Hawaii Community Foundation Scholarship Guide: Essential Tips for Success

Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF) plays a significant role in providing financial support to qualified students and nonprofit organizations throughout the state, helping transform lives and improve communities. With over 1,100 funds, including 300 scholarship funds, HCF has distributed millions of dollars in grants and scholarships, investing in Hawai’i’s future by supporting the educational endeavors of deserving students.


Having a comprehensive understanding of the Hawaii Community Foundation scholarship guide is crucial for students looking to benefit from these scholarships. With various eligibility criteria, application processes, and scholarship types to consider, students need to be well-versed in HCF’s scholarship programs in order to maximize their opportunities for financial assistance.

Key Takeaways

  • Hawaii Community Foundation offers numerous scholarships to qualified students in the state.
  • Applicants must understand eligibility criteria, types of scholarships, and the application process.
  • HCF’s scholarships play a vital role in supporting education and community development across Hawai‘i.

Eligibility Criteria


The Hawaii Community Foundation offers various scholarships to students, each with its own specific eligibility criteria. However, there are some general requirements that apply to most of their scholarships. In this section, we will examine the common eligibility criteria, including residency requirements, academic achievements, financial need assessment, and full-time enrollment status.

Residency Requirements

To be eligible for most scholarships offered by the Hawaii Community Foundation, applicants must be residents of the State of Hawaii. Being a resident means the applicant should have a valid and verifiable Hawaii address, and may be subject to additional documentation or information on request.

Academic Achievements

Scholarships often consider applicants’ academic achievements in their eligibility criteria, and the Hawaii Community Foundation is no exception. Most of their scholarships require a minimum 2.0 GPA for both undergraduate and graduate students. Some scholarships may have higher GPA requirements, so it is essential to review the specific criteria for each scholarship before applying.

Financial Need Assessment

Demonstrating financial need is another critical aspect of the eligibility criteria for most scholarships offered by the Hawaii Community Foundation. Financial need is typically assessed through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which includes information about the applicant’s family income, assets, and other factors that contribute to their ability to pay for education. It’s necessary to complete the FAFSA to demonstrate financial need accurately and access various scholarships.

Full-Time Enrollment Status

Lastly, the Hawaii Community Foundation scholarships are mainly geared towards students who plan to enroll as full-time students at an accredited two or four-year college or university within the United States. Being a full-time student usually means enrolling in courses totaling 12 or more credit hours per semester for undergraduate students and 9 or more credit hours for graduate students.

In summary, the Hawaii Community Foundation scholarships have eligibility criteria encompassing residency in Hawaii, a minimum 2.0 GPA, financial need assessment through FAFSA, and full-time enrollment status at an accredited institution. Applicants should carefully review the specific eligibility requirements for each scholarship before applying to ensure their qualifications align and maximize their chances of receiving financial assistance.

Application Process


Document Preparation

Before starting the scholarship application process for the Hawaii Community Foundation, it’s essential to gather all necessary documents. You may need academic records, transcripts, recommendation letters, and proof of community service, among other documents. Organize these materials to ensure a smooth application process.

FAFSA Completion

To determine your eligibility for financial aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Hawaii Community Foundation recommends that seniors and graduate students submit their FAFSAs as early as possible. This will help determine the scholarship programs for which you may qualify and maximize your financial aid opportunities. You can learn more about FAFSA completion in the Scholarship FAQs section of the foundation’s website.

Submitting Applications

All applications are to be completed and submitted online through the Hawaii Community Foundation Students page. It’s essential to follow the website’s instructions to ensure that you submit your application correctly and before the deadline. If needed, a PDF of helpful instructions is available to assist you during the application process.

Deadlines and Notifications

Ensure you are aware of the deadline for each scholarship program you’re applying for, as they might differ. Late applications may not be considered. Once your application is submitted, it will undergo a review, and you might be selected for a scholarship based on your eligibility and the program’s criteria. The foundation will notify you of your application’s status via email or their website. Keep track of your application and follow up with the Hawaii Community Foundation if needed.

By following these steps, you can confidently navigate through the Hawaii Community Foundation scholarship application process and increase your chances of being selected for financial aid.

Types of Scholarships


Merit-Based Awards

Merit-based awards are scholarships given to students who have demonstrated exceptional academic performance, talent, or skills. These awards are granted based on a student’s achievements, such as GPA, test scores, or extracurricular activities, rather than their financial need. For example, the Hawaii Community Foundation Scholarships consist of more than 170 different funds, with many focusing on rewarding merit.

Need-Based Grants

Need-based grants, on the other hand, are financial assistance awards provided to students who demonstrate significant financial need. These grants help lower-income students achieve their educational goals by covering tuition, fees, books, or other education-related expenses. To receive a need-based grant, students must provide information about their family’s financial situation, often through the FAFSA application.

Community Service Scholarships

Community service scholarships are designed to reward students who have made a positive impact on their community through volunteer work or other forms of service. These scholarships recognize the dedication and effort of students who are committed to helping others, promoting social change, or solving community issues. Hawaii Community Foundation is an example of an organization that offers scholarships, some of which may focus on community service.

Field-Specific Funds

Lastly, field-specific funds are scholarships or grants that target students pursuing specific fields of study or careers. These funds aim to encourage and support students in particular industries, occupations, or areas of interest. For example, a student studying marine biology might find a scholarship specifically designed for that field. By offering these types of scholarships, the Hawaii Community Foundation helps to invest in Hawaii’s future workforce and promote the growth of various industries within the state.

In conclusion, merit-based awards, need-based grants, community service scholarships, and field-specific funds are the primary types of scholarships available to students. Each of these categories serves a different purpose, helping students from various backgrounds and with different interests to achieve their educational goals.

Scholarship Management


Fund Allocation

The Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF) manages over 1,100 funds, including more than 300 scholarship funds for college students. By distributing these funds to various scholarship programs, HCF assists students in financing their educational expenses, such as tuition and other fees. It is important for students to understand the different types of funds available and their eligibility criteria, as each fund may cater to different educational fields or requirements.

Award Distribution

The award distribution process for the HCF scholarship program is designed to provide financial aid to students in a timely and efficient manner. The application period for the 2024-2025 academic year runs from December 12, 2023, to February 29, 2024. Upon successful completion of the application, HCF reviews and processes each student’s information. Selected students receive a notification of their scholarship awards, which can be used to cover various educational expenses.

Scholarship Renewal

Some scholarships offered by HCF can be renewed for eligible students, provided they maintain the necessary academic and program requirements. It is crucial for students to keep track of their scholarship renewal requirements and deadlines in order to continue receiving financial assistance throughout their college education. Students must submit all required documentation for renewal and maintain clear communication with HCF regarding their educational progress.

Financial Monitoring

In order to maintain transparency and accountability in the distribution of funds, HCF conducts regular financial monitoring of the scholarship program. This process ensures that funds are being allocated and utilized effectively for the intended purpose of supporting students’ educational expenses. HCF works closely with both students and educational institutions in the state of Hawaii to monitor the funds’ impact and adjust the distribution strategy as needed to achieve the best possible outcomes for students in need of financial aid.

Community Foundations Impact


Educational Advancement

The Hawaii Community Foundation plays a significant role in providing educational support to deserving students across the state. With over 1,100 funds, including more than 300 scholarship funds, the foundation helps numerous students pursue higher education. This promotes progress and empowers generations of Hawaiians to elevate their quality of life and contribute positively to society. Investment in education enables individuals to expand their knowledge, gain new skills, and champion the unique Hawaiian culture.

Cultural Preservation

Culture is at the heart of every community, and the Hawaii Community Foundation understands this. One of their primary objectives is to preserve and promote the rich Hawaiian culture. They do this by providing financial support to various nonprofit organizations working towards cultural preservation. Their grants enable local communities to develop cultural programs, support artisans, promote traditional Hawaiian practices, and conserve precious cultural resources. Through their efforts, they play a crucial role in ingraining cultural values and identity among people living in Maui and other parts of Hawaii.

Economic Growth and Recovery

Economic growth and recovery are vital for any region, and the Hawaii Community Foundation is committed to supporting these endeavors. Their investments in local nonprofit organizations and community projects generate jobs, create opportunities for entrepreneurship, and contribute to the overall economic development. By fostering collaboration among various sectors, such as education, healthcare, and social services, the foundation creates a strong support system for sustained economic growth and recovery. Encouraging innovative ideas and community development programs, they propel progress and improve quality of life across Hawaii.

Additional Resources


Contact Support

If you need assistance with the Hawai’i Community Foundation scholarship process, their dedicated staff is available to help. You can reach out to their Support Team for any inquiries related to the scholarship program or the application process. They provide support in various program areas such as youth, arts, and natural resources.

Scholarship Workshops

Hawai’i Community Foundation often organizes scholarship workshops to guide students and their families through the application process. These workshops provide essential information on eligibility, requirements, and tips for successfully applying for scholarships. Keep an eye on their events calendar for upcoming workshops and opportunities.

Networking Opportunities

Connecting with other scholarship recipients can offer valuable insights and support during your educational journey. Hawai’i Community Foundation facilitates various networking events that bring together scholarship recipients, alumni, and professionals in diverse fields. Participating in these events can help you expand your network, share experiences, and learn from others.

Further Education Planning

Hawai’i Community Foundation not only provides financial assistance but also support in planning your further education. They aim to help students make informed decisions about their educational pathway and career goals, covering a wide range of areas such as arts, natural resources, and youth development. For more information on these resources, visit their education support page.

By taking advantage of these additional resources, students can increase their chances of successfully securing scholarships and pursuing their educational goals at Hawai’i Community Foundation.

Frequently Asked Questions


Who is eligible for the Hawaii Community Foundation Scholarship?

The Hawaii Community Foundation offers scholarships to applicants with diverse backgrounds and educational goals. Eligibility criteria may vary for different scholarships, but generally, applicants must be residents of Hawaii and demonstrate financial need. Some scholarships may have additional requirements based on academic achievements, fields of study, or other factors. It is crucial for applicants to review the specific criteria of each scholarship they are interested in.

How can one apply for a foundation scholarship in Hawaii?

To apply for a scholarship through the Hawaii Community Foundation, applicants must follow the application process specified on the foundation’s website. Generally, this involves completing an online application form, submitting relevant documents such as transcripts and financial information, and providing letters of recommendation. Deadlines for submission may vary, so applicants should pay close attention to timelines.

What are the requirements to be considered for a Waipahu Community Foundation scholarship?

The requirements for Waipahu Community Foundation scholarships may differ depending on the specific program. However, similar to other scholarships offered by the Hawaii Community Foundation, applicants typically need to be residents of Waipahu, demonstrate financial need, and provide relevant documentation, such as transcripts and letters of recommendation. It is essential for applicants to review the unique requirements of each Waipahu Community Foundation scholarship they are interested in applying for.

Does the University of Hawaii offer a common scholarship and how do they intersect with Hawaii Community Foundation’s offerings?

The University of Hawaii offers a common scholarship application that allows students to apply for multiple scholarships with one application. Some scholarships offered through the University of Hawaii may also be funded or administered by the Hawaii Community Foundation. By submitting the common scholarship application, students have the opportunity to be considered for multiple awards from both institutions, making the process more efficient and streamlined.

Can individuals find job opportunities within the Hawaii Community Foundation and what roles are typically available?

Yes, individuals can find job opportunities at the Hawaii Community Foundation. They regularly post available positions on their website, including roles in grant-making, finance, communications, donor relations, and administration. Job seekers are encouraged to visit the foundation’s website to explore current openings and to stay updated on future opportunities.

What types of grants are available through the Hawaii Community Foundation for local organizations?

The Hawaii Community Foundation offers a variety of grant programs for local organizations, including nonprofits and community groups. Grant opportunities may focus on areas such as education, health, social services, the environment, and arts and culture. The foundation’s website provides information on current funding opportunities, application guidelines, and program details, making it an essential resource for organizations seeking grant support.

Helpful Resources

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