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Student Scholarship FAQs

Overview

Where do UH Foundation (UHF) scholarships come from?
How many scholarships are available through UHF?
Are UHF scholarships only for students enrolled at UH campuses?
Will receiving a scholarship affect my financial aid?
Are there tax withholdings for UH Foundation scholarships?

Searching

How can I search for scholarships at UHF?
When should I start looking for and applying for scholarships?

Eligibility

How do I know what scholarships am I eligible for?
Will I still be eligible for a scholarship if I make any status or enrollment changes during the academic year at UH?
How do I determine if I am a State of Hawaiʻi resident?
Are international students eligible for UHF scholarships?

Application/Selection

How do I apply for scholarships and who makes selection?
Who do I contact to find out if I have been awarded a scholarship?
What information or documents do I need to provide when applying for scholarships?
Do I need to submit a FAFSA to be considered for scholarships?
Are the scholarships on the UH STAR Scholarship Search the same scholarships at UH Foundation?

What to Expect Once Awarded?

What will my scholarship pay for?
How will I be paid the scholarship?
When will I be paid the scholarship?
If I would like to write a thank you letter to the donor of my scholarship, who should I send my letter to?

Where do UH Foundation (UHF) scholarships come from?

UHF Scholarships are funded by gifts from private donors (individuals, alumni, businesses, corporations, and other foundations). UHF is the fundraising arm for the University of Hawaiʻi and works with the donors of each scholarship to establish scholarship criteria. Selection of recipients is made by the respective college, department, or financial aid office at the benefiting UH campus.

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How many scholarships are available through UHF?

UH System-wide, UHF currently oversees about 1500 active scholarship accounts. In 2010-2011, UHF awarded over $10,000,000 to around 2600 students attending UH campuses.

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Are UHF scholarships only for students enrolled at UH campuses?

Yes, UHF scholarships are only for students attending any of the ten UH campuses. UHF does not have scholarships for students attending other institutions. A UH student must be enrolled during the semester that the scholarship is awarded in order to receive the funds.

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Will receiving a scholarship affect my financial aid?

Yes, any additional income the scholarship provides will be reported to financial aid and your financial aid package could be adjusted. Please contact your financial aid office if you have any questions about your aid.

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Are there tax withholdings for UH Foundation scholarships?

A scholarship or fellowship is tax-free only if you are a candidate for a degree at an educational institution and if the scholarship is a qualified scholarship or fellowship. A qualified scholarship or fellowship is defined as amounts received for tuition and fees paid to enroll in, or to attend, an educational institution, or fees, books, supplies, and equipment that are required for the courses at the educational institution.

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How can I search for scholarships at UHF?

UHF has a scholarship search available on our website. Searches can be done by keyword, campus, and/or area of study.

Hint: When using keywords, it's a good idea to use phrases describing criteria that you may be eligible for, such as area of study, region or residence, international student, Hawaiʻi high school, community service, or other distinctive phrases.

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When should I start looking for and applying for scholarships?

Scholarship opportunities are generally announced as early as November or December the year before you are planning on attending UH. The actual application process starts as early as January 1st. Some campuses, colleges, and departments may offer scholarships for the Spring semester only. We suggest you inquire with your respective college or department in September, to see if they are offering Spring scholarships and be alert to any email notices or postings on bulletin boards advertising these opportunities.

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How do I know what scholarships am I eligible for?

Please review the scholarship criteria listed for each individual scholarship on the UHF website, or for Mānoa students, scholarships listed on the STAR Search website. Most scholarships have criteria that are a combination of merit and financial need. If you do not meet qualifications for a particular scholarship, you will not be considered.

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Will I still be eligible for a scholarship if I make any status or enrollment changes during the academic year at UH?

If the scholarship criteria specifies a particular requirement, such as full-time enrollment, a GPA minimum, or major in a specific area of study, and for whatever reason you no longer meet the scholarship requirements during the semester for which you were awarded, you would no longer be eligible for the scholarship and will not be awarded.

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How do I determine if I am a State of Hawaiʻi resident?

UHF obtains your residency status from the University of Hawaiʻi Admissions Office. If you have questions or want to make changes regarding your residency status, please contact the appropriate University campus' Residency Officer, who has up-to-date information on all aspects of residency, and can determine if you can claim State of Hawaiʻi residency status. All residency decisions are based on Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules Title 20, Chapter 4: Determination of Residency as Applied to Tuition and Admission.

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Are international students eligible for UHF scholarships?

Yes, in most cases, international students are eligible for UHF scholarships. Unless the scholarship criteria specifically states that a recipient must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, an international student would be eligible for the scholarship.

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How do I apply for scholarships and who makes selection?

The application and selection process is administered by the respective University of Hawaiʻi campus, college, or department that best represents the scholarship conditions (e.g business scholarships are administered by the Shidler College of Business, engineering scholarships are administered by the College of Engineering, etc.). When searching for scholarships to apply for on the UHF website, please contact the administrator listed for each scholarship using the contact information provided.

In addition, many campus Financial Aid Offices offer online scholarship applications. Please see links to Financial Aid Office online applications below. To apply, you will have to create an account with a username and ID.

LINKS TO UH FINANCIAL AID ONLINE APPLICATIONS/INFORMATION:

UH System (All ten UH campuses) Scholarships Online Application
UH Mānoa Online application (via STAR)
UH Hilo Online Application
UH West Oʻahu Scholarship Information
Hawaiʻi CC Online Application
Honolulu CC Online Application
Kauaʻi CC Online Application
UH Maui College Online Application
Kapiʻolani CC Online Application
Leeward CC Online Application
Windward CC Scholarship Information

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Who do I contact to find out if I have been awarded a scholarship?

The respective UH scholarship administrators should inform selected recipients before the beginning of the Fall semester around April-June. If you have not received a response regarding your scholarship application, please contact the respective UH college or department where you submitted your application.

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What information or documents do I need to provide when applying for scholarships?

While application requirements will vary with each scholarship, common requests are: letters of recommendation from non-family members, an essay stating educational goals and aspirations, personal background, and history of volunteerism or community service, and possibly submission of educational transcripts.

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Do I need to submit a FAFSA to be considered for scholarships?

You are not required to submit a FAFSA to qualify for most UHF scholarships, but it is recommended for every student to submit a FAFSA in order to receive a complete financial aid package, which may include scholarships. If the financial aid office is the administrator of the scholarship, it would require students to submit a FAFSA as an application to scholarships as well as other types of financial aid.

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Are the scholarships on the UH STAR Scholarship Search the same scholarships at UH Foundation?

For UH Mānoa students, yes, the scholarships listed on the STAR Scholarship Search do include UH Foundation scholarships.

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What will my scholarship pay for?

Scholarship funding will generally be applied to a student's costs of attendance, including tuition, books and fees, and will be counted as part of your financial aid package. Please contact your financial aid office if you have any questions about your aid.

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How will I be paid the scholarship?

For U.S. citizens and permanent residents, UH Foundation pays scholarships directly to the University via the respective campus Financial Aid Office. Any remaining balance after the funding is applied to tuition, books, fees and loans will be reflected on your MYUH portal payment screen. The Cashiers Office will issue refunds either by mailed check or direct deposit by E-refund, which you can sign up for through your MYUH portal.

For international students, UH Foundation will pay scholarships to the student directly. International students must provide additional foreign national information to UH Foundation in order to process scholarships. The respective UH scholarship administrator should provide these documents upon processing of the scholarship.

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When will I be paid the scholarship?

Scholarships for Fall and Spring semesters will be disbursed to students ten days before the first day of classes.

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If I would like to write a thank you letter to the donor of my scholarship, who should I send my letter to?

Around the beginning of each semester for which you received the scholarship, following confirmation that you have met the scholarship criteria and have been paid, UHF will contact you via email to request that you write a thank you letter to your scholarship donor. UHF will forward the letter to your donor on your behalf. Please send all thank you letters to:

University of Hawaiʻi Foundation
c/o Scholarship Office
P.O. Box 11270
Honolulu, HI 96828-0270

Please see the Thanking Your Scholarship Donor section for more tips on how you can send your donor a personalized thank you letter.

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