More tips for affording college and the upcoming College Fair!
Last month I wrote about FAFSA and ways to get funding for college. This month I want to tell you about some more opportunities for attending college that can make it more affordable.
The first way to attend college less expensively is to stay in state and attend one of the University of Hawaii campuses. UH currently has three four- year universities (Manoa, Hilo and West Oahu) and seven community colleges in its system.
Of course, the least expensive option is to attend community college first, live at home, and transfer to one of the four-year campuses when you can afford it. But if you are ready to head out of the house and go to four-year school, this is what it will cost: resident tuition is currently $11,088 at UH Manoa, $7,200 at UH Hilo, and $7,272 at West Oahu.
But did you know that UH has a wide variety of scholarship opportunities available to a broad base of students? Regents and Presidential Scholarships offer full tuition and expense money to their top tier applicants as both incoming freshman and transfer students. They also offer a B Plus Scholarship to students with GPAs above 3.0 with demonstrated financial need.
There is a wide range in between; some are need-based and some are merit-based, so make sure to check out the UH Financial Aid page on their website for information about how to apply for their scholarships… DON’T leave money on the table!
If you really want to attend school out of state, then there are opportunities for lower tuition by attending a WUE (Western Undergraduate Exchange) school. WUE is a group of 16 Western states (including Guam) that have agreements with each other for students within the group to attend their public colleges and universities at discounted rates.
These rates will not be as low as their own resident tuition, but they are a substantial discount to normal non-resident tuition – some as low as $9,100 per year.
Not all state schools and universities in each state are part of WUE, nor are all majors in any particular college, but many are and can offer a fine education while offering students the opportunity to attend college on the Mainland.
Some Mainland schools, like Oregon State University, which is not part of WUE, offer their own special scholarships to Hawaii residents. OSU offers their Aloha Scholarships to students earning anywhere between 3.0 and 4.0 GPAs annual awards of up to $8,000. As with any merit scholarship, you will need to maintain academic standards to keep that for the four-year period.
The bottom line is that you should research scholarship opportunities and tuition breaks that are available for all students, but also look for things that are unique to Hawaii students at any school to which you are considering applying. You might be surprised that college can be more affordable than you think!
For links to any of the above information, check my website, thecollegeauntie.com, on the financial aid page. And don’t forget to complete your FAFSA now!
ALSO… the Hawaii Association of College Admission Counseling College Fair will be held Wednesday, Oct. 24, at Baldwin High from 5 to 7 p.m. Make sure to attend for the opportunity check out colleges who are looking for students like you to apply.
Juniors, make contact with schools that interest you, and seniors, say hello to admissions counselors where you have applied, so they can put a face to the name on the application you send in.
For those of you who cannot get to the Mainland to visit a school, this is a great opportunity to demonstrate your interest. Introduce yourself and ask questions; and parentsstand back and let your student do the talking!
Maryanne Hogan is an Independent College Admissions Consultant working with students on Maui. Visit her website, thecollegeauntie.com, for more information or to make an appointment.