The University of Hawaii – Mãnoa campus is just a few minutes outside of tourist-filled Waikiki Beach. Known for its top-25 business program, including international business, as well as Pacific Rim Studies, the University is home to the East-West Center, which conducts research on the art, culture and foreign policy of the different Pacific Rim countries, and their relationship to the United States. Business students have their own freshman adviser and their own internship coordinator.
More than 25 languages are taught at University of Hawaii, which also excels in travel industry management, engineering and marine biology. 70% of the over 11,000 undergraduate students are from Hawaii. The law school gives preferential admission to undergraduate students.
Successful students at Hawai’i are independent, open to different cultures and mature. While the students here are competitive, the smart kids don’t look like the smart kids you are used to – they know how to study hard but take time for themselves. With the beach just minutes away, the students tend to be more relaxed. As for “island fever,” mainland students do sometimes get homesick, but advisers urge them to see their time at the University as a four year adventure. Most students return home after they graduate.
Hawai’i is a WUE-participating school, which means that as a California resident, tuition will generally cost about the same as a CSU campus, and less than a UC education. There is an active alumni base in Southern California, and sports teams from this Division I school frequently play against California universities. The sports facilities at Hawai’i are fantastic, both for athletes and non-athletes.
Hawai’i requires students to take the SAT or ACT, and admitted students generally earn around 510 in each category, or 22 in each section of the ACT, including writing. The admissions office does use the highest score from each section regardless of date taken (ie. they do superscore). The average GPA is about 3.4. While letters of recommendation and essays are not required, they can strengthen a student’s application if their scores are lower than these. Merit scholarships are available and generous.
I was fortunate to have a personal tour by a second year student from Maui. An economics major, she was getting ready to spend a semester in Spain. She lives in the on-campus residence halls and when asked what she could change, if anything, about the University, she said she would like more students to live on campus to give it a more residential feel. She said that while some introductory classes can have as many as 300 students, most classes are much smaller, averaging about 30 students.
Admissions Stats: Middle 50% SAT scores CR 480-580 / M 500-610 / Wr 470-570
Visit date: November, 2012