$1M OHA Award Creates Scholarships for Native Hawaiian Students

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UHM Nursing graduate Yvonne Yokono was one of many OHA Scholars to earn degrees in this year. PC: University of Hawai‘i.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) reported that it is providing $1 million for need based scholarships for Native Hawaiian students attending University of Hawaiʻi campuses over the next two years. The Hoʻonaʻauao Higher Education Scholarship program aligns with UH’s and OHA’s commitments to better serve Native Hawaiian students and to improve college access, college affordability, student support and graduation.

The scholarships are expected to support approximately 200 Native Hawaiian students each year with awards ranging from $2,000 for students at community colleges, $3,000 for undergraduates at four-year universities and $4,000 for graduate students.

“There’s a need, a gap in the educational attainment of Native Hawaiians in the state,” said project director Joshua Ka‘akua. “But it’s on its way up—and if we can improve education, research shows it can affect other measures of individual and community well-being—everything from economic opportunity to quality of life.”


Last year the UH-OHA partnership awarded scholarships to 181 students across the state, including UH Mānoa nursing graduate Yvonne Yokono, who completed her doctorate of nursing practice in May.

“It wasn’t always easy and I couldn’t have done it without the support from OHA and my mentors at UH,” Yokono said. “I’m glad the UH-OHA program will be here for students in the future.”

The scholarship application is available to all current and potential students seeking a degree at any of the 10 campuses in the UH System via the online portal  Oct. 1, 2018, to March 1, 2019. Priority consideration will be given to:

  • Non-traditional students (including student parents);
  • First-generation college students;
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) majors; and
  • Education / teaching majors.

For more information about the scholarship and application process, visit the UH-OHA Hoʻonaʻauao Scholarship website or send an email to [email protected].

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