Financial Aid Programs

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  1. Federal Programs
  2. State of Hawaiʻi Programs
  3. Institutional Programs
  4. Other Financial Assistance

I. Federal Programs

A. Federal Pell Grant

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, students enrolled less than half-time may qualify.  Award amounts, based on a student’s EFC, are determined by the U.S. Department of Education based on congressional funding.  The maximum grant for the 2014-2015 year is $5,730 for students enrolled on a full-time basis.  Awards for students enrolled less than full-time will be adjusted based on enrollment status.

B. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is for undergraduate students with exceptional need.  Normally, the grant is awarded to students who are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant and have the lowest Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  Depending on the availability of funds and a student’s demonstrated need, a FSEOG award for full-time enrollment can be as much as $2,000 per academic year.

C. 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 will determine the earnings limit for each student. 


Employment opportunities exist in most campus departments.  In addition, work opportunities are available in off-campus community service sites.  A listing of all job openings is available online at https://sece.its.hawaii.edu.  For more information you may visit the Career Development Services Office located on the second floor of the Student Services Center or visit their website at http://career.uhh.hawaii.edu.

D. Federal Loan Programs

  • Perkins Loan
    The Federal Perkins Loan is a low interest 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 borrowers must complete a Perkins Loan Entrance Counseling, a Loan Interview Questionnaire, a Perkins Master Promissory Note (MPN), and a Total Loan Indebtedness Disclosure (TLID). You will receive an email from the Financial Aid Office when these requirements are ready to be completed. Your loan cannot be disbursed until all of these requirements have been completed. Please see the section on Loan Counseling for more information.

  • Direct Subsidized Loans
    Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need.  The Financial Aid Office will determine the amount you can borrow, and that amount may not exceed your financial need.  The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan while you’re in school at least half-time, for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period*) and during a period of deferment (postponement of loan payments). Repayment begins six months after a student graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment.

    *Note: If you receive a Direct Subsidized Loan that is first disbursed between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2014, you will be responsible for paying any interest that accrues during your grace period.  If you choose not to pay the interest that accrues during your grace period, the interest will be added to your principal balance.

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
    Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate or professional students and there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.  The Financial Aid Office will determine the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive.  You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods.  If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan). Repayment begins six months after a student graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment.

  • Direct PLUS Loans
    PLUS Loans are federal loans that graduate or professional degree students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay any education expenses not covered by other financial aid.  The U.S. Department of Education is the lender for PLUS loans and applications for these loans are subject to credit approval.  The maximum loan amount is the student’s cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received.

  • Interest Rates for Federal Loans
    Type of Loan Interest Rate
    Direct Subsidized 4.66%
    Direct Unsubsidized

    4.66% (undergraduates)

    6.21% (graduate or professional students)

    Direct PLUS/ Graduate PLUS 7.21%
    Perkins Loan 5%
  • Annual and Aggregate Limits for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
    Year DEPENDENT STUDENTS
    (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS loans)
    INDEPENDENT STUDENTS
    (and dependent undergraduate students whos parents are unable to abtain PLUS loans)
    First-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limits $5,500 – No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans $9,500 – No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans
    Second-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limits $6,500 – No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans $10,500 – No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans
    Third-Year and Beyond Undergraduate Annual Loan Limits $7,500 – No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans $12,500 – No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans
    Graduate and Professional Degree Students Annual Loan Limits Not Applicable – All graduate and professional degree students are considered independent $20,500 (Unsubsidized Loan)
    Aggregate Loan Limits for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans $31,000 – No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

    $57,500 for independent undergraduate students (and dependent students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS loans) – No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.


    $138,500 for graduate or professional degree students.  This limit includes federal loans received for undergraduate study. 

E. TEACH Grant Program

The TEACH Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 a year to students who are completing or plan to complete course work needed to begin a career in teaching. As a condition for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve in which you agree to (among other requirements) teach:

  • in a high need field
  • at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families
  • for at least four complete academic years within eight years after completing (or ceasing enrollment in) the course of study for which you received the grant.

    IMPORTANT: If you do not complete your service obligation, all TEACH Grant funds you received will be converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.  You must then repay this loan to the U.S. Department of Education, with interest charged from the date the TEACH Grant was disbursed. 

For more information about the TEACH Grant please visit: www.studentaid.ed.gov/types/grants-scholarships/teach

II. State of Hawaiʻi Programs

A. Hawaiʻi State Need-Based Opportunity Grant

Recipients of this award must be bona fide residents of the State of Hawaii.  The award is for students with financial need who are enrolled at least half-time.  The award amount cannot exceed what the student is paying in UH Hilo tuition.

B. Hawaiʻi 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 UH Hilo tuition. 

C. Hawaiʻi State Incentive Grant

This program provides tuition grants to bona fide residents of the State of Hawaii with financial need.  Recipients must also be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant.

D. State Higher Education Loan (SHEL)

The State Higher Education Loan is available to qualified bona fide Hawaii residents who demonstrate financial need.  Students may borrow up to $4,000 annually and the interest is a fixed 5% with repayment beginning nine months after a student graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment.  Loans are repaid monthly over a 10-year period.  Recipients must complete a SHEL Master Promissory Note as well as a SHEL Entrance Counseling.

E. Hawaiʻi B Plus Scholarship Program

Grant funds are available to persons who graduated from high school after 2005, have at least a 3.0 high school grade point average, have completed a rigorous high school curriculum, demonstrate financial need and are a bona fide Hawaii resident.  Students must also be enrolled full-time to be eligible.

 

III. Institutional Programs

A. Scholarships

The University of Hawaii at Hilo awards a number of academic merit scholarships.  The purpose of the scholarship program is to recognize students who have demonstrated outstanding academic performance and to encourage those students who show academic potential and willingness to participate in community activities.  The scholarship awards imply the expectation of continued exceptional performance and leadership by the recipients in the years ahead.  Normally, recipients must be enrolled full-time and demonstrate financial need.  You may apply for these scholarships at: https://uhsys.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com.

B. Athletic Scholarships

The various team coaches in the Athletic Department determine these awards.

C. Pacific Islander Scholarship

In the Fall of 2007, UH Hilo established a Pacific Islander scholarship.  The scholarship is awarded for the difference between the 150% tuition rate (also known as the “WUE” tuition rate) and the resident tuition rate.  Students do not need to submit an application; eligible students will be automatically considered for this scholarship.  In order to be eligible for this scholarship, students must meet the following criteria:

  • be accepted by the UH Hilo Admissions Office with a residency status of “Pacific Islander Non-Resident Exempt”.  The students residency status is reflected on the acceptance letter issued by the Admissions Office.
  • demonstrate financial need.  Financial need is demonstrated by applying for financial aid using a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • be a new student entering UH Hilo in Fall 2007 or later, or returning to UH Hilo in Fall 2007 or later after taking a break from enrollment at UH Hilo.
  • be a classified student enrolled in either an undergraduate, graduate or professional degree program.

The amount of the scholarship will depend on your enrollment.  The scholarship will cover the difference between the Pacific Islander tuition rate and the Resident tuition rate for your enrollment level.  It is not necessary to submit an application form; you will be automatically considered for the scholarship if the criteria above are met.

D. Western Undergraduate Exchange Program

The University of Hawaii at Hilo participates in the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), a program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).  Through WUE, students who are residents of one of the western states may enroll at UH Hilo at a reduced tuition of 150% of the institution’s regular resident tuition.  These western states are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming or Washington State. Log onto the WUE site at http://hilo.hawaii.edu/admissions/forms/documents/wueapp.pdf for more information.

IV. Other Financial Aid

A. Veterans Assistance

All programs available to veterans and/or dependents of veterans are administered through the Office of the Registrar.  If you are eligible for assistance through these programs, please contact the Office of the Registrar.  If  you have any additional questions regarding your eligibility, those should be directed to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-888-GI-BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) or you may refer to their website at www.benefits.va.gov.  Receipt of certain types of VA benefits may affect your financial aid eligibility. 

B. Outside Scholarships

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 awards.  If necessary, grant awards may also need to be adjusted.