Brigham Young University – Hawaii

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Brigham Young University-Hawaii is a small university of less than 3,000 students in Hawaii. Also known as BYU-Hawaii, The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints owns and operates that campus. Though it opened in 1955, the LDS Church existed in Hawaii for more than a century at that time. It established its first outreach program and church on the islands in 1850 and quickly set about trying to convert locals. The success of the LDS Church relies heavily on its missionary work as it encouraged church members to get out and support the local community. Many of the students studying on this campus today still do missionary work.

Known as the Church College of Hawaii for a number of years, BYU-Hawaii served as a junior college and did not offer traditional four-year college programs until the end of the 1950s. Brigham Young University later took over the full operations of the university and renamed it to reflect this new partnership. BYU-Hawaii is unique because it encourages students to do missionary work before applying and because it gives higher priority to applications that come from local students and those living around Hawaii. U.S. News & World Report ranked it as the 23rd best university in its region.

Brigham Young University – Hawaii Accreditation Details

If you want to take classes from home one summer, or you need to take a few classes at another campus first, you should always make sure that any college you choose has regional accreditation. Regional accreditation will also help you apply for and qualify for financial aid. BYU-Hawaii has regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), which is the primary accrediting agency for colleges in the western portion of the country. You may want to check whether the program you want to study has its own accreditation as well. This is something called program accreditation. BYU-Hawaii has program accreditation from the Teacher Education Accreditation Council for its program in educational leadership.

Brigham Young University – Hawaii Application Requirements

The priority deadline for students enrolling in the fall is the beginning of December, but all other students have until February 1 to apply. BYU-Hawaii also allows students to start in the spring or summer and has different deadlines in place for those applications. The university uses the BeSmart website, which requires that you fill out an online application. Like other colleges applications, it will ask you about what you studied in high school and for your address and other general background information. As BYU-Hawaii is a religious university, the application will also ask about the commitment that you have to your faith and the work you did for your church.

Once you submit your application, you will generally need to supply the university with documents like your official ACT or SAT test score and a transcript from your high school. You can also submit a letter of recommendation from your pastor or another church leader. Those who completed a college prep curriculum that includes courses in English, math, science, social studies and a foreign language have the best chance of receiving an acceptance letter. The university recommends that students living in the Pacific Basin and surrounding areas apply for priority admissions. If you receive an acceptance letter, you should immediately file for financial aid via the FAFSA and find out about choosing a dorm room.

Tuition and Financial Aid

As The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints owns and operates BYU-Hawaii, the university charges a tuition rate based on whether you are a member of that church. LDS members pay around $2,600 a semester for tuition and fees, but this figure nearly doubles for those who are not church members to more than $5,200 a semester. The university also charges around $3,000 a semester for room and board, which provides you with both a dorm room on its Hawaii campus and a meal plan. With transportation costs, personal expenses and other costs factored in, the university estimates that students pay between $21,000 and $35,000 a year.

BYU-Hawaii offers several programs that students can use to pay or reduce their costs. It has a book loan program for those who cannot afford the cost of their textbooks and a deferred payment plan that lets you make payments to pay down your tuition. Students who complete and file the FAFSA may qualify for a Pell grant or Stafford loan. The university also recommends that students apply for a TEACH grant, which gives them money for college on the basis that they work in certain areas as teachers later. There are also Parent PLUS loans that parents can take out in their own names to help their children pay for college. BYU-Hawaii offers merit scholarships for continuing students and small scholarships for new students too.

Student Experience

BYU-Hawaii has a semester in residence requirement that requires students spend at least nine semesters of their program taking classes on its main campus. If you do an internship away from the island or take classes online, that work will not count towards this requirement. Though the university is on the smaller side, it still offers more than 20 major options and even more minor options. Some of those majors come with different options too like its major in secondary education. You can pick a concentration in art, biology, business, chemistry, English, history or math education. The program includes multiple fieldwork placements that help you gain practical experience working with high school students.

As Hawaii is such a popular tourist destination, the university offers a hospitality and tourism management program designed for students who want to work in hotels, museums, national parks and other tourist businesses. In addition to taking classes on property management, hospitality and tourism law and hospitality accounting, you can select a track or concentration in finance, human resources, marketing or supply chain management. BYU-Hawaii also offers a popular program in Hawaiian studies that is unique to this university and includes classes on the study of indigenous populations. This Brigham Young University-Hawaii includes a seminar that you take during your senior year and multiple lab classes, but it also lets you choose a concentration in Hawaiian languages or Hawaiian cultures that focuses more on the history of the islands.