Updated at: 29-03-2023 - By: Eden Wise


Community colleges and other two-year schools in Hawaii, as in many other states, tend to be more affordable than four-year universities.

Hawaii is a part of a number of programs and groups that help students save money on college, including the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and the State Authorization and Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).

Over $2.5 million in free tuition is distributed annually through the Hawaii Promise Program.

More than ten million people traveled to Hawaii this year. Many others headed to the Aloha State for college.

The University of Hawaii Community Colleges encompasses seven campuses and other educational facilities spread across the islands of the state. Some of the finest online schools in the United States can be found right here in Hawaii.

Community colleges in Hawaii are inexpensive, and the state’s unique cultural and geographical offerings make it a great place to study.

Best Community College In Hawaii

Best community college in hawaii

Leeward Community College

Leeward Community College

Leeward CC, which is affiliated with the University of Hawaii, offers twenty different areas of study, from the liberal arts to automotive technology to culinary arts. You can get a certificate or associate’s degree in just about any field. Students can complete the coursework for most certificates in as little as two years if they enroll in a part-time program. Associate degree programs on campus can be completed in two years by full-time students.

Leeward Community College offers an online Associate of Arts degree in liberal studies that is accepted by UH Manoa. The university offers more than two dozen online certificates in fields like business fundamentals, education, and tourism administration. This Hawaii community college offers accelerated online courses that can be completed in just five weeks. Online Associate’s degrees are 2.5 years longer than their on-campus counterparts.

Students with a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) are welcome to apply to Leeward CC and the other community colleges featured here. Each year, a large number of deserving students receive financial support from the University of Hawaii Scholarship Program. Prospective students at the University of Hawaii should fill out the UH System Common Scholarship Application.

Kauai Community College

Kaua’i Community College offers training for a wide range of professions through its 18 academic offerings, such as medical assisting, nursing, and even beekeeping. The community surrounding this college in Hawaii is very supportive of it. At least twice a month, for instance, members of the public can attend lectures and other presentations at the university.

College-goers who have other commitments, such as a full-time job or a family, may find distance learning at Kaua’i CC to be a convenient option. Students at Kauai Community College who wish to transfer to a bachelor’s completion program have the unique opportunity to take any online course provided by the University of Hawai’i System.

Veterans’ Support Center advisors work with individual service members to determine whether or not a veteran’s prior military experience and education can be applied toward academic credit. Kaua’i Community College, like all Hawaii public universities, provides Native Hawaiians with special access to financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants. In addition, there is no tuition for residents of Hawaii who are 60 or older.

Honolulu Community College

Honolulu Community College

Honolulu Community College offers over two dozen majors and certificates for degree and credential seekers. Five associate degrees in the liberal arts (Hawaiian studies, natural sciences, Asian studies, communication, and psychology) are offered at the college, all of which transfer to four-year public universities in Hawaii.

In-state students at Honolulu Community College can take advantage of online courses for a fraction of the cost of those at four-year public universities. Before enrolling in an online course, all students take a test to determine if they are prepared to do so. The courses at this Hawaii community college are offered in five-week sessions.

New students can enroll at Honolulu CC in the winter, spring, and summer terms. Honolulu Community College accepts standardized test scores from incoming degree-seeking students to satisfy its placement testing requirements. Students applying for college scholarships must have all materials turned in by March 9.

Hawaii Community College

Because of its close relationship with the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, Hawai’i Community College in Hilo, HI, stands out as the state’s top community college. All of the University of Hawai’i’s academic, library, and career resources are available to you. Among the nearly 30 majors available at this institution are accounting, agriculture, business technology, carpentry, and culinary arts. In addition to its degree programs, HCC also provides its students with opportunities to earn certificates in a variety of fields. HHC does not provide its own online courses, but students can take advantage of the Hawai’i Community College System’s online course offerings. Services such as tutoring, technology support, and academic advising are all available to distance learners online.

University of Hawaii Maui College

When it comes to post-secondary education for working adults in Hawaii, no other community college compares to University of Hawaii Maui College. Business, apprenticeship, computer technology, farming, and fitness are just some of the fields in which UHMC provides non-credit career training and professional development courses. The college also offers free beginning and intermediate Hawaiian language classes. Certificates, associate’s degrees, and two bachelor’s degrees in sustainable science management and applied business and information technology are all available to students. Hawai’i Community College System online students have access to the University Center on Maui for in-person assistance whenever they need it. This makes it possible for distant students to receive individualized instruction.

Hawaii Medical College

Hawaii Medical College

The Hawaii Medical College was established in 2007 as a private school. Many different types of associate degrees related to healthcare are available from this institution. The admissions process at HMC is flexible, and students can earn their degrees on campus, in a hybrid format, or entirely online.

Hawaii Community College

Community college students at Hawai’i CC, which has campuses in Hilo and Kailua Kona, can take advantage of the University of Hawai’i at Hilo’s academic, library, and career resources thanks to an exclusive partnership between the two institutions.

The college offers 28 different majors, including agriculture, business technology, tropical forest ecosystem and agroforestry management, and more.

Students can earn certificates at various levels of proficiency and achievement. Certificate programs are open to those with some professional experience.

Online courses are available through the Hawai’i Community College System, even though Hawai’i CC does not offer any online degree programs. Distance learners can access services like online tutoring, proctoring, and IT support.

At all Hawaii community colleges, in-state students save roughly 66% on tuition compared to out-of-state students. The cost of tuition for students who enroll in courses during the summer is higher.

Kapi’olani Community College

In 1946, Kapi’olani Technical School was founded, eventually becoming Kapi’olani Community College. The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has granted approval to this college. Many different types of associate degrees can be earned at Kapi’olani Community Colleges, including those in the fields of business, hospitality, health, law, education, and the arts and sciences.

Kapiolani Community College

KCC’s campus and online offerings attract a combined total of about 7,000 students each semester to its home in eastern Honolulu.

The state’s most lucrative industries—tourism, education, and healthcare—are all directly served by the college’s curriculum.

There are nine different non-degree certificate programs available at the university, including ones in massage therapy, phlebotomy, and surgical technology.

Over two hundred online courses are available to students each semester. Students at this community college in Hawaii who are taking courses entirely online or in a hybrid format have access to online tutoring, standardized testing, and other technological resources.

The college provides a place for alums to get feedback on their resumes and interview skills. At long last, high school students in Honolulu have access to the college’s dual-credit program.

Application fees for the fall and spring semesters are waived for residents of Hawaii and active-duty military personnel. Prospective college students take the COMPASS tests to determine their starting points for English and mathematics. There are a total of four scholarships offered by the school that students may apply for.

Windward Community College

Windward Community College

The best preparatory courses in Hawaii can be found at Windward Community College. WCC provides numerous options for high school students to begin their college education early and earn college credit. Running Start allows high school students to take college courses through the University of Hawai’i system, and the Educational Talent Search (ETS) program assists students in grades six through twelve with college preparation. In addition to TRIO Upward Bound and Early College High School, the PACES program also offers preparatory courses. Associate degree and certificate programs in fields like business, Hawaiian studies, and the performing arts are available to college-aged students. Counseling, career support, and advising services are available to students at WCC as they map out their academic and professional futures.

Brigham Young University-Hawaii

In an effort to promote lifelong learning, BYU-Hawaii, which is associated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, seeks to combine religious and secular components of higher education.

The Oahu campus is home to just under 3,000 students and offers convenient access to both the island’s mountainous interior and its sandy coastline.

BYU-H is a great place to find your niche because of its diverse student body, which hails from over 70 different countries. The cost of tuition and fees for a full academic year for Church members is approximately $5,720. This includes support from both Church and non-Church membership donations.

Every student is expected to take an active role in their education and to reflect regularly on their own personal learning and growth.

Popular undergraduate programs include those in the arts and humanities, the hard sciences, and those leading to professional certification. At BYU-Hawaii, you can earn a variety of minors and professional certifications in addition to your standard bachelor’s degree, as well as pursue unique majors like Hawaiian language studies.

Every BYU-Hawaii student is encouraged to chart their own academic course and become a “holokai,” which means “seafarer” in Hawaiian.

Chaminade University of Honolulu

Founded in 1955 as a private Catholic university in the Marianist tradition, Chaminade University of Honolulu holds accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

The Kaimuki neighborhood of Honolulu is where the majority of students live, making it convenient for them to walk to Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, and the Pacific Ocean.

With an average enrollment of around 2,100 students, the school has a relatively low student-to-teacher ratio of 11:1.

The school’s belief is that a lack of financial resources should not stand in the way of a student’s pursuit of an education, so it offers financial aid and scholarships to the vast majority of its students.

Nine master’s degrees are offered, including Education, Criminal Justice, and Pastoral Studies, in addition to the aforementioned nine bachelor’s degrees.

In conclusion, Chaminade is a great stepping stone to a life of meaningful service and achievement.


Are community colleges worth it?

Community colleges are often less expensive than four-year universities. Students who enroll in community college have the option of working toward a four-year degree or getting ready for the workforce upon graduation. The cost of attending a community college is typically much lower than that of a four-year university. Most credits earned at a community college can be transferred to a four-year university without any problems.

What is the cheapest college in Hawaii?

All of Hawaii’s community colleges have the same tuition and fees. Out-of-state tuition is $345 per credit hour while in-state tuition is $131. In addition to tuition, students often have additional expenses such as food, transportation, books, and supplies. Costing $320 per unit, Hawaii Medical University is not cheap. Scholarships and student loans are two additional sources of funding for students. Pacific Islander students at Kapi’olani Community College are eligible for a tuition reduction.

How much does Honolulu Community College cost?

The tuition at Honolulu Community College is the same as it is at the other UH affiliated community colleges. Out-of-state tuition is $345 per credit hour while in-state tuition is $131. Fees for student government, student media, and extracurricular activities are on top of tuition. If a student needs more time to pay for college, they can set up a payment plan.

What Community Colleges in Hawaii Have Dorms?

It’s important to note that there are no dorms at any of Hawaii’s community colleges. Alternative housing services are available at Hawaii Community College and Kapi’olani Community College. UH Hilo and UH Mnoa offer off-campus housing options for their students. These colleges and universities have housing costs that range from $1,772 to $12,880 per semester.

What Community Colleges in Hawaii Have Summer Classes?

The majority of Hawaii’s community colleges offer summer sessions. Students who want to maintain or even advance in their studies benefit greatly from enrolling in summer classes. Some degree programs, like the Associate of Science in Nursing program at Kaua’i Community College, require students to enroll in summer classes. Honolulu Community College and Windward Community College are two more Hawaii community colleges that offer summer courses.


There’s no denying that Hawaii is home to some of the nation’s finest community colleges, and with this review in hand, it should be much simpler to settle on the institution that will best prepare you for the professional path of your choice.