vegas for Massage Therapy & Skin Care Specialist. I am now a business owner and a licensed and NCTMB Certified massaged therapist and body worker, Licensed Esthetician, Licensed Esthetician Instructor, Makeup Artist & Certified Spray Tan Technician. I am only 25 years old and have been wondering I there are any funding that would help a person like me who paid for school, but am in need of help to payoff my lovely student loans. I also plan on opening a business in Hawaii that will be offering apprenticeship programs to Eager Natives & bring more jobs back in HAWAII. Do you know of any sources? Mahalo Nui Loa

    1. heather says:

      Aloha Lindelle,

      Congratulations on all of your achievements so far! I am not yet aware of any funding programs for those who need helps paying off student loans post-graduation, but will look into it. As for your business venture, perhaps the Hawai’i Better Business Bureau could be of some help.

      Best of luck with everything! I will keep you updated if I find any more information regarding financial assistance.

      Mahalo,
      Heather

      (all replies are forwarded to recipient’s e-mail)

  4. Steven Nihipali says:

    I’m of Hawaiian decent but born and raised on the mainland. I’m concerned that because I look haole I may not get a scholarship. I’m also a disabled vet with one tour to Iraq. I’ve looked at the Gates scholarship and I think I may be qualified, but I dunno how to start. I also have kids that are very young and would like to know how to get them set up so they can go to camps and schools they are older to take them back to their heritage. Thanks

    1. heather says:

      Aloha Steven,

      Have you registered with the Ho’oulu Hawaiian Data Center yet? They help you to verify your Hawaiian ancestry, and provide you with a card as proof of registration. Remember, too, most scholarship programs (if not all) will require your FAFSA and SAR to prove financial need. As for scholarship requirements, there is no reason you should not be considered just because you look haole. They are based on requirements such as ancestry, need, GPA, and so on. NOT what you look like. As for your children, what area do you live in? I can check to see if there are programs in your area.

      Mahalo,
      Heather

      (all replies are forwarded to recipient’s e-mail)

  5. Roz says:

    Hi Heather I have a question I applied myself to a college and I did qualify for FAFSA but it doesn’t cover everything. The rest of the tuition I needed to apply for a student loan I tried to apply for other scholarships but the enrollment already ended should I wait to go back to school on the next enrollment for school? I can’t afford to make loans.

    Thank,
    Roz

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