Best Colleges in Hawaii 2022

Here are the best colleges and universities in Hawaii. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you.

Best Colleges in Hawaii 2022

Colleges and Universities in Hawaiʻi

The majority of the universities and colleges in The Aloha State are public institutions, including Hawaiʻi’s largest school, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. The nearly 15,000 students who attend this school pay tuition fees around $12,000. However, Hawaiʻi does have a few private schools, two of which have religious affiliations. While tuition at these private schools varies, from $6,000 at Brigham Young University Hawaiʻi to $26,000 at Hawaiʻi Pacific University, each serves between 2,000–3,000 students.

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Students who attend higher education institutes in Hawaiʻi have the option to major in fields like biology, education, history, criminal justice, physics, and many others. However, students who graduate with degrees in the health care field have an extra advantage. Hawaiʻi offers a student loan forgiveness program for health care workers who work at designated, high-need locations within the state for at least two years. So, even though Hawaiʻi comes in just above the national average for tuition costs, if you are considering a career in health care, this may be the place for you.

Some dream of vacationing in paradise — but why not take it a step further and live there? Students attending school in Hawaiʻi won’t have to say aloha, or goodbye, to the beautiful white sand beaches, perfect waves, and tropical drinks. Students can enroll in one of Hawaiʻi’s 15 higher education institutes and live their best life in these picturesque island communities.

For more information on obtaining your degree in Hawaiʻi, explore some of the top programs and schools this state has to offer.


What are Hawaiʻi’s Colleges & Universities?

Hawaiʻi’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine Hawaii's best colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

We’ve identified 7 colleges and universities in Hawaii that meet our criteria. This list of the top colleges in Hawaii below focuses on schools that offer bachelor’s degrees. The ranking features fully accredited public and private colleges and universities in Hawaii.

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Best Colleges in Hawaii 2022

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1170/23

    What is University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa known for?

    University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Earth Sciences
    • Anthropology
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Communications
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Law
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Hawaii Pacific University

    Honolulu , HI

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/21

    What is Hawaii Pacific University known for?

    Hawaii Pacific University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Nursing
    • Earth Sciences
    • Economics
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Anthropology
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    What is Chaminade University of Honolulu known for?

    Chaminade University of Honolulu’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

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  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/20

    What is University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo known for?

    University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Earth Sciences
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Anthropology
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1170/24

    What is Brigham Young University–Hawaii known for?

    Brigham Young University–Hawaii’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Anthropology
    • Social Work
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Physics
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    2K

    What is University of Hawaiʻi Maui College known for?

    University of Hawaiʻi Maui College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1020/18

    What is University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu known for?

    University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Sociology
    • Political Science
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

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Hawaii’s Best Colleges in Your Area of Interest

Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
  2. Hawaii Pacific University
  3. Chaminade University of Honolulu
  4. University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
  5. Brigham Young University–Hawaii