Author’s Note: this post was originally published in December 2010, and recently updated in JANUARY 2018 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
The scholarships listed below are for persons of Native Hawaiian descent.
If you are looking for scholarships that are specifically available to residents of the State of Hawai’i, check out Hawai’i Community Foundation for a list of over 200 scholarships: hawaiicommunityfoundation.org
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:
- 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.
- Register with the Kamehameha Schools’ Ho`oulu Hawaiian Data Center (HHDC) to verify your Hawaiian ancestry.
- Search through the scholarships listed below! Typically, you must meet certain criteria (be of Native Hawaiian ancestry verified by birth certificate and/or HHDC, be enrolled in an accredited institution, etc.), but be sure to research each program’s specific requirements to ensure that you qualify.
The Walt Disney Company/APIASF Scholarship
2018 applications are CLOSED
Closing date: January 11, 2018 at 2:00pm PST / 5:00pm EST
The Walt Disney Company announced a $500,000 commitment to establish a new scholarship program with the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) in support of high-achieving Asian and Pacific Islander college students. The Walt Disney Company/APIASF Scholarship program will provide 150 scholarships over a three-year period and will be available to eligible students with Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity in the U.S.
- Be of Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity, as defined by the U.S. Census
- Be a citizen, national or legal permanent resident of the United States (citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau are also eligible to apply)
- Be enrolling in a U.S.-accredited college or university as a full-time, degree-seeking, first-year student in the 2017-2018 academic year
- Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale (unweighted) or have earned a GED
- Apply for FAFSA by February 1, 2017
For more details about APIASF, please visit: apiasf.org
The Ke Ali’i Pauahi Foundation
2018 applications are OPEN
Closing date: February 15, 2018, 4:15pm HST / 6:15pm PST
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.
- Be a classified, degree-seeking student
- Be attending an institution in Hawai`i or the continental U.S.
- Be attending school as a full-time student unless specifically noted in the Scholarship Listing
- 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/program-overview
Pacific Islander Festival Association
2018 applications are OPEN
Closing date: March 5, 2018
The primary purposes and objectives of the Pacific Islander Festival Association are to promote charitable and educational projects for the benefit of everyone, to provide educational and cultural resources to everyone, and to actively participate in the promotion and perpetuation of the traditional cultures, ancient historical data, languages, attitudes and values of the Indigenous People of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.
Applicants will be scored using a 5-point rubric created by the PIFA Scholarship Committee for evaluation. Please examine each category carefully when submitting your application:
- College Academics
- Community Service
- Participation in Promoting Culture
- Potential Goals to Contribute to Community of Pacific Islanders
- Letters of Recommendation
For more information on the Pacific Islander Festival Association and its scholarships, please visit: pifasandiego.com/scholarships
Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP)
APPLICATIONS ARE CURRENTLY SUSPENDED
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.
- Be of Native Hawaiian ancestry (verified by birth certificate)
- Be a full-time student enrolled in an accredited institution
- Be pursuing one of the eligible professions listed above
- 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 Daughters Guild of California
2018 applications are OPEN
Closing date: March 15, 2018
- Female of Polynesian ancestry
- California resident
- 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
Pacific Islander Health Partnership Scholarship
2018 APPLICATION DATES TBA
The Pacific Islander Health Partnership Scholarship gives preference to college freshmen and continuing college students. Amount awarded: $250-$1,000 per academic year.
- Preference to students who self-identify as Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islanders as defined by the U.S. Census
- Desire to advocate in the Pacific Islander Communities
- Must enroll in a vocational, 2 year community college or 4 year university
- Must have a cumulative 3.00 GPA
- In the field of Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM)
Application Procedure: (found on PIHP’s website)
- Complete the Pacific Islander Health Partnership Scholarship application
- Write an essay answering required prompts
- Provide TWO letters of recommendation: School Instructor/Counselor/Administrator AND Pacific Islander Community Leader