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University of Hawaiʻi Manoa
Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarships: Image


In 1905, the founders of the College Club – the organization that would become AAUW Honolulu – wrote that their founding principle was to promote “the higher ideals of education among women”. Women were a rarity in undergraduate classes, and even more so in graduate-level courses.


AAUW Honolulu promotes inclusiveness and strives to reflect the diversity of the island in its general membership, board and program participants.  We recognize that our commitment to equity, inclusion and diversity is imperative to our mission and greatly enriches the effectiveness of our programs.

AAUW Honolulu continues that mandate made in 1881. We awarded $52,000 in scholarships to deserving women college students in the 2023-2024 academic year.

While women in the 21st century are attending college and receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in record numbers, they are still held back by the gender pay gap. They may encounter it when they work to pay for college, or they may encounter it when they graduate and settle in their first jobs.

AAUW’s research found that while women now make up a majority of the college population, they also take out more debt than men. The academic scholarships provided by AAUW Honolulu helps women in college graduate with less or no debt.

Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarships: Programs
Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarships: FAQ

Nontraditional Undergraduate Scholarship

Applications for academic year 2024-2025 are open for applicants from Jan 3rd to Mar 15, 2024. Please apply below.

Download Flyer >

Graduate Scholarship

AAUW Honolulu graduate scholarships are offered and administered by the Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF). Applications for academic year 2024-2025 will be open from Dec 12th, 2023 to Feb 29th, 2024.

Check HCF for updates >

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AAUW Honolulu Undergraduate Academic Scholarship for Nontraditional Students


Complete the online application below to apply. To submit your application, please gather the following required materials to upload to your application:

  • Academic Transcripts – Upload "Unofficial" pdf copies of your transcripts from all college(s) attended using your student on-line portal. Your current institution (e.g. Univ Hawaii) may offer a combination of Transfer & Campus transcripts in a single document. Be sure all your academic semesters are included in your uploaded transcripts.  See a Sample Transcript >

  • Current Estimate Family Contribution (EFC) (page 1 on the Student Aid Report (SAR) from Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) –  Your FAFSA must be submitted and processed in order to obtain your current SAR.  If your report is still pending, please submit proof of submission with your application. A case by case exception will be made for applicants to submit their SAR after the deadline.

  • Written Personal Statement – One-page, single spaced, 12pts, maximum of 500 words. Have your statement available when filling out the application to upload into the form below. Guidelines for your personal statement are provide below the form.

  • Application Submission Period – January 3rd at 5:00AM HST to March 15 at 5:00pm HST.


  • Be a woman living in Hawaii

  • Demonstrate financial need

  • Be over 21 years of age and have had your educational plans interrupted or delayed by family work obligations or challenging personal circumstances.

  • Be accepted or enrolled as a full or part-time undergraduate in a college, community college, or university in the State of Hawaii or on-line program from a regionally accredited public or private not for profit educational institution.

  • Have completed a minimum of 12 credits.

  • Have a grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher for the most recent 2 semesters.

Note: No student intern or contractor receiving financial compensation from AAUW Honolulu is eligible for this scholarship.

Nontraditional Undergraduate Academic Scholarship Application

To begin your application, please confirm your eligibility and application option.

Note: * indicates required questions.

Section 1: Eligibility

Are you a woman living in Hawaii?
Are you over 21 years of age and meet the listed eligibility above?
Do you meet the listed requirements for the following (check all that apply):

Note:  No student intern or contractor receiving financial compensation from AAUW Honolulu is eligible for this scholarship.

Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarships: Application

Award Selection Process

Each year AAUW Honolulu receives many more applications for academic scholarships than we can fund. Our selection process begins by screening all applicants by financial need. The Committee then reviews the Personal Statements and determines which candidates will move on to the final phase which is a panel interview conducted over Zoom.

Your Written Personal Statement

We would like to learn a little more about you. Here are some things to think about as you write your personal statement. Please limit your statement to one page, 12pt single-spaced, and no more than about 500 words.

Ideas for Your Written Personal Statement

Tell us about your journey from high school to where you are today including what made you decide to pursue a college degree at this time in your life?

What do you hope to do with your degree once you graduate?"

​Tell us what you learned from life experiences, how you have grown and how you have applied what you have learned.​

Your Statement Will be Assessed Using the Following Criteria:

1. Clarity of Educational Goals


Articulate what your goals are and how you plan to achieve your goals.

2. Written Communication Skills 


Grammatically correct, easy to understand, reveals interesting things about yourself, helps reviewers gain an overall understanding of you.

3. Personal Growth


How have you evolved from leaving high school to deciding to return to school.

4. Self Reflection


How you think and why you made the decisions you have made.

  • Who is eligible to apply?
    Women who are currently living and/or working and/or studying in the State of Hawai‘i. You do not need to be an AAUW member to apply. Only one person, not a group, may apply per application
  • Do you have to be an AAUW member to apply for the grant?
    No, you do not have to be an AAUW member to apply. However, AAUW members are also welcome to apply for the grant.
  • Is the grant open to applicants on islands other than O‘ahu?
    Yes. Applicants from any of the Hawaiian Islands are welcome to apply.
  • Do applicants need to demonstrate that their official state residency is in Hawai‘i?
    No. When we ask if applicants reside in Hawai‘i, we are only asking if they are currently working and/or studying in Hawai‘i. To demonstrate this, applicants are only required to provide a Hawai‘i address on their application.
  • Can I apply for funds for an activity that I have already completed?
    No. Grant funds cannot be used for an activity that was completed prior to the application deadline.
  • I am proposing an activity that will occur close to the application due date. Can I still apply?
    Yes, you are still welcome to apply. But please keep in mind that if you are selected as a grant recipient, funds will not be disbursed until after decisions have been announced, which is typically a month after the application due date. There is also no guarantee that applicants will be awarded grant funds. In these cases, it may be wise to apply for additional sources of funding, if possible.
  • Can the grant be used to conduct research?
    No. The grant is not intended to fund data collection or any costs related to data collection.
  • Can undergraduate and graduate students use the grant to pay for tuition or coursework for their degree?
    No, grant funds cannot be used to support tuition or basic coursework toward a degree. For assistance with tuition costs, please consider applying for the academic scholarships that we offer.
  • Can grant funds be used to pay for standardized tests required for admissions, such as the GRE or LSAT?
    No. Grant funds cannot be used for the GRE, MCAT, LSAT, or other similar exams.
  • Can I apply for funds for an activity that I have already completed?
    No. Grant funds cannot be used for an activity that was completed prior to the application deadline. Receipts submitted for reimbursement with dates that are before the application deadline will be questioned.
  • What’s the application deadline?
    All application materials must be received by end of day (11:59pm HST) at the end of the cycle (Sept 15, 2024). No late applications will be considered.
  • Can an organization or several people apply for the grant together/as part of the same application?
    Yes, groups are invited to apply for the grant. However, the eligibility of group applications is currently being determined on a case-by-case basis. Groups may be asked to provide extra and/or different application materials than those that are listed online. If you are interested in applying on behalf of a group, please contact us before submitting an application.
  • What does a complete application include?
    An application form A copy of your resume or CV An itemized budget detailing estimated activity cost. ​ All documents should be submitted as PDFs. Please use our example budget document to itemize your estimated activity cost: Google Sheets > ​ Please note that those selected to receive grants will be required to show proof that they have been accepted into any corresponding conferences, programs, etc., prior to any monetary reimbursements.
  • How do I determine my Activity's category?
    Application Categories Technical and Career Oriented Education Those starting or already attending career-oriented programs, programs specializing in the skilled trades, and/or programs offering practical learning experience in real-world settings Examples include and are not limited to dental assistants, esthetician, midwives, etc. Funding can be used to help cover program tuition, certifications and exams, and/or other costs related to program participation Professional (non-technical) Those working in non-academic, professional settings seeking funding for activities to foster career and/or professional development Examples include and are not limited to nurses, engineers, instructors who already have their degree(s), etc. College and university instructors with a master’s degree or PhD will be included in the professional category Includes professionals working in any/all fields Funding can be used for activities including exams, certifications, licensure, attending or participating in professional conferences, and more Academic Those working in academic-based settings seeking funding for activities to foster career and/or professional development Includes undergraduate and graduate students and early-career academics Funding can be used to present at conferences or other activities Funding cannot be used toward the cost of basic tuition or the GRE/other preparatory standardized examinations (e.g. MCAT, LSAT)
  • How should hotel lodging be calculated when submitting the itemized budget portion of the application?
    We only cover per diem lodging expenses, not meals and incidentals. Please refer to the following website as a guide for determining your per diem: Per Diem Rates for Mainland: Per Diem Rates for Alaska, Hawaii & International:
  • Will I receive an email confirmation after I have submitted my grant application?
    Not immediately. Shortly after the application due date, you will receive an email confirming that your application has been received. If it has been two weeks since the application due date and you have not received a confirmation, please contact us.
  • How will applications be evaluated?
    Applications will be evaluated based on: The proposed activity’s ability to further the applicant’s career goals The applicant’s preparedness to pursue the proposed activity If and how the proposed activity will allow the applicant to make a positive impact on their community (however “community” is defined by the applicant) Any extenuating circumstances that applicants would like considered
  • How are grants disbursed?
    Grants are awarded as reimbursements. Applicants may also be offered partial awards (i.e., not covering the full amount requested) due to limited grant funds.
  • If my application is not selected to receive a grant, will I receive feedback as to why?
    Unfortunately, we cannot provide feedback on individual applications. However, all applicants are invited to apply again in the future, regardless of whether or not they are awarded a grant.
  • After accepting a career grant award, how much time do I have to spend the full award?
    You must spend your full award before March 31 the following year. If your conference is canceled, please reach out and provide an alternate expense that is aligned with your career goals and a reasonable substitute.
  • Can I apply for a grant if I’ll be attending a conference, but not presenting?
    No, Applicants must be presenting at a conference. Please be sure to explain in your application what you will be presenting.
Image by Sean Oulashin
Meet the 2023-2024 Undergraduate Scholarship Awardees 
Meet the 2023-2024 Graduate Scholarship Awardees 
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