Types of Aid
Grants are a form of aid that does not need to be repaid. Eligibility is determined based upon financial need. The following are the grant programs offered at the University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu.
Federal Pell Grant
A federal grant for students with exceptional financial need, who are pursuing their first baccalaureate degree and have not met their Pell Lifetime Eligibility Usage (LEU). To be eligible for the federal Pell Grant, the student must be enrolled at least half-time (minimum of 6-credits). In a few cases, less than half-time enrolled recipients may qualify. The award amount is based on the student’s EFC as determined by the U.S. Department of Education and based on congressional funding.
Important Changes to the Federal Pell Grant Program – In January 2012, Public Law 112-74 amended HEA section 401(c)(5) to reduce the duration of a student’s eligibility to receive a Federal Pell Grant from 18 semesters (or its equivalent) to 12 semesters (or its equivalent). This provision applies to all Federal Pell Grant eligible students effective with the 2012-2013 award year. The calculation of the duration of a student’s eligibility will include all years of the student’s receipt of Federal Pell Grant funding.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
A federal grant for students with exceptional financial need, who are Pell Grant eligible and are enrolled at least half-time (minimum of 6-credits). Award amounts for this fund will vary.
University of Hawaii Opportunity Grant A university grant program for students with financial need, intended to protect the access of low-income students to higher education. To be eligible for this fund, the student must demonstrate financial need by completing the FAFSA, be a resident of Hawai‘i and be enrolled at least at half-time (6-credits) as a classified undergraduate student. Award amounts for this fund will vary and dependent upon fund availability.
Loans are borrowed monies that must be repaid with interest. Eligibility for the federal student loan programs require completion of the FAFSA. To process and disburse a loan through the University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu, separate loan requirements will need to be completed as instructed. The student must be enrolled with UHWO at a minimum of 6-credits to be eligible for any federal loan program. The following are federal loans that are offered at the University.
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
A fixed interest rate loan awarded to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. (Interest rates may vary each aid year.)This loan is funded by the federal government and subsidizes (pays) the interest on the loan until the student enters repayment or when the student is in deferment status. A loan fee of up to 3% may be assessed at the time of disbursement. A minimum enrollment of 6-credits with the University is required to maintain eligibility for this fund in addition to meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
Important Changes to the Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan Program:
- In January 2012, Public Law 112-74 amended HEA section 428(a)(3)(A)(i)(I) to temporarily eliminate the interest subsidy provided on Direct Subsidized Loans during the six month grace period provided to students when they are no longer enrolled on at least a half-time basis. This change will be effective for new Direct Stafford Loans for which the first disbursement is made on or after July 1, 2012, and before July 1, 2014.
- Effective July 1, 2013, a new borrower becomes ineligible to receive additional Direct Subsidized Loans if the period during which the borrower has received such loans exceeds 150 percent of the published length of the borrower's educational program. The new legislation also limits the subsidy on Direct Loans in which the borrower also becomes responsible for accruing interest during all periods as of the date the borrower exceeds the 150 percent limit.
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
A fixed interest rate loan awarded to undergraduate and graduate students who do not demonstrate financial need. (Interest rates may vary each aid year.) For undergraduate students, this fund may also be used to supplement a Subsidized Stafford loan. Although the terms for the Unsubsidized Stafford loan are similar to the Subsidized Stafford loan, the federal government does not subsidize the interest on this loan. The student is responsible for any accrued interest from the time of disbursement through repayment until the loan has been paid in full. The student has the option of capitalizing the interest until repayment begins, thus having the loan accrue interest while in school and added to the principal loan amount. A loan fee of up to 3% may be assessed at each disbursement. A minimum enrollment of 6-credits with the University is required to maintain eligibility for this fund.
Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Student (PLUS) Loan
A federal loan for parents of dependent undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time (minimum 6-credits) with the University. The interest on the PLUS loan may vary. Parents who have an acceptable credit history may borrow up to the student’s cost of attendance less any other financial aid. Repayment usually begins 60 days after the final loan disbursement for the academic year. Interest is assessed from the date of the first disbursement until the loan is paid in full. A loan fee of up to 4% may be assessed at each disbursement. To apply for the parent PLUS loan, a completed parent PLUS Loan Request Form must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office. View additional information regarding the Direct PLUS Loan.
FEDERAL WORK STUDY (FWS)
The Federal Work Study (FWS) program awards monies for part-time employment to students with financial need. Recipients of this award must be enrolled at least half-time (minimum 6-credits) and meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements for financial aid. Students are paid at least the minimum wage and receive their pay bi-monthly. The Financial Aid Office determines earnings limits (e.g. FWS award) and the student will be notified of this limit via their award offer. If interested in the Federal Work Study program, contact the Financial Aid Office. To view available FWS positions go to the Student Employment website.
There are a number of scholarships offered through the University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu. Scholarships are usually awarded on the basis of merit, academic performance, and/or financial need. View more information regarding the University’s scholarship opportunities.
There are scholarships that are awarded automatically without a separate application by the Financial Aid Office. These scholarships are limited and are awarded on a 'first-come, first-served' basis to those financial aid applicants who meet the eligibility criteria. These scholarships are listed below.
- Second Century Scholarship - This scholarship was established to promote opportunities and increase access to higher education for students of Native Hawaiian ancestry. The student must be a Hawaii Resident, is in good academic standing and demonstrate financial need as determined by the completion of the FAFSA.
- State of Hawaii B Plus Scholarship - This scholarship recognizes Hawaii high school graduates with demonstrated financial need, who have achieved a final high school GPA of a 3.0 or greater. The student must be a Hawaii resident and a federal Pell Grant Recipient. The recipient may receive this fund for a maximum of 4 years as long as the student maintains good academic standing at the university.
- Pacific Islander Scholarship - This scholarship is available to students who are from eligible Pacific Island districts, commonwealths, territories, juisdictions; who have demonstrated financial need as determined by the completion of the FAFSA. This fund is awarded to help offset their tuition costs which is a 150% of the UHWO Resident Tuition Rate for the academic year.