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Online colleges in Hawaii allow students to better fit their educational needs with desired budget and schedules. The unique geography and culture make Hawaii an ideal location for tourism and leisure. However, traveling to nearby islands for attending classes can be quite time-consuming and expensive, making online colleges a better alternative for most students. 

Prospective learners can choose from one of the 17 degree-granting postsecondary institutions available in Hawaii. Institutions like the University of Hawaii provide a wide range of distance education options through the UH Online program. Here, they connect students with online courses from several universities and colleges located throughout Hawaii’s islands. Additionally, top colleges in the state offer easily accessible financial assistance in the form of grants, loans, work-study, and scholarships. Read on the learn more about online colleges in the state. 

Why choose Hawaii for online colleges? 

Distance enrollment in Hawaii is growing. According to Bay View Analytics, around 14% of the students in the state are taking all of their courses entirely online. The education system here is well-established and extensive degree options are available for students of all ages. For students working full time or those who have families, distance education allows a proper work-life balance and enables them to graduate while still maintaining other important aspects of life.  

Hawaii’s colleges offer easy access to online courses with multiple delivery modes. Colleges continually operate fully online asynchronous courses with multiple start dates per year. Students with more flexible schedules can choose hybrid programs that require live meetings at specific times. Or those with no time restrictions can opt for live online classes. 

Online colleges in Hawaii 

Below, we have listed our selection of the top colleges in Hawaii that are better suited for distance education. These are selected based on their popularity, degree offerings, tuition rates, and class flexibility. 

Kauai Community College

Non Sponsored School

Lihue, Hawaii

Kauai Community College is a public institution that is located in Lihue, Hawaii. It has a total enrollment...Read More

Hawaii Community College

Non Sponsored School

Hilo, Hawaii

Hawaii Community College is a two-year institution based in Hilo with a second branch campus in Kona. Combining...Read More

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University of Hawaii – UH Online

Non Sponsored School


University of Hawaii – UH Online provides distance learning opportunities across 10 Universities of Hawaiʻi institutions. Over 50...Read More

Hawaii Pacific University

Non Sponsored School

Honolulu, Hawaii

Hawaii Pacific University is a private institution that is located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It has a total student...Read More

Chaminade University of Honolulu

Non Sponsored School

Honolulu, Hawaii

The Chaminade University of Honolulu is a private Marianist institution that was founded in 1955. It has a...Read More

Cost of attending college in Hawaii

In Hawaii, the average on-campus tuition rates at public 4-year institutions are approx. $10,109 (in-state) and $31,774 (out-of-state). Generally, residents pay far less than out-of-state students; however, students living in other states may be eligible for a tuition break. Whether online colleges charge the same rate for non-residents or not depends on the colleges. You will need to check with your desired college’s administration for actual details. Additionally, Hawaii is a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Through its tuition break programs, students can enroll in courses offered by eligible institutions from member states and pay no more than 150% of the in-state tuition. Alternatively, you can become a permanent resident to pay the in-state fees.

Hawaii Scholarships

Students living in Hawaii have access to a variety of scholarships provided by different organizations. Becoming eligible for any one of these will help students cut down a proportion of their educational expenses.
Hawaii Community Foundation Scholarship Amount
Search from a list of around 300 scholarships available on the Hawaii Community Foundation’s website. Varies See Scholarship
Citizen-Scholar Awards Scholarship Amount
The applicant must be a high school senior and hold a cumulative GPA of 3.3. $1,000 See Scholarship
442nd Veterans Scholarship Fund Scholarship Amount
Eligible for students majoring in any area of study from campuses within the University of Hawai‘i system. Amount Varies See Scholarship
Hawai'i Promise Scholarship Scholarship Amount
It is a need-based scholarship program eligible for anyone enrolled at any community college campus of the University of Hawai‘i. Varies See Scholarship

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most affordable online colleges in Hawaii

Brigham Young University-Hawaii, Pacific Rim Christian University, and the University of Hawaii-West Oahu are some of the most affordable online colleges in Hawaii.

What are the best online colleges in Hawaii

The Chaminade University of Honolulu, University of Hawaii—Manoa, and Hawaii Pacific University are some of the best online colleges in Hawaii.

How do I receive in-state tuition in Hawaii

To qualify for in-state tuition in Hawaii, the student needs to be a bona fide resident of Hawaiʻi for at least a year prior to the first semester. For full details, refer to the Hawaiʻi Residency Requirements page.

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