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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): $30
  • Fall and spring (two semesters): $60

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: $3,157
  • Living off campus: $6,860

Transportation: $1,244
Personal Expenses: $1,371

Loan fees* (if applicable): $33 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. For full-year costs (fall and spring), calculate the costs for each semester based on intended enrollment, then add them together.

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.

Delinquency and Default
Federal student loan borrowers who miss their regularly scheduled payments are considered to be delinquent on their student loans. Borrowers who are delinquent for 90 or more days are reported by their loan servicer to the three national credit bureaus, which will cause negative impacts to their credit rating. Having a poor credit rating may make it difficult to obtain credit cards, home loans, and car loans, and may also make it difficult to sign up for utilities, obtain home insurance, sign up for a cell phone plan, or rent a home or apartment.

When a borrower is delinquent for 270 or more days, they are considered to be in default. Defaulting on a student loan has serious negative consequences, which may include:

  • Loss of eligibility for federal student aid,
  • Acceleration (the entire loan balance, principal and interest, becomes due immediately),
  • Losing eligibility for deferment or forbearance, as well as the ability to choose a repayment plan,
  • Wage garnishment (a portion of your paycheck is withheld to repay your defaulted loan),
  • Loss or reduction of tax refunds and other federal benefits, and
  • Legal proceedings such as being charged in court, and associated costs, such as court costs, attorney’s fees, and other collection costs.

Avoiding Default
Borrowers who are having difficulty repaying their student loans should immediately contact their loan servicer to discuss options, which may include income-driven repayment plans to lower monthly payments, changing payment due dates, deferment, or forbearance. If you do not know who your loan servicer is, you can log into your account at and scroll down to the My Loan Servicers section. You may also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-433-3243.

Additionally, the US Department of Education (US DOE), in partnership with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), provides advice about student loan repayment, loan rehabilitation, and debt management strategies on their student loans advice web page.

Cohort Default Rate
Schools that participate in the Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs are required to maintain a Cohort Default Rate (CDR) below 30%. When a school’s CDR is 30% or higher, increasingly restrictive penalties are applied. Schools with a CDR of 30% or more for one year must submit a default prevention plan to the US DOE for review. Schools with a CDR of 30% or more for a second consecutive year must submit a revised default prevention plan and may be placed on provisional status. Schools with a CDR of 30% or more for a third consecutive year lose eligibility to participate in the Federal Pell Grant and Direct Loan programs. Schools with a CDR greater than 40% for any single year lose eligibility to participate in the Federal Pell Grant and Direct Loan programs.

A school’s CDR is calculated by first determining the number of borrowers who defaulted on their loans during the federal fiscal year (October 1 through September 30) in which they entered repayment, or during the two following fiscal years. That number is then divided by the total borrowers in the cohort. For example, students who entered repayment between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019 are part of the 2019 cohort. The 2019 CDR is based on students in the 2019 cohort who default during the 2019, 2020, or 2021 fiscal years (October 1, 2018 - September 30, 2021).

Because it takes three years to track cohort outcomes, CDR’s are not published until three years after each cohort is established. Hawai’i CC’s annual CDR’s for the latest available cohorts are provided in the chart below. The national average CDR for 2-year public institutions is also provided for comparison.

Cohort Default Period Defaults Cohort Size CDR National Average
2020 10/1/2019-9/20/2022 0 125 0% 0%
2019 10/1/2018-9/30/2021 9 158 5.6% 3.7%
2018 10/1/2017-9/30/2020 34 167 20.3% 11.5%
2017 10/1/2016-9/30/2019 35 184 19.0% 15.1%

Though Hawai’i CC’s CDR is higher than the national average, it is important to also consider the percentage of students who borrow while attending Hawai’i CC each year, as shown in the chart below. Because the overall number of borrowers is low, even a small number of defaults can have a significant impact on the applicable CDR. Additionally, Hawai’i CC’s recent enrollment and Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan borrower percentage has fluctuated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as system-wide policy changes, such as the centralization and alignment of various University of Hawai’i Community Colleges (UHCC) financial aid policies and procedures. For the 2023-2024 school year, all UHCC’s are including student loans in financial aid offers, which is expected to increase borrower numbers.

School Year Total Borrowers Total Students Borrower Percentage
2019-2020 180 3324 5.42%
2020-2021 106 3246 3.27%
2021-2022 72 2870 2.51%
2022-2023 100 2855 3.5%

Default Management
Before students can borrow loans, they must complete Federal Direct Entrance Counseling, which provides information about loan requirements and repayment obligations, sign a Master Promissory Note (loan agreement), and submit a loan request form to the Financial Aid Office (FAO) for processing. On the financial aid website, general information about student loan interest rates, fees, and limitations is provided for all current and prospective borrowers, and in all published information and materials, borrowers are encouraged to carefully consider their financing needs and the consequences of overborrowing. Examples are also provided, as well as optional, but strongly recommended, activities to help students assess whether or not student loan funding is necessary.

In 2017, Hawai’i CC contracted with Inceptia for default management services, including borrower outreach, loan counseling, loan rehabilitation, etc. Inceptia’s contract was not renewed for 2018, but restarted in 2019 and continued throughout the 2022-2023 school year. Beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, the UHCC Central Financial Aid Office (CFAO) agreed to assume responsibility for default management at all of the UHCC’s as part of their centralization efforts and is currently in the process of negotiating a contract with a new default management service provider. The new provider is expected to provide services similar to those previously covered by Inceptia, and will also be piloting a new active outreach program at Hawai’i CC, which will involve contacting and educating students about their loans and repayment options before they enter repayment.

Lastly, as required by the US DOE, when a student loan borrower graduates or otherwise ceases attendance in at least half-time enrollment (6 or more credits), they are notified that they must complete Student Loan Exit Counseling.

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 whole 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. Where possible, students must also provide supporting documentation.

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 may take up to 6 weeks to process and cannot be approved after the applicable semester has ended. Appeals should be submitted no later than 30 days before the last day of instruction to ensure that there is enough time for review. 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.

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.

Degree Applicability
Financial aid is only available for degree-applicable courses, which are courses that satisfy degree requirements. Prerequisites for degree-applicable courses may also be eligible.

Enrollment Changes and Withdrawals
Changes to enrollment may result in revisions to financial aid. Students will be notified via email or MyUH Services Active Messages as changes are made.

Enrollment Requirements
Enrollment requirements vary by financial aid type. Be sure to enroll in at least the minimum number of required credits to maintain eligibility.

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.

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 45 days, from the earlier of the date that the student officially withdrew or the date that the school became aware the student unofficially withdrew, to calculate and return unearned aid according to the federal formula. The student will also be notified if they must return unearned funds.

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.