As career entry in the U.S. becomes increasingly competitive, more and more students attend university because they recognize the importance of obtaining college degrees for long-term professional success. The National Center for Education Statistics projects that the undergraduate student population will expand from 16.8 million in 2017 to 17.2 million by 2028. You can access better positions and higher pay by earning postsecondary credentials.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), individuals who possess a bachelor's degree earn $24,000 more in average annual salary than those with a high school diploma.
Top 5 Online Colleges in Hawaii
- Chaminade University of Honolulu - Honolulu, HI
- University of Hawaii at Manoa - Honolulu, HI
- Hawaii Pacific University - Honolulu, HI
- University of Hawaii at Hilo - Hilo, HI
- University of Hawaii Maui College - Kahului, HI
In lieu of campus-based academics, you may opt for accessible distance education. Remote academic programs come with distinct scholarships and affordable tuition that often ignores residency status. Online schools typically feature asynchronous classes that allow you to access course materials and collaborate with peers at your convenience. This flexibility enables you to work while you go to school or accelerate graduation and earn a bachelor's degree in two years instead of four.
The plethora of degree options can seem overwhelming as you look for the school that best supports your interests and goals. This guide assists your search by detailing the five best colleges in Hawaii with respect to elements such as accreditation, cost, yearly student retention, and graduation rates. Each profile features information on the school's program offerings and academic resources.
You can also learn about general admission requirements. If a college piques your interest, don't hesitate to contact the institution's admissions counselors. These specialists can help you find scholarships and complete the enrollment process.
By attending a Hawaiian college, you stand to benefit from the state's robust economy. Hawaii features career opportunities in major industries like national defense, advanced manufacturing, hospitality service, and, of course, tourism. The BLS reports that, as of October 2019, Hawaii's unemployment rate sat at 2.7%, well below the national average of 3.7%.
2020 Best Online Colleges in Hawaii
Chaminade University of Honolulu
|Honolulu, HI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
Chaminade University of Honolulu is a private higher education institution that offers 23 undergraduate degrees and five graduate programs.
The university offers fully online associate and bachelor's degrees powered by Canvas. Associate options include early childhood education, liberal arts, and criminology/criminal justice. Students can also pursue an associate of business administration that prepares them for entry-level clerical positions.
Bachelor's candidates pick from remote programs like management, secondary education, and religious studies. They can also earn an English degree, developing the literary analysis and communication skills to work as teachers and technical writers. Chaminade also delivers a bachelor of science in psychology track that covers fundamental counseling and research competencies.
Incoming freshmen need a minimum 2.5 GPA and a score of at least a 19 on the ACT or 1000 on the SAT. Transfer students should have a GPA of 2.0 or above. Distance learners pay one affordable tuition price, with discounts available for active military personnel and veterans.
University of Hawaii at Manoa
|Honolulu, HI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 60%||
As the flagship institution in the state's public higher education system, the University of Hawaii at Manoa serves 13,000 students annually.
The school features remote learning options facilitated by Moodle. Distance learners can earn technical certificates and associate degrees in fields such as small business accounting, information and computing science, and management foundations. UH also delivers a transfer-focused associate of arts program that operates five-week, cohort-style classes.
Bachelor's programs comprises women's studies, nursing (RN-to-BSN), and economics. Students can also enroll in a public administration track, concentrating their degree plan on either healthcare or governmental justice.
UH offers 11 online master's degrees, including programs for counseling psychology, social work, and human resource management.
To enroll as a first-year undergraduate, candidates must possess at least a 2.8 GPA and must have graduated in the top 40% of their high school class. Graduate admission requirements differ by program, but generally include a minimum 3.0 GPA.
UH funds scholarships specifically for female students and members of indigenous communities.
Hawaii Pacific University
|Honolulu, HI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
A private liberal arts institution, Hawaii Pacific University draws learners from all over the world. More than 5,000 students attend HPU, taking advantage of flexible remote learning opportunities powered by Blackboard.
The school delivers seven online associate programs in areas like supervisory leadership and homeland security. Candidates may also pursue bachelor's credentials in psychology and criminal justice. Additionally, they can enroll in a four-year human resource development track, developing skills in data analysis and talent management.
HPU offers five online master's programs. Degree options include business administration, public administration, organizational development and change, and educational leadership. The university also facilitates a remote master's program in public health. Through a 30-credit curriculum, MPH candidates receive advanced training accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.
Undergraduate applicants undergo a holistic evaluation process that considers GPA, academic rigor, ACT/SAT performance, and extracurricular activities. Prospective graduate students typically need at least a 3.0 GPA.
HPU students benefit from dedicated career guidance and study abroad opportunities.
University of Hawaii at Hilo
|Hilo, HI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
Founded in 1941 as a vocational school, the University of Hawaii at Hilo provides comprehensive academics to 3,400 students each year. The institution offers 33 undergraduate degrees and three graduate programs, several of which learners may complete entirely online.
The catalog features a bachelor of nursing track for licensed RNs accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. This BSN program helps students cultivate the skills to deliver culturally congruent nursing care in a rural environment.
UH Hilo offers online master's degrees in education, counseling psychology, and indigenous language and culture. The university also hosts the Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher Education Program. Students complete this three-semester, postbaccalaureate program through video conferencing to obtain their initial teaching certification. Additionally, UH Hilo offers a remote doctor of nursing practice that prepares candidates to work as family nurse practitioners.
The university bases its affordable tuition prices on residency status. Out-of-state students can access reduced tuition rates through the Western Undergraduate Exchange initiative. Graduate applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA and adequate GRE/GMAT scores.
University of Hawaii Maui College
|Kahului, HI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 17%||
The University of Hawaii Maui College is a commuter school within the UH System. The institution focuses on affordable technical-career training, providing online associate and bachelor's degrees through Moodle.
Students can prepare to transfer into a baccalaureate completion track by earning an associate of liberal arts. This 60-credit program helps candidates build foundational skills and a lifelong passion for learning.
UHMC delivers online bachelor's degrees in social science, nursing, economics, and interdisciplinary studies. Candidates can also enroll in four-year programs for community health and emergency management. Furthermore, the college offers bachelor's degrees in business administration accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Business students can choose from four concentrations. These options include a hospitality management track that prepares learners to work in Hawaii's lucrative tourism industry.
UHMC charges low per-credit tuition prices based on course level. The college provides individualized career guidance and a variety of financial aid opportunities. Award programs including merit scholarships for non-U.S. citizens.