Author’s Note: this post was recently updated in DECEMBER 2020 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
The scholarships listed below are for persons of Native Hawaiian descent, but live . 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
- APIA Scholarship Program
- Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) Scholarship Program
- The Ke Ali’i Pauahi Foundation, Scholarships for Public Applicants
- Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP)
- Pacific Islander Festival Association (PIFA)
- The Hawai’i Daughters Guild of California
- The Ilimanator Scholarship
1. APIA Scholarship Program
Applications are OPEN
Closing date: January 14, 2021 AT 5:00PM EST
Scholarship awards range from one-time $2,500 awards to multi-year $20,000 awards. APIA Scholars provides scholarships to underserved APIA students with a special focus on those who: Live at or below the poverty level, or are otherwise of low socioeconomic status; Are the first in their families to attend college; Are representative of the APIA community’s diversity, (geographically and ethnically}, especially those ethnicities that have been underrepresented on college campuses due to limited access and opportunity; and Have placed a strong emphasis on community service and leadership as well as solid academic achievement.
- 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
- Must apply for federal financial aid for the 2021-2022 academic year using the Free Application for the Federal Student Aid (FASFA) by early April 2021
- Submit one letter of recommendation online
For more details about APIASF, please visit: apiasf.org
2. Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) Scholarship Program
Applications are OPEN
Closing date: JANUARY 14, 2021 AT 5:00PM EST
The Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) Scholarship Program is a collaboration with AANAPISIs and the communities they serve to provide scholarships, expand institutional capacity and mobilize local resources to help foster economic development. Scholarship awards range from one-time $2,500 awards to multi-year $5,000 awards. APIA Scholars provides scholarships to underserved APIA students with a special focus on those who: Live at or below the poverty level, or are otherwise of low socioeconomic status; Are the first in their families to attend college; Are representative of the APIA community’s diversity, (geographically and ethnically}, especially those ethnicities that have been underrepresented on college campuses due to limited access and opportunity; and Have placed a strong emphasis on community service and leadership as well as solid academic achievement.
- 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 enrolled as a full-time student in a degree-seeking program at one of the following institutions during the 2021 Spring Semester if your institution is on a semester system or the 2021 Winter Quarter if your institution is on a quarter system. Find APIA Scholars AANAPISI Partners.
- Have applied for federal financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2020-2021 academic year. Applicants do not necessarily need to have received federal financial aid to be eligible for a scholarship from APIA Scholars. Go to fafsa.gov for more information.
Please note the following:
- Full-time enrollment and degree-seeking status is defined by the guidelines set by the institution’s Registrar’s Office.
- Non-degree seeking students are NOT eligible to apply.
- Students who already have a bachelor’s degree are NOT eligible to apply.
- When you apply, you can be a part-time student, however, you must be enrolled full-time upon receipt of funding.
- Solely online students are not eligible to apply. If you are enrolled in online and on ground courses, no more than 1/2 of your courses can be online. *Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are waiving this requirement for the 2020-2021 academic year.
For more details about APIASF, please visit: apiascholars.org/scholarship/aanapisi-scholarship
3. The Ke Ali’i Pauahi Foundation, Scholarships for Public Applicants
2020-2021 applications are CLOSED
The application window for the 2021-2022 academic year will open December 21, 2020
Closing date: February 7, 2020, 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.
There are 116 scholarships available for the 2020-2021 academic year 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
4. Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP)
Applications are CLOSED
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: papaolalokahi.org/native-hawaiian-programs/scholarship-program
5. Pacific Islander Festival Association
Applications are CLOSED
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
6. The Hawai’i Daughters Guild of California
Applications are OPEN
Closing date: March 14, 2021
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.
- 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
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
7. The Ilimanator Scholarship
Applications are CLOSED
Initiated by Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, Bellator MMA World Flyweight Champion Fighter, “The Ilimanator” Scholarship provides Native American and Native Hawaiian adolescent female youth (ages 12-19) with an opportunity to access world-class indigenous education enrichment programs. 2019 Inaugural Scholarship Recipient will be chosen by Ilima-Lei “The Ilimanator” Lei-Macfarlane and InterTribal Youth Ilimanator Scholarship Selection Committee.
- Female Youth ages 12-18; International Program applicants ages 16-20
- Do not have support from Reservations, Rancherias or Agencies
- May or may not be from a state or gov’t recognized nation/tribe adopted and/or separated from their culture
- Native Hawaiians, Tribal Descendants, or lineage or who are not on “roles” and do not receive recognition due to blood-quantum for whatever reason
- Youth who live in urban areas, dis-connected cultural ways and/or funding support resources. This may include, but not limited to Urban Youth, Native Hawaiians, Xicano/a, South American Indigenous or Caribbean Youth.
- Inaugural 2018 Scholarship Youth were chosen from the following Geographical Areas (subject to additions): Kingdom of Hawaii, California, Nevada and Panama.
In addition, scholarship candidates must submit the following:
- InterTribal Youth / Native Like Water Registration form, AND
- One letter of recommendation from teacher, parent, leader or relative, AND
- Writing Sample or Oral Story Video Sample. Sample will not be judged for grammar or punctuation use, but praised for content and originality, AND
- 200 Word Essay on topic of your choice, OR
- One Page, Original Poem or Lyrics to a Song, OR
- A 1-2 Minute Video Selfie, demonstrating who you are, your interests, challenges
To receive a scholarship application, submit an inquiry here: nativelikewater.org/contact-us. For more information on the Ilima-Lei “The Ilimanator” Macfarlane Scholarship, please visit: nativelikewater.org/ilimanator-scholarship
Scholarships for college and university students 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! 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.