HONOLULU — Scholarship money from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs will only be going to students at the University of Hawaii system this academic year, officials said.
The office gives $500,000 each year to Hawaiian students and could be used in the past by students to help pay for costs at mainland colleges, The Honolulu-Star Advertiser reported Tuesday.
The change came when the office put its scholarship program up for bidding in 2015. The University of Hawaii won the bidding over the Hawaii Community Foundation, which had been administering the awards.
The university’s bid was chosen because it plans to reach more students and includes support services to help scholarship recipients stay on track, especially nontraditional students, said Sterling Wong, the office’s public relations officer.
“We understand that students who go away for college have financial needs as well,” Wong said. “It’s a balancing act. I think the UH proposal, that they were reaching more students and they were providing wraparound services, sort of tipped the scale in their favor. We’ll see what happens with the next solicitation.”
About one in seven applicants received the office’s scholarships last year.
For the coming academic year, 175 scholarships were granted to students on all 10 University of Hawaii campuses, ranging from $2,000 for community college students to $5,000 for doctoral candidate students.
The office wants to increase the number of Native Hawaiians earning vocational certificates or degrees – especially in science, technology, engineering and math.
The program will be open for bidding again in the future.