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From 35,000 feet in the air, the eight main islands that constitute the state of Hawaii may look like they're close to each other. On the ground, however, the truth is that it isn't easy or cheap to get from island to island. That's why many online colleges in Hawaii have embraced distance learning as a way to help students reach their goals without the time and expense of traveling to campus. What follows is a rundown of the types of online degree programs available from online colleges in Hawaii.
Several two- and four-year colleges and universities in Hawaii offer online degree programs and online courses. These include seven community colleges, four campuses of the University of Hawaii, and Brigham Young University-Hawaii. The number of online programs available in Hawaii at each level is as follows:
- Online associate degree: 3 programs from 1 school
- Online bachelor's degree: 17 programs from 3 schools
- Online master's degree: 14 programs from 3 schools
- Online doctoral degree: 2 programs from 2 schools
- Graduate certificate: 6 programs from 2 schools
- Undergraduate certificate: 17 programs from 3 schools
Students can earn a bachelor's degree from 11 colleges in Hawaii. Four of those schools are public colleges, including the campuses of the University of Hawaii system, and five are private, nonprofit schools. There are only two private, for-profit colleges in Hawaii.
Affordable Online Colleges in Hawaii
Affordable Two-Year Online Colleges in Hawaii
Many of the online degree programs offered by colleges in Hawaii are coordinated through University Center, an education center on the island of Maui that works in partnership with the University of Hawaii campuses in Manoa, Hilo and west Oahu to offer online and distance learning degree programs on the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai. Read the following data we've gathered below to learn more about some of the most affordable two-year online colleges in Hawaii.
Honolulu Community College
Kapiolani Community College
Kauai Community College
Leeward Community College
Windward Community College
Affordable Four-Year Online Colleges in Hawaii
The cost of living in Hawaii might have a reputation for being high, but earning a bachelor's or higher degree can still be affordable. Here are a few of the most affordable four-year colleges and universities in Hawaii.
University of Hawaii Maui College
Brigham Young University-Hawaii
University of Hawaii at Hilo
University of Hawaii-West Oahu
University of Hawaii at Manoa
College Accreditation in Hawaii
While searching for the right degree program, don't overlook the importance of checking a college or university's accreditation. Depending on the field of study, several organizations may accredit a program. What's more, certain types of schools (such as faith-based colleges) have their own accreditation programs as well.
However, the most important type of accreditation to check for is that from a regional accrediting body. The Department of Education recognizes seven regional accrediting bodies, and these are often considered the gold standard of college accreditation. In Hawaii, look for accreditation from one of the following bodies:
- Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)
- Accrediting Commission for Schools Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC)
- WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
If a college in Hawaii doesn't have this accreditation, double check its credentials. Some schools may boast of accreditation from bodies that aren't actually recognized by the government.
Financial Aid in Hawaii
Hawaii's only state-specific loan offered is the State Higher Education Loan, otherwise known as SHEL. The state places a strong importance on educating students about loan management by requiring entrance and exit counseling sessions for all students who are awarded this loan. Be sure to look into scholarships and grants to meet your financial needs before applying for federal, state or private loans, since scholarships and grants do not need to be paid back. If you do find that you need additional funds, the loan below may be right for you.
- Application deadline: Not specified
- Award amount: Not specified
Learn more about the student loan process in the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.
Additional Resources for Financial Aid in Hawaii
- The Hawaii State Department of Education provides a scholarship finder for high school students in the state of Hawaii.
Featured Cities in Hawaii
Below, you will find information about two prominent metropolitan areas in Hawaii. Data courtesy of the 2015 American Community Survey (census.gov).
Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, is close to all the outdoor activities Hawaiians and vacationers enjoy — snorkeling, surfing, hiking and beachcombing — as well as the big city attractions of museums and historical sites. After they've taken their surfing lesson or attended their first luau, many visitors also like to visit Pearl Harbor and Iolani Palace to get their history fix.
Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI Metro Area
Median salary for high school grads
Median salary with a bachelor's degree
% of the population enrolled in college or grad school
Maui's climate ranges from sunny beaches to brisk and chilly mountainous landscapes, and this diversity of weather gives Maui a sense of being much larger than it really is. However, everything from the big waves on the breezy, wet east side of the island to the gentle surf along the west side is all within a short drive. When you tire of the beaches, you can visit wineries or hike along the volcano rim at 10,000 feet above sea level.