Students must apply to college by submitting an admissions  application. Different universities and community colleges may have different admissions application requirements. The one requirement that all colleges share is that you must have a high school diploma or equivalent before applying.

Make sure to visit the admissions application website for the college you are applying for to find out their specific steps and deadlines to apply. The admissions process is different for undergraduate and graduate students, but this tool will focus on first-time college students (undergraduate).


We will review some basic admission application information for universities and community colleges in the State of Hawaii.


The Best Practices for College Admissions Applications are very similar to the Scholarship application Best Practice List:

1. Research and apply early- you should already have an idea of what college you want to apply for by your junior year of high school. You must research what colleges work best for you and apply early. If you are applying to a college with a low acceptance rate, make sure to apply to at least one other campus as a back-up plan.

This will give you plenty of time to put together a good application and submit it before the deadline. It’s also a good to apply early so that you can be accepted early, and you can take care of the other student requirements as soon as possible (such as health clearance paperwork).

2. Maintain good relationships with potential recommenders- Many college admissions applications require you to submit one or multiple letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation are how the admissions committee finds out about the type of student and person you are. They may never meet you, but they need to decide if you deserve to go to their college, so they rely on the letters of recommendation to help them make that decision. Some good recommenders include your teachers, counselors, employer, or even people you meet through community service or other extracurricular activities. Many Pacific Islander youth are active church youth group members and can ask church leaders to write letters as well (such as the pastor, deacon, or youth group leader). The most important thing is to choose people who can speak well about your academic abilities or your personal characteristics.

3. Have someone review your application BEFORE you submit it- You should always double check your application before submitting it to make sure you are not missing anything. It is a really good idea to have someone look at your application before you submit it. This is especially important if your application includes an essay or a personal statement. Your guidance or college counselor is a great person to review your application with. If you have a writing or tutoring center at your school, that is another good resource to use in reviewing your essay. Don’t be afraid to also involve your family, friends, and even community. If you have older siblings or cousins who are strong writers, ask them to read your essays and give you feedback. They might be able to pick up on small mistakes that you missed, or even give you ideas for how to expand your essay.

4. Follow up with your application- make sure that once you have submitted your application, you check your email often (the one you used for the application) to await a decision from the college you applied to. Once you are accepted, many colleges will send you the acceptance notification with follow up instructions such as directions to create an online student account, submit health clearance forms, and sign up for a student orientation. If you just apply and not think about it until the first day of college classes, then you will have missed many tasks that the school will have emailed you to complete.

1) The University of Hawaii (UH) Admissions Application

You can apply to any of the UH campuses at this site: When you go the site, click on the campus that you want to apply to. You will then be asked to create a username and password for the application. Make sure to write this down in case you must leave the application and finish it later.

Did you know? You can apply to and attend more than one college campus at a time, however, any award you receive from FAFSA will only be applied to your tuition at one campus. For example, if you are a UH Hilo student, but need to take a class at Hawaii Community College, you can apply your FAFSA to your UH Hilo tuition and then pay out of pocket for the Hawaii CC class (because university tuition is more expensive).

The application will ask for your basic information such as your home address and date of birth. It will also ask you to choose your major of study, so make sure that you have thought about this before applying. You can change your major later, once you determine the courses you really enjoy and are passionate about. For students who are unsure about what they want to study, they may choose to major in Liberal Arts at first. As a Liberal Arts major, you take most of the foundational courses that are required for graduation, so that when you decide and switch to the major you really want, you have already taken most of the foundation classes needed to graduate.

The application will also ask for your high school grades and SAT/ACT scores. University of Hawaii Community Colleges do not require you to submit any SAT/ACT scores to be admitted. Some universities may require SAT/ACT scores, so make sure to find out so that you can schedule your tests before you apply (UH Manoa changed its policy, and now states that SAT scores are optional).

Quick tip: many admissions applications have a fee. UH Community Colleges (UHCCs) do not have a fee for resident students, but they have a flat fee for non-resident students. UH Manoa and UH Hilo have a fee for both resident and non-resident students. You may be eligible for an application fee waiver so that you don’t have to pay. Make sure to ask the college admissions office or your college counselor to see if you are eligible.

Here are the admission application pages for the UH campuses. Each page will explain the admission requirements and have a link to the online application:

2) Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) Admissions Application

HPU is a private university, and its admissions page can be found HERE. Like UH Manoa, HPU will still accept an admissions application without SAT/ACT scores, however, they do encourage them to be submitted to help evaluate your application. HPU also has an application fee for both resident and non-resident students. The priority deadline to submit is March 1st.

3) Chaminade University of Honolulu Admissions Application

Chaminade University is a private, Catholic university. The Chaminade University admissions page can be found HERE (scroll down for admission requirements). SAT/ACT scores are optional for admission. You can submit your application as early as September 1st of the year before your intended enrollment.

Did you know? Some programs have additional requirements before you can get in. For example, if you want to major in nursing at Chaminade University of Honolulu, you must submit your general admissions application along with the nursing admissions requirements which includes a nursing personal statement essay. Make sure that you research the major you choose to see if there are additional requirements you must fulfill.

4) Brigham Young University (BYU)- Hawaii

The BYU Hawaii admissions page can be found HERE. BYU requires a minimum ACT or SAT equivalent score of 21 to be eligible to apply. Because they are a Mormon university, they also have a church-related requirement called an ecclesiastical endorsement. The deadline for the Fall semester is February 1st.