Best Public Colleges in Hawaii 2022

Best Public Colleges in Hawaii 2022

Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in Hawaii provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.

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

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 4 public universities in Hawaii. To be included in our list of the best public colleges in Hawaii, shcools must receive direct funding from the state, be fully accredited, and offer a broad range of bachelor’s degress.

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Best Public 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:

    Most Influential Alumni

    University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Online Degrees

    BA in Economics
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Interdisciplinary Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Human Relations in Organizations
    • Social Sciences of Oceans
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing (ADN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSW in Social Work
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. 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:

    Most Influential Alumni

    University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s Online Degrees

    BSN in Nursing (RN to BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. 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:

    Most Influential Alumni

    University of Hawaiʻi Maui College’s Online Degrees

    BS in Applied Business and Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 121
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. 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:

    Most Influential Alumni

    University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • General Business
    • Accounting
    • Hospitality and Tourism
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Creative Media
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
    • Justice Administration
    • Community Health
    • General Public Administration
    • Healthcare Administration
    • Long-Term Care
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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Hawaii’s Best Public College in Your Area of Interest

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. University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo