Overview of Hawaii Colleges & Schools

The state of Hawaii is comprised of a series of islands in the Pacific Ocean, with the four largest typically being home to the public and private institutions found in the state. The state’s capital , Honolulu, is home to more colleges and universities than other regions primarily due to the way population is distributed. The state overall has few colleges due to the small size of the state both in terms of landmass and residents.

The state has several public colleges and universities across the four main islands. These schools belong to the University of Hawaii System which manages and maintains the state's community colleges as well as colleges and universities. Public institutions tend to have lower costs and higher enrollment than their private counterparts. In the state of Hawaii, many students come from out of state to receive a quality education while residing in a picturesque atmosphere.

Public colleges and universities in Hawaii:

Private schools in the state are few, but provide alternative options for education. These schools tend to be more expensive, have smaller enrollment and excellent student to teacher ratios. Some of the schools were established through missionary work bringing Christian education and values to the state and its residents. Private schools also tend to offer more opportunities, such as research programs and internships due to smaller enrollment allowing for greater number of such openings.

Private schools in Hawaii include:

Trade schools and career colleges are also found throughout the state. Such schools provide training and skill development in high demand fields, and assist in job placement after completion. These programs typically take a year or less and have high costs compared to similar programs available at community colleges. The state’s community colleges are part of the University of Hawaii System, and provide career training opportunities alongside academic transfer programs.

The most populous city in Hawaii is Honolulu, followed by East Honolulu and Pearl City.  While the most populous county in Hawaii is Honolulu County with Hawaii County and Maui County close behind.   If you are interested in visiting the state of Hawaii, consider visiting their state page or the state chapter of the Chamber of Commerce.

College Degree Breakdown for the State of Hawaii

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, NCES, O*NET Online

Doctoral or professional degree14,6002.3
Master's degree10,7001.7
Bachelor's degree123,26019.5
Associate's degree12,9202.0
Postsecondary nondegree award32,8205.2
Some college, no degree14,9402.4
High school diploma or equivalent214,24033.9
No formal educational credential208,64033.0

Public Universities & Colleges

Image of Public College Campus

There are four public 4-year state universities and colleges in Hawaii. These four-year institutions predominantly offer bachelor's or higher level programs and some may even include research facilities. See a state-wide list of the state universities and colleges in Hawaii.

Private Universities & Colleges

Image of Private College Campus

In Hawaii there are five accredited private four-year colleges. Similar to public schools, private colleges and universities offer bachelor's or higher level programs and research opportunities, although they usually have smaller classes and higher tuition. Compare admission requirements and tuition details for private colleges in Hawaii.