What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What Is University of Hawaii Known For?

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With three universities and seven community colleges throughout the Hawaiian Islands, the University of Hawaii system offers diverse education options, gorgeous backdrops, and a great athletics program at the Manoa campus. If you’re considering attending the main Manoa campus of the University of Hawaii, you’ll definitely want to do some extensive research! Learn more about this educational institution, what it’s known for, and how to apply. 


Overview of the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Admissions


Location: Honolulu, HI

Undergrad Enrollment: 12,900

Acceptance Rate: 84%

Middle 50% SAT: 1070-1270

Middle 50% ACT: 21-26


If you’re looking to apply to the University of Hawaii, there are some high school course requirements that you’ll have to meet. Homeschool students will also need to meet these requirements and may have to submit additional documentation. The courses that incoming freshman need to complete include:


  • Four units of English
  • Three units of math, including geometry and algebra II
  • Three units of science
  • Three units of social studies
  • Five units of electives
  • Four other units of college prep courses


The university also likes to see a competitive or strong GPA and applicants who ranked within the top 40 percent of their graduating class. To apply, you’ll need to fill out their application form and pay a $70 fee. Your application must also include official high school transcripts, and if you attended more than one high school, they’ll need transcripts from all of them. 


The university also allows you to attach supplemental documents, which are not a required part of the application, but highly recommended. These documents could potentially help you stand out from other applicants. You can submit a letter of recommendation, as well as a personal statement and a list of achievements. For their personal statement, you need to answer one of two questions:


  • Why would you like to attend the University of Hawaii?
  • How does UH Manoa fit into your career goals?


In the personal statement, you’ll want to follow recommended college essay guidelines, such as correct grammar, crafting a strong thesis statement, and more! You can also have someone read through your essay for you and give you pointers. Be sure to submit any standardized testing scores as well.


Unique Aspects of the University of Hawaii


While the obvious unique aspect of attending the University of Hawaii is its amazing views and opportunity to explore the Hawaiian Islands, there are also other reasons to choose this prestigious university. One interesting fact is that both parents of the former U.S. President Barack Obama attended and graduated from the University of Hawaii. Other notable alumni include famous oceanographer Robert Ballard, who discovered the wreck of the Titanic, U.S. Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, and U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono. Read on to learn more about what makes this school unique.


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As far as academics, UH at Manoa has many strengths in areas that other universities don’t. Some of these include oceanography, volcanology, Pacific Islands studies, Asian studies, Pacific and Asian regional public health, tropical agriculture, tropical medicine, and more. Along with these, the university offers hundreds of other degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels. 


UH at Manoa has achieved the R1: Research University status, which is considered to be the top tier. This university is known for making groundbreaking discoveries in genetics, cancer research, oceanography, Pacific Island studies, and more. Along with that, the university holds grants for land, sea, space, and sun research, and is one of a few institutions that have all options. Consistently ranked among the top 15 universities in the world for the earth and environmental sciences, UH at Manoa boasts strong academic niches. In addition, the university has faculty members who are in the National Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Sciences.




The University of Hawaii is a Division 1 school, meaning it competes with the largest schools in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). For football, they are in the Mountain West Conference. More than 450 student-athletes compete on men’s, women’s, and co-ed teams. Their mascot is the Rainbows, and it’s said that the U of Hawaii will not lose a game if a rainbow appears. Men’s teams are referred to as the Rainbow Warriors, and women’s teams are called the Rainbow Wahines. If you’re interested in other areas of extracurricular activity, there are more than 200 student-led organizations.




There are some other unique traditions offered at the school. Before every sporting event, the theme song from Hawaii 5-0 is played. Twenty minutes before a football game, the team performs a Ha’a, which is a traditional Maori dance. The university, like many others, hosts an annual Homecoming event every October to welcome back alumni and celebrate. Every April, they also have an Aloha Bash. And at graduation and every senior night, students participate in the cultural act of lei giving, where a circle of flowers is placed around their neck. If you’re considering attending the University of Hawaii, get ready to be enriched in the history of the islands and the indigenous cultures that are fervently protected!


Financial Aid


Average tuition rates are about $4,000 less than the national average at the University of Hawaii. Students have access to the traditional ways of securing financial aid, and the university also offers a need-based tuition waiver for native Hawaiians who can show they have a financial need. There are other merit-based scholarships available as well.




An added quality of this school is that here, you’ll be surrounded by the vibrancy of the Hawaiian culture. This is infused into many classes and activities, making it a truly multicultural experience. For many of their majors, especially science and environment-related ones, the location itself is a vast resource. Oceanography majors can gain hands-on experience, while volcanology majors can go explore active volcanoes on the islands. For those studying Pacific and Asian studies, the culture surrounding the school can be a resource as well.


What Are Your Chances of Acceptance at the University of Hawaii?

This school has a decent acceptance rate, provided that you meet the qualifications to apply. If you’re uncertain about your odds of getting into the University of Hawaii, CollegeVine offers a free admissions calculator that can give you an estimate. Simply enter your grades, test scores, and other achievements, and the calculator will come back with that information. You’ll also get some tips on ways to improve your odds.



Rachel Swearingen
Content Writer

Short Bio
Rachel has worked to develop college courses for many higher-ed institutions and also taught high school English for a while. She's now using her knowledge to help students who are looking for information online. When she isn't writing, she's busy with her two kids and supporting the Tampa Bay Lightning (Go Bolts)!