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Financial Aid Policies

Financial aid consists of a variety of federal, state, and institutional programs designed to assist students and their families in paying for educational costs. Financial aid is only available to students who are in compliance with all financial aid policies, terms, conditions, and individual fund requirements. Students are encouraged to carefully review all requirements in order to ensure continued financial aid eligibility.

The Financial Aid Office (FAO) is required to develop a budget each year to help students estimate the costs of pursuing an education at Hawai’i CC. This budget is called the Cost of Attendance (COA), and includes both direct costs and living expenses. Additionally, the COA is used to determine federal and institutional financial aid eligibility. The maximum financial aid a student can receive is equal to their COA.

Direct Costs and Living Expenses
Direct costs include tuition, fees, books, and supplies - the costs directly associated with enrollment at Hawai’i CC. Living expenses include housing, food, transportation, and personal expenses. Each budget item is assigned a dollar amount based on actual or estimated costs, then added together to equal the student’s total COA. Direct Costs and Living Expenses are broken down into their individual components below.

Direct Costs
Tuition (per credit):

  • Hawai’i resident: $131
  • Pacific islands: $196.50
  • Non-resident: $345


  • Fall only or spring only (one semester): $40
  • Fall and spring (two semesters): $79

Books and Supplies (per semester):

  • Full-time (12+ credits): $675
  • Three quarter-time (9-11 credits): $506.25
  • Half-time (6-8 credits): $337.50
  • Less than half-time: (1-6 credits): $168.75

Living Expenses (per semester)
Housing and Food:

  • Living with parent: $5,853
  • Living off campus: $12,815

Transportation: $2,321
Personal Expenses: $2,742

Loan fees* (if applicable): $32 per semester

*A loan fees budget component is included in the COA for students who accept Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans because loan fees are deducted from their loans prior to disbursement.

Cost of Attendance Chart

The chart below is intended to help you determine your total estimated costs per semester based on residency status, living arrangements, and enrollment level. Actual expenses may vary based on individual needs. Per federal regulations, students enrolled less than half-time do not have Cost of Attendance (COA) budget components for housing, food, and personal expenses.

Net Price Calculator

The Net Price Calculator is intended to provide estimated net price information to current and prospective students and their families based on what full-time, first-year students paid in a previous year. The net price is the remaining cost of attendance after grants and scholarships have been applied (net price = cost of attendance - grants and scholarships).

Net Price Calculator

Most financial aid awarded at Hawai’i CC is from the US Department of Education’s (US DOE) Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs. To qualify, students must annually submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and:

  • be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen,
  • enroll in an eligible degree or certificate program,
  • make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP),
  • be in good standing with all federal grants and loans,
  • have financial need according to the federal financial aid need formula, and
  • have the ability to benefit, which is defined as having earned a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent.

Hawai’i CC’s FAFSA priority deadline is March 1 each year. Federal funds are available to all eligible students, but students who meet the priority deadline may be prioritized for institutional funds. The FAFSA is available online at

Notifications about financial aid are posted as Active Messages in MyUH Services. Students should regularly check their Active Messages for financial aid updates, changes, and other important information.

Disbursements occur when financial aid is applied to student accounts to pay for outstanding charges.Financial aid that exceeds outstanding charges at the time of disbursement is refunded to students via check or, if they have signed up, via eRefund.

Financial aid disbursements begin no earlier than 10 days before the first day of instruction. Additionally, first-time student loan borrowers are subject to a 30-day delay and all student loans are disbursed in two separate payments, one at the beginning of the loan period and one at the midpoint. Scholarships from external organizations are applied by the Business Office as funds are received.

Unless authorized, federal financial aid can only pay for tuition, fees, and dorm charges. Other charges, such as fees for late registration, adding or dropping classes, library or parking fines, and digital course materials (IDAP) must be paid separately. To allow federal financial aid to pay for all charges, you may complete a Title IV Authorization by following the steps below.

  1. Log into your MyUH Services account.
  2. Click on the View My Financial Aid Information tile.
  3. Select the appropriate campus and aid year.
  4. On the Financial Aid tab, under My Award Information, click on the Award by Aid Year link.
  5. Select the Resources/Additional Information tab.
  6. Under the Federal Title IV Authorization/Cancellation heading, use the dropdown menu to select Yes or No.
    1. If you select Yes, all charges posted to your account after the date of acceptance can be covered by federal financial aid, including charges for the current semester and up to $200 from a prior semester. Any excess funds will be refunded to you as indicated previously.
    2. If you select No or do not answer, federal financial aid can only be disbursed toward tuition, fees, and dorm charges.

You do not need to complete this authorization every year, however you may change your previous answer before your financial aid disburses by emailing

Federal regulations require that students receiving financial aid make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The financial aid SAP policy is separate and distinct from the institution’s academic progress policy. To be making SAP, students must earn a minimum 2.0 Financial Aid Grade Point Average (FA GPA), have a Credit Completion Rate (CCR) of at least 67%, and be able to graduate within their Financial Aid Time Frame (FA Time Frame).

All credits attempted in any semester of enrollment at the student’s home campus, regardless of aid status, will be counted in SAP calculations. Transfer credits do not impact FA GPA, but are factored into both CCR and FA Time Frame. Individual SAP requirements and details are available in each student’s MyUH Services account.

For students enrolled in eligible certificate programs that require fewer than 24 credits, academic progress is evaluated at the end of every payment period. For all other students, SAP is evaluated annually after grades are finalized for the spring semester.

Financial Aid GPA (FA GPA)
Students must maintain a minimum cumulative FA GPA of 2.0.

  • Grades that are calculated into a student’s FA GPA include: A (4 points), B (3 points), C (2 points), D (1 point), F (0 points), and N (No Grade; 0 points).
  • Grades that are not calculated into a student’s FA GPA include: CE (Credit by Exam), CR (Credit), I (Incomplete), L (Audit), NC (No Credit), RD (Record Delayed), and W (Withdrawn).
  • FA GPA calculations do not exclude original grades that are changed as a result of repeated coursework, administrative withdrawals, academic renewals, or other academic policies.

To calculate FA GPA, for each course, multiply the number of credits by the number of points associated with the grade earned. Add all points together, then divide the total points by the total number of attempted credits.

Credit Completion Rate (CCR)
Students must have a CCR of at least 67%, which means they must complete (pass) at least 67% of all attempted credits. Calculations are rounded down to the nearest percent.

  • Grades that count as both attempted and completed include: A, B, C, D, CE, CR, and PBA (Portfolio-Based Assessment).
  • Grades that count as attempted but not completed include: F, I, N, NC, RD, W, and grades forgiven through academic renewal.
  • Grades that are not calculated into a student’s CCR include: L, P (Passed; non-credit only), and NP (Not Passed; non-credit only).
  • Repeated courses are counted as attempted and, if passed, completed.
  • Credits taken at other UH campuses (consortium credits) and counted toward a student’s financial aid enrollment level are counted as attempted and, if passed, completed, according to grade type.
  • Grades removed by administrative withdrawal count as attempted but not completed.

Financial Aid Time Frame (FA Time Frame)
A student’s FA Time Frame is equal to 150% of the credits required for degree completion, and all credits counted in CCR calculations also count as attempted credits for FA Time Frame purposes. Once it is no longer possible for a student to graduate within their FA Time Frame, they become ineligible for financial aid. Students may attempt up to 30 combined remedial math and English credits that do not count toward FA Time Frame limits.

English as a Second Language (ESL) credits are not counted toward the FA Time Frame, however all other attempted coursework is counted, including all transfer coursework and coursework that is not required for degree completion. Credits are also not excluded for students who are pursuing a second degree or for students who change their major.

Financial Aid Suspension
Students who are not meeting the minimum standards for FA GPA, CCR, or FA Time Frame are placed on financial aid suspension and are not eligible for financial aid. To regain financial aid eligibility, students who fall below the minimum FA GPA or CCR requirements may pay for courses on their own until they are meeting all SAP requirements. Students who are unable to graduate within their FA Time Frame are not able to regain financial aid eligibility without an approved SAP appeal. Ceasing enrollment for any length of time will not resolve SAP deficiencies.

Appealing Financial Aid Suspension
Students on financial aid suspension, who fell below SAP requirements due to extenuating circumstances, have the option to submit a SAP appeal. At a minimum, students must explain 1) why they fell below SAP requirements, and 2) what has changed so they will be able to meet requirements moving forward. Providing documentation to verify extenuating circumstances may increase the likelihood of appeal approval and is therefore strongly recommended.

Some examples of extenuating circumstances that may be considered include: illness, divorce, death, difficulty balancing family and school responsibilities, and financial difficulties.

When a student’s SAP appeal is approved, the student is placed on financial aid probation and given specific requirements to meet each semester. Students who meet their probation requirements will continue to be approved for aid on probationary status until they have remedied all SAP deficiencies or graduated. Students who do not meet all probation requirements each semester will revert back to financial aid suspension.

SAP appeals take 4 to 6 weeks to process and must be submitted no later than 30 days before the last day of instruction for the semester of the appeal. Appeal approval is at the discretion of the Financial Aid Manager, or their designee, and is not subject to further review. All appeal decisions are communicated via UH email.

2022-2023 Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal (online form)

2023-2024 Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal (online form)

The following information is a broad overview of financial aid terms and conditions. Individual requirements may not be applicable to all financial aid types, but adherence is required for all applicable funds.

Automatic Acceptance
Grants and scholarships are automatically accepted. Student loans have a separate request process.

Academic Year
An academic year is defined as 30 credits and 30 weeks of instruction. The summer semester is considered a trailer because it is after the end of the regular academic year.

Availability of Funds
All awards are made on the condition that funds are available. In the event that federal, state, or local governments, or other sources of aid reduce or eliminate funds, the Financial Aid Office (FAO) may reduce or cancel financial aid offers.

Change of Information
Any change to your legal name, address, social security number, or telephone number must be immediately reported to the Admissions and Records Office (ARO), or to the FAO, as applicable. You must notify the FAO in writing if the information reported on any of your financial aid applications has changed.

Change Without Notice
Federal, state, and institutional financial aid criteria and policies are subject to change without notice as a result of changes to laws, regulations, and institutional policies.

Class Standing
For financial aid purposes, students with fewer than 30 completed credits are considered first-year students. Students with 30 or more completed credits are considered second-year students.

Consortium Agreements
Hawai’i CC has a broad consortium agreement with the other University of Hawai’i (UH) campuses. Degree-applicable (required) coursework at other UH campuses will be evaluated for financial aid eligibility as long as the student is enrolled in at least one course at Hawai’i CC.

Dates and Deadlines
It is your responsibility to keep track of all financial aid requirements and deadlines. Be sure to bookmark the financial aid home page and check your UH email regularly for financial aid updates and requirements.

Enrollment Changes and Withdrawals
Changes to enrollment may result in revisions to financial aid. MyUH Services Active Messages are updated as changes are made.

Enrollment Levels
Enrollment requirements are based on the type of financial aid. The 4 enrollment levels are as follows:

  • Full-Time: 12+ credits
  • Three-Quarter-Time (¾-time): 9 to 11 credits
  • Half-Time (½-time): 6 to 8 credits
  • Less Than Half-Time (<½-time): 1 to 5 credits

Financial Need
Many financial aid types require financial need, as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Changes to financial need or receipt of additional financial aid may result in the reduction or cancelation of need-based aid.

Home Institution Only
Students are only eligible for financial aid at their home campus.

Ineligible Degree Status
Students who have previously earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, or are working on a graduate or professional degree, are generally ineligible for federal, state, and institutional grants, but may be eligible for federal student loans.

Pell Recalculation Date (PRD)
Pell Grant amounts are initially calculated using projected full-time enrollment, then later recalculated based on actual enrollment level prior to disbursement. Adjustments continue to occur until the Pell Recalculation Date (PRD), which may also be referred to as the census date, or the enrollment lock date. The PRD is the same date each semester as the last day to withdraw from classes without a W grade. Generally financial aid is not adjusted after the PRD, however students who completely withdraw or otherwise do not meet requirements may be required to repay financial aid.

Exceeding the allowable total or need-based financial aid amounts will result in a Cost of Attendance (COA) or need overaward, which may result in financial aid cancelations or reductions.

Release of Confidential Information
The FAO can only speak directly with the student unless an Authorization to Disclose Financial Aid Information has been submitted for the applicable school year.

Repeat Coursework
A course may be counted toward a student’s financial aid enrollment level until the student earns a passing grade. If a passing grade has been earned, repeating the course may only count toward the student’s financial aid enrollment level one time.

Special Early Admits
Special early admit students will not be eligible for financial aid until documentation of high school graduation, GED, or equivalent is submitted to the ARO.

Transfer Students
Transfer students may not be eligible for aid until all transcripts are submitted to the ARO.

Verification is an audit process that confirms the accuracy of information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Most students are selected for verification by the US Department of Education (US DOE), both randomly and based on specific factors, such as common mistakes or mathematical improbabilities. Students who submit the FAFSA and later modify their answers may also be selected.

Hawai’i CC uses ProVerifier+, a ProEducation Solutions software program, to manage the verification process. Students selected for verification must log into ProVerifier+ and complete any requirements listed before their financial aid eligibility can be determined. Students are encouraged to complete all requirements as quickly as possible to avoid financial aid delays. If any discrepancies are found as a result of verification, corrections are made to the student’s FAFSA and aid eligibility is recalculated.

When a recipient of federal financial aid completely withdraws, the Financial Aid Office (FAO) must determine whether or not the student has earned all of their financial aid. Any unearned aid must be returned to the US Department of Education (US DOE), either by the student or the school, according to the federal return of funds formula. If Federal Pell Grant or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) funding is required to be returned by the student, the school will return it on their behalf, resulting in a balance owed to Hawai’i CC. If loan funding is required to be returned by the student, the student must work with their loan servicer to return the unearned funds.

Unearned aid is returned in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loans
  2. Subsidized Federal Direct Student Loans
  3. Direct Parent PLUS Loans
  4. Federal Pell Grants
  5. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
  6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)

Students who use their MyUH Services account to withdraw online, or withdraw with the assistance of the Admissions and Records Office (ARO), are considered to have officially withdrawn. Students who do not earn any passing grades may be considered to have unofficially withdrawn if the reason they did not pass any courses is because they stopped attending prior to the end of the course. The FAO has 30 days, from the earlier of the date that the student officially withdrew or the date that the school became aware the student unofficially withdrew (the day grades are finalized for the semester), to calculate any unearned aid and notify the student of any required returns. The school then has an additional 15 days, for a total of 45 days, to return any unearned funds owed by the school.

Financial aid recipients should contact the FAO before withdrawing to discuss the possible consequences of withdrawal.

Students are considered to have earned all federal aid if they have attended at least 60% of the semester, according to official records. If the amount of financial aid disbursed is less than the amount earned, the student may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement.

The federal formula for determining financial need, based on Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), data does not account for special or unusual circumstances that may affect a family's ability to pay for college. Students who have experienced a personal or family loss of income or benefits may submit a Petition for Special Circumstances. Students for whom it may be unreasonable or impossible to contact parents for FAFSA completion purposes may submit an Appeal for Dependency Override.

While the Financial Aid Office (FAO) cannot change the federal formula or make direct adjustments to a student’s financial need, it may be possible to make adjustments to individual FAFSA data elements based on the student’s situation and supporting documentation. Decisions are made at the sole discretion of the Financial Aid Manager, or their designee, and are not subject to further review. All appeal decisions are communicated via UH email.

2022-2023 Petition for Special Circumstances (PDF form)

2023-2024 Petition for Special Circumstances (PDF form)

2022-2023 Appeal for Dependency Override (online form)

2023-2024 Appeal for Dependency Override (online form)