Best Universities in Hawaii: You can benefit from the advantages of paradise if you go to college in the Aloha State. College students have plenty of opportunities to decompress from the demands of academics thanks to the world-class hiking, scuba diving, surfing, and resorts that the state has to offer. Hawaii’s volcanoes, untamed landscapes, and magnificent beaches make for the ideal setting for unwinding during college. As soon as you step outside your front door and take in the beauty that surrounds you, the tension of college will instantly go.
In addition to the joyful atmosphere, the state’s islands are home to a number of institutions and universities. For the money, Brigham Young University Hawaii is the best option. Hawaiian colleges and universities frequently provide courses that explore the flora, wildlife, and marine life of Hawaii in more profound and fascinating ways than most other colleges can because of its great position.
Hawaii is dedicated to giving people from all over the world access to educational opportunities. Consider Hawaii for its blending of various cultures, enjoyable trips into its stunning paradise, and a top-notch education.
We evaluate universities in Hawaii using information from four primary categories:
- Price (median net price)
- Grade point average (graduation rate)
- Student retention rate and satisfaction
- Salary After Attending (the average salary of graduates who received federal financial aid ten years after leaving the institution)
This list seeks to assist students in evaluating the affordability and worth of the best universities in Hawaii so they can choose the institution they wish to attend.
Why Attend University in Hawaii
Hawaii’s vast cultural diversity and biological diversity are complementary, which is important for international students considering Hawaii as a study destination. The preservation of traditional Hawaiian culture and the representation of the various cultures that are currently flourishing on the islands are very important to Hawaiians. The state is one of two “majority-minority states” (where non-Hispanic whites do not constitute a majority) and has the greatest percentage of people of mixed racial origin.
The majority of Hawaii’s population is made up of Asian Americans, and their culture is strongly reflected in everything from the architecture to the cuisine. International students in Hawaii can benefit greatly from the embraced and pervasive diversity of life there by finding a welcoming environment in which to maximize their study abroad experience.
Additionally, there are organizations working to build an international student community in Hawaii that will provide as a venue for communication for foreign students moving from their home countries to study there as well as various types of support.
There are numerous ways for international students in Hawaii to reduce their living expenses and start saving money. In addition, several colleges in Hawaii actively work to boost the number of international students who choose to study there by providing a variety of scholarship, internship, and other financial aid possibilities.
Given that Hawaii has the highest average cost of living in the nation and that financial aid is often difficult to obtain, prospective students should examine their choices. The majority of schools and universities in Hawaii offer a wide range of choices for out-of-country students to either cover or reduce the cost of living, and most of these options are readily accessible via the institutions’ websites.
Best Universities in Hawaii
- Net Price on Average: $14,687
- 81% retention rate
- Grade-Point Average: 62%
- Salary After Graduating: $52,862
The University of Hawaii at Manoa, established in 1907 on the little island of Oahu, is just a short distance from the heart of Honolulu. Manoa, the University of Hawaii’s main campus, provides a variety of special programs for studying Asian and Pacific cultures. Every year, UOH-M sporting teams compete in the NCAA Big West Conference, adding another level of excitement to campus life.
The university, which has more than 12,000 undergraduates, attempts to organize its academic year into semesters for the benefit of its student body. The average cost of in-state fees and tuition is $14,687. Manoa is fully infused with the aloha culture, allowing University of Hawaii students to freely celebrate this enduring value that respects their uniqueness while also bringing them together as a single student family.
- Net Price on Average: $13,860
- 75% retention rate
- Graduation Rates: 50%
- After-Teaching Salary: $48,268
In 1976, the “second city” of Oahu, Kapolei, which is only 30 minutes to the west of Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, became home to the University of Hawaii-West Oahu. Today, UOH-WO takes pride in being a “puuhonua,” where each student is individually supervised and mentored throughout their learning experience, much like the idea of communal child-rearing. The curricula at UH-West Oahu reflect the values of this distinctive and enduring culture, with the understanding that students are an integral part of what sustains the neighborhood and the island.
There are 9 bachelor’s degrees, 43 different concentrations, and 11 certifications available to students. The typical cost of in-state tuition and fees is $13,860. UOH-WO is regarded as a suburban campus because the majority of students reside off-campus.
- Net Price on Average: $25,360
- 84% retention rate
- Rate of Graduation: 45%
- Salary After Graduating: $44,647
The Chaminade University of Honolulu, which is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, was established in 1955 as a private, Catholic university that is associated with the Marianist movement. Students living in the Kaimuki district of Honolulu have quick access to Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, and the Pacific Ocean from their location there. The average student receives financial help and scholarships, keeping with the school’s belief that financial hardship should not be a barrier to education. Tuition is just under $26,000.
Through service-oriented learning, Chaminade is committed to advancing the Marianist values of peace, justice, and dignity for everyone. Nine different graduate degrees are available, including those in education, criminal justice, and pastoral studies. Students can receive bachelor’s degrees in disciplines like accountancy, forensic science, or religious studies.
- Net Price on Average: $14,499
- 63% retention rate
- Grade-Point Average: 66%
- Salary After Graduating: $49232
By integrating the fields of spiritual and secular education, BYU-Hawaii, which is affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aims to foster a culture of lifelong learning. Surprisingly, it is snuggled between the grand mountains and the appealing beach, both of which are conveniently close by and can be reached on foot.
BYU-H is the perfect place to find purpose and direction because of its varied student body, which comes from over 70 different nations. Donations from both church and non-church members help to subsidize tuition and fees, bringing down the cost of attendance for church members to about $5,720 for a three-semester academic year.
The arts and humanities, math and science, and professional certification are a few of the more well-liked majors. In addition to offering minors and professional certifications, BYU-Hawaii also offers numerous regular undergraduate degree programs and one-of-a-kind majors, such as Hawaiian language study. Personalized degree plans are encouraged, and students are encouraged to take on the title of “holokai,” which means “seafarer” and is a fitting description for any BYU-Hawaii student on their path to success.
- Net Price on Average: $13,503
- 72% retention rate
- Rate of Graduation: 43%
- Salary After Graduating: $43,823
About 200 miles from the state capital, the University of Hawaii-Hilo was established in 1947 as a rural liberal arts school with public funding. UH-Hilo primarily awards undergraduate degrees, but it also runs graduate programs in a variety of subjects, including biology for tropical conservation and teaching.
The doctoral programs offered by the school include those in nursing, pharmacy, and Hawaiian Language Revitalization. At the summit of Mount Maunakea is a top-notch observatory, and the Hilo Forest Reserve is only a short distance from the campus. The institution offers unique learning opportunities and promotes real-world experience by using the island’s rich ecology as a live, hands-on laboratory for students.
Tuition and fees for residential students typically total roughly $7,800. The Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges has also granted status to the university.
- Net Price on Average: $29,484
- 62% retention rate
- 35% of students graduate.
- Salary After Graduating: $56,483
In 1965, Hawaii Pacific University, a private university with a focus on urban education, was founded in the heart of Honolulu. It now provides over 46 undergraduate degrees in subjects like math, physics, the arts, and humanities. The Master of Education, MBA, and Master of Social Work are a few of the seventeen graduate degrees offered. One of the four PhD degrees offered by the institution is another option for students. The school’s flexibility is increased by the large variety of online course offerings, and students can select from undergraduate, graduate, and associate-level degrees in a number of additional subjects.
HPU places a strong emphasis on a varied curriculum that reflects the student body because it is primarily a liberal arts college. With a little under 4,600 students enrolled on average, the school offers a more individualized collegiate experience. In-state students pay an average of $29,000 in tuition and fees annually.
- Net Price on Average: $6,051
- 69% retention rate
- Graduation Rates: 31%
- Salary After Graduating: $44,467
At the foot of the massive Diamond Head volcano, Kapiolani Community College was established in 1946. Its initial mission as an organization was to provide specialized job training and education for the foodservice sector. But as time went on, the school’s offerings expanded to include nursing, business education, and dentistry assisting. Nowadays, Kapiolani College provides a wide range of programs, including those in the liberal arts, hospitality and tourism management, culinary arts, and more.
The average cost of in-state tuition for the academic year is $3,284. With a total enrollment of about 4,300 students and a 100% acceptance rate, the college collaborates closely with the University of Hawaii. The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has also granted it accreditation. Long-term objectives for Kapiolani include improving technical education in the 21st century.
KCC works hard to uphold a high standard of service to the community and the nation. The organization is named in honor of Queen Julia Kapi’olani, the first Hawaiian queen to visit the United States. KCC further honors its namesake by upholding the virtues of honesty, service, and responsibility while also giving its students access to a top-notch education and job training.
- Net Price on Average: $7,934
- 70% retention rate
- Rate of Graduation: 27%
- Salary After Graduating: $38,375
Since 1964, Kauai Community College has offered more affordable education to deserving students. It provides 89 technical and vocational degrees and certifications throughout a range of job fields, and it collaborates closely with the University of Hawaii system. Small class sizes and low tuition make it one of the best alternatives in Hawaii for direct career training, with programs ranging from engineering to accountancy. The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges also formally recognizes Kauai.
In-state students pay an average of $3,200 in tuition, while out-of-state students pay an average of $8,328. The majority of students enroll part-time and study for associate degrees that may be transferred easily to four-year universities or certifications. In the end, Kauai is the ideal location to launch your career and set off on the road to your objectives.
- Net Price on Average: $7,700
- 56% retention rate
- Rate of Graduation: 28%
- Salary After Graduating: $40,612
The University of Hawaii adopted Honolulu Community College (HCC), a two-year institution, into its subsidiary system in 1964 after it had been founded as a technical school in 1920. There are now 2,300 pupils enrolled in the school. Associate degrees in liberal arts are available from HCC and transfer to the University of Hawaii.
At HCC’s auxiliary campus, which is close to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, students can pursue degrees in Aeronautical Maintenance or Commercial Aviation, while the institution’s Marine Education and Training Center is situated on Sand Island, a remote area. The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has recognized Honolulu Community College. Tuition and fees are comparable to those of other Hawaii community colleges, with resident tuition set at just $3,174.
Through its Pearl Harbor Apprenticeship Program, which combines in-class instruction with paid, cooperative work experience at the shipyard, Honolulu Community College provides special opportunities. An associate degree in Applied Science can be obtained with all credits completed in this program. In order to encourage working individuals to go back to school and complete their degrees, HCC also provides a limited Flex AA program. In the end, this school aims to increase students’ knowledge and comprehension in order to support success throughout their entire lives.
- Net Price on Average: $7,790
- 65% retention rate
- Rate of Graduation: 25%
- Earnings Following Attendance: $38,747
In Pearl City, Hawaii, just 30 minutes from Honolulu, Leeward Community College is a public college that was founded in 1968 as a direct affiliate of the University of Hawaii. The college provides associate degrees in a variety of fields, including TV production, teacher education, and automotive technology. Additionally, Leeward offers its first-year students expert guidance as they select their future pathways.
For resident students, the tuition for the upcoming semester was $131 per credit hour plus a $35 flat rate fee. On average, in-state tuition comes to $3,209. With a 100% acceptance rate and an average enrolment of about 2,800, Leeward is among the most easily accessible institutions in Hawaii.
- Net Price on Average: $12,330
- 64% retention rate
- Rate of Graduation: 28%
- Salary After Graduating: $31,054
The public, two-year college now collaborates with local leaders to provide effective and sustainable curricula that equip students to effectively serve the island community. The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has recognized Hawaii Community College for fulfilling its four guiding principles of community, technology, Hawaiian culture, and environmentalism. Even HCC’s programs in tropical forestry and agroforestry use the island as a practical, real-world lab!
With about 1,800 students, the Liberal Arts, Fire Science, and Culinary Arts programs are the most well-liked ones. While out-of-state tuition is currently $8,340, in-state tuition is typically approximately $3,204. The most recent data indicates that graduates can anticipate an average income of $31,054. In a survey, students expressed their appreciation for the professionalism of Hawaii Community College as well as the integration of Hawaiian culture into campus life.
- Net Price on Average: $10,223
- 63% retention rate
- Graduation Rate: 24%
- Salary After Graduating: $35,517
Windward Community College is a remote campus with a focus on the creative arts, Hawaiian culture studies, and environmental sciences. It is situated at the foot of the Ko’olau mountains. This demonstrates that professors are knowledgeable in their professions and attentive to student feedback.
Windward maintains accreditation from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, much like all other University of Hawaii community colleges. Through its associate-level programs in Hawaiian music studies, sustainable agriculture, and veterinary assistance, the institution works to preserve the native Hawaiian culture. Courses that are expressly created to portray Hawaiian traditions and ideals include orchid culture, Polynesian surf culture, and the Hawaii Fishpond Lab. In the Windward neighborhood, the spirit of Aloha permeates everything.
The University of Phoenix-Hawaii is a for-profit organization that runs out of the center of Honolulu and is affiliated with the University of Phoenix. It provides master’s programs in nursing, business, and education as well as bachelor’s degrees in business, education, computer technology, and healthcare. The same fields are covered by the doctoral programs of the institution. There are only 313 undergraduate students enrolled, therefore the community is very small and tuition is typically $9,552. All instructors and faculty members are devoted to tailoring instruction to meet the requirements of specific students.
The program at UP-Hawaii is designed to help working students who have many demands on their time and for whom a regular college timetable is unworkable. The majority of students are over 25 and are either trying to change occupations or become more employable. Since 1978, UP-Hawaii has been certified by the Higher Learning Commission for its more individualized and participatory administrative techniques.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any reputable universities in Hawaii?
University of Hawaii at Manoa is the top institution of higher learning in Hawaii. With the greatest possibilities for undergraduate and graduate degrees, it serves as the system's flagship campus for the University of Hawaii. In their time at UH Manoa, many students engage in research.
Which language is spoken in Hawaii?
A Polynesian language is Hawaiian. Tongan, Samoan, and Hawaiian are all Polynesian languages. Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages are not equivalent, even if Hawaiian speakers might be able to communicate with other Polynesian language speakers on a basic level.
Is Hawaii an expensive destination?
Yes, Hawaii is well known for having a high cost of living because of things like housing, food, utilities, and transportation.
Does Hawaii use American currency?
American Dollars are used as money in Hawaii. Since credit cards are frequently used and there are many ATMs, travelers checks are not required.