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Online Colleges in Hawaii

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Many of Hawaii’s colleges and universities boast a strong web presence, offering a range of bachelor’s degrees entirely online. These schools provide a convenient and first-class learning environment to distance learners. Hawaii Pacific recently added three new programs entirely online, while the University of Hawaii’s system provides a mix of fully online programs and courses.

But before we dive into our list of the best online colleges in HI for 2016, let’s start with the state of higher education and online education in particular in Hawaii today.


A Brief Overview of Higher Education in Hawaii

In 2013, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that Hawaii had 21 degree-granting institutions, broken down as follows: 10 public schools, 7 nonprofits and 4 for-profits. The total number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the ’12-’13 school year at these schools was: 4,236 at public schools, 1,928 at private nonprofits and 199 at private for-profits.

Tuition-wise, the College Board found that, in the ’15-’16 school year, the average in-state tuition and fees for four-year public schools was $10,170, while the out-of-state average was $28,780.

As for the state’s financial aid efforts, the National Association of State Student Grant & Aid Programs (NASSGAP) reported that Hawaii awarded $3.78 million in need-based grants for the ’13-’14 school year. Grants make up only 0.7% of the state’s total fiscal support for higher education. The state also awarded $582,000 in loans over the same period.

The Lumina Foundation reported that, as of the 2013 Census, 44.3% working-age Hawaiians, the equivalent of 740,000 people, held either a two or four-year degree ― an increase of nearly 2% from the previous year. This sits well over the national average of 40%. With such a well-educated populace, reasonable tuition and the obvious draw of its tropical locale, Hawaii’s education system should see stable, moderate improvements over the next several years.


The State of Online Higher Education in Hawaii

The NCES estimates that at least 11% of students enrolled in Hawaii’s Title IV institutions are in fully online programs. Of those, 89.2% were reported to be undergraduates and 84.9% were found to be living in Hawaii.

As we mentioned above, Hawaii’s premier distance opportunities come by way of the state school system; the service is called Distance Learning at the University of Hawaii. The system combines the offerings of four schools, three UH branches and one community college. The directory of courses semester to semester features dozens of programs, from certificates and two-year degrees to bachelor’s, master’s and even two doctoral programs ― all offered fully online.

Hawaii is also part of the SARA regional education compact known as the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). The WICHE Internet Course Exchange (ICE) offers opportunities for state residents, through their local college or university, to access high quality distance programs offered at out-of-state WICHE institutions, often at greatly reduced rates.


Best Online Colleges in Hawaii

Below, you will find our rankings of the best online four-year programs in Hawaii. Our profiles look at how schools approach online education and then list out their services for distance students and their popular, fully online degrees. After reviewing our best of Hawaii, explore our state resources, like a database of every college and university in Hawaii or our index of popular in-state scholarships.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Methodology

To determine the best online colleges in each state, we examined the factors most important to prospective students: Academic quality and reputation, online program strength, and cost and student aid. At the most basic level, we use the following formula to determine the best online colleges: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. Of course, there's more to these calculations than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about the process we use to rank schools.

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Hawaii Pacific University

1
Hawaii Pacific University
Honolulu
$21,130

An Online Education at Hawaii Pacific University

HPU offers a Navy College Program Distance Learning Partnership Program to active members of the Navy, providing a number of Associate and Bachelor degree programs online. Self-paced courses allow students to have extended flexibility on assignment deadlines and complete coursework in a supported environment.

All online courses are taught through the Blackboard learning platform. There are a number of resources available to distance students including Pipeline, which provides online library access, and other university programs and services. HPU's online libraries have over 140,000 e-books and electronic journals available to distance learning students.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • A.S. in Accounting
  • A.S. in Computer Science
  • A.S. in Marketing
  • B.A. in Human Resource Development
  • B.A. in Psychology
  • B.A. in International Studies
  • B.S. in International Business

Online Graduate Degrees

  • M.B.A.

Military students also have access to the Military Installation Libraries, which provides additional resources and support services. HPU extends Veterans benefits, and several scholarships and financial aid opportunities to online students.

Contact Information

1164 Bishop Street, Suite 800
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 544-0200


Acclaim for online programs

  • #18on TheBestSchools.org Best Online MBA programs

University of Hawaii at Manoa

2
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Honolulu
$10,620
$29,412

An Online Education at University of Hawaii at Manoa

UH Mānoa distance learning courses are taught through Laulima. While some distance learning degrees are offered entirely online, many individual courses utilize Interactive Television delivery methods and video conferencing, and several are blended courses taught both online and in a traditional classroom setting. Several online courses may have prerequisites that students will need to fulfill prior to enrollment, such as completing a minimum number of credits in the field or maintaining an adequate GPA. Students should consult course descriptions and their academic advisor for individual requirements.

Several resources are available to distance learning students attending online colleges in HI like the ITS Help Desk, and the Online Learning Academy, which offers free one on one tutoring, writing services, and academic support. Distance students with disabilities can also consult the Disabilities Services Coordinator at UH Mānoa who will assist with providing academic accommodations.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • B.E.D. in Early Childhood & SPED
  • B.E.D. in Elementary Education
  • B.S. Hawaii State Nursing Consortium

Online Graduate Degrees

  • M.S. in Computer Science
  • Executive M.B.A.
  • M.A. in Music Education
  • M.S.W.
  • M.E.D.T.
  • Masters of Human Resource Management
  • M.E.D. in Learning Design and Technology

In addition to the online undergraduate and graduate programs, UH Mānoa also offers several undergraduate- and graduate-level certificates.

Contact Information

2500 Campus Road, Hawaii Hall
Honolulu, HI 96822-2217
(808) 956-8975


Acclaim for online programs

  • #70on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Nursing Program
  • #321on U.S. News and World Report's Best Global Universities

University of Hawaii - West Oahu

3
University of Hawaii - West Oahu
Kapolei
$6,336
$17,856

An Online Education at University of Hawaii - West Oahu

UHWO offers entirely online degree programs taught through Laulima, the University of Hawaii's course management and collaboration server, and blended degrees and individual courses that incorporate Interactive Television for students living on the neighboring islands. Distance learning students have access to a number of resources like the UH West O‘ahu No‘eau Center for Writing, Math and Academic Success which provides online tutoring and a number of notable publications.

Students enrolled in online courses involving research may access online databases through the UH West O'ahu Library. Students also have access to many online student tutorials to assist with navigating Laulima and how to utilize tools within the system like accessing announcements and messages from instructors, student chatrooms and discussion boards.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • B.A. in Business Administration (BABA)
  • B.A. in Social Sciences
  • B.A. in Social Sciences, Political Science
  • B.A. in Social Sciences, Early Childhood Education
  • B.A. in Public Administration

Besides undergraduate degrees, UHWO offers academic certificates in Substance Abuse and Addiction Studies, Health Care Administration, and Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management. Distance learning students at UHWO have access to financial aid opportunities like scholarships and veterans benefits.

Contact Information

91-1001 Farrington Highway
Kapolei, HI 96707-4507
(808) 689-2800

University of Hawaii at Hilo

4
University of Hawaii at Hilo
Hilo
$6,536
$18,296

An Online Education at University of Hawaii at Hilo

UH Hilo offers distance learning degrees and over 70 online individual courses through Laulima, the University of Hawaii's course management and collaboration server. Several distance courses incorporate both online and video conferencing delivery methods. UH Hilo distance students have access to several resources like a technology helpdesk, disability services and the Edwin H. Mookini Library. Students also have access to the North Hawai'i Education and Research Center (NHERC) which has computer labs, test proctoring and provides community service events.

The online degree programs offered through UH Hilo all have prerequisites that students need to fulfill before enrolling. Students are encouraged to consult their academic advisors for individual degree requirements. There are many forms of financial aid available to distance students at UH Hilo including grants like the TEACH grant awarded to students in financial need, who are enrolled in degree seeking education programs, as well as scholarships, and Veterans benefits.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • West Hawaii BBA Program
  • RN to BSN

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher Education Program
  • Masters of Arts in Indigenous Language & Culture Education

Besides undergraduate and graduate programs, there are a vast number of individual online courses offered mostly in the healthcare field, as well as classes in Women's Studies, English and Communications.

Contact Information

200 W Kawili St
Hilo, HI 96720-4091
(808) 974-7311


Most Affordable Online Colleges in Hawaii

Below you’ll another ranking of the online colleges in Hawaii, sorted by their tuition rate.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Methodology

Our list of the most affordable online colleges is based on in-state yearly tuition, or annual tuition rates if a school does not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state students. Tuition rates are based on a full course load each semester or term. All colleges on the list offer at least one bachelor's degree completion program available entirely online. Those institutions with the lowest tuition are ranked highest, providing prospective students with a true list of the most affordable online colleges in their state.

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University of Hawaii - West Oahu

1
University of Hawaii - West Oahu
Kapolei
$6,336
$17,856

University of Hawaii at Hilo

1
University of Hawaii at Hilo
Hilo
$6,536
$18,296

University of Hawaii at Manoa

3
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Honolulu
$10,620
$29,412

Hawaii Pacific University

4
Hawaii Pacific University
Honolulu
$21,130


Scholarships and Financial Aid in Hawaii

Ambassador Minerva Jean Falcon Hawai’i Scholarship

Deadline: February 18, 2016
Scholarship Amount $5,000 See Scholarship

To be eligible for the Minerva Jean Falcon award, applicants must be graduates of a high school in Hawaii, attend a 2 or 4 year college (undergrad or graduate), and maintain a GPA of 2.7+. Funding is provided by the Hawaii Community Foundation.

Anthony Alexander, Andrew Delos Reyes & Jeremy Tolentino Memorial Fund

Deadline: February 18, 2016
Scholarship Amount $5,000 See Scholarship

Applicants must be graduating seniors at Miliani High School with a GPA of 2.7+, and must demonstrate financial need. A personal statement and essay is required. Funding is provided by the Hawaii Community Foundation.

Bal Dasa Scholarship

Deadline: February 15, 2016
Scholarship Amount $5,000 See Scholarship

For graduates of Waipahu High School. Applicants must be residents of Hawaii, have a GPA of 2.7+, and must demonstrate financial need. This scholarship is funded by the Hawaii Community Foundation.

Cayetano Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: February 18, 2016
Scholarship Amount $5,000 See Scholarship

The Hawaii Community Foundation provides this scholarship to exceptional students who have shown perseverance in the face of financial and social obstacles. Applicants must be graduating high school seniors with a GPA of 3.5+. Preference is given to students majoring in Engineering, Pre-Med, Political Science, Pre-Law or Education.

David L. Irons Memorial Scholarship Fund

Deadline: February 18, 2016
Scholarship Amount $5,000 See Scholarship

For graduating seniors of Punahou School. Applicants must be Hawaii residents, have a GPA of 2.7+, and must demonstrate financial need. Funding is provided by the Hawaii Community Foundation.

Dolly Ching Scholarship

Deadline: February 18, 2016
Scholarship Amount $5,000 See Scholarship

The Hawaii Community Foundation provides this scholarship to graduating high school seniors on the island of Kaua’i who will attend college in the University of Hawai’i system. Applicants must demonstrate financial need. A minimum GPA of 2.7 and two letters of recommendation are required.

Eastside & Northshore Kaua’i Scholarship Fund

Deadline: February 18, 2016
Scholarship Amount $5,000 See Scholarship

For students from the East or Northshore Kaua’i areas. A minimum GPA of 2.5 and a letter of recommendation is required. Applicants must demonstrate financial need, and must be enrolled at a two year or four year college or university. Funding is provided by the Hawaii Community Foundation.


Higher Education Resources in Hawaii