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If you are considering attending the University of Hawaii, one of the first questions you probably have is “how much does it cost?” With rising education expenses across the U.S., the price tag for college can be daunting.

But with some understanding of the costs involved and the financial aid opportunities available, attending this tropical island paradise may be more affordable than you think.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Attending the University of Hawaii for in-state residents costs approximately $25,000 per year including tuition, fees, books, housing, meals, and other expenses. For out-of-state students, costs rise to around $54,000 annually.

Tuition and Fees for In-State vs. Out-of-State Students

In-State Tuition and Fees

Attending the University of Hawaii is an affordable option for Hawaii residents. For the 2022-2023 academic year, in-state undergraduate students at UH Manoa pay $10,872 in tuition and fees per year. This makes UH Manoa one of the most economical choices in the country for state residents seeking a bachelor’s degree.

In addition to low tuition, UH offers need-based financial aid like grants and scholarships that in-state students can qualify for. Over 60% of undergraduate students receive some type of aid. So for many local families, the total cost to earn a degree ends up being even less than the advertised sticker price.

Out-of-State Tuition and Fees

Out-of-state students pay more for the benefit of attending the University of Hawaii. For non-residents, annual tuition and fees at UH Manoa run $37,464 – over 3 times what state residents pay! Luckily, UH makes it easy for non-residents to establish residency after only 1 year.

First-year out-of-state students also have access to some UH scholarships. And after becoming Hawaii residents, they can qualify for all the same financial aid as current state residents. With proper planning, out-of-state students can minimize extra costs and graduate with the same affordable UH degree as their in-state peers.

Room and Board Costs


The University of Hawaii offers a variety of on-campus housing options for students. Students can choose from single or double occupancy dorm rooms in residence halls or suites in the newer Gateway Housing Complex.

The costs for on-campus housing in 2023 range from $11,304 per year for a double room in a residence hall to $14,568 per year for a single room in the Gateway suites. Meal plans are required for students living on campus and cost an additional $5,270 per year.

The residence halls offer basic accommodations with shared community bathrooms. The Gateway Housing Complex features apartment-style suites with private bedrooms and semi-private bathrooms. All on-campus housing options come furnished and include utilities, WiFi, and access to common areas.

Meal plans provide a set number of meals per week at campus dining halls.

Off-Campus Housing

Many University of Hawaii students choose to live off campus after their first year. Popular neighborhoods for off-campus housing include McCully, Moiliili, and Makiki, which are all within 2 miles of campus.

Off-campus housing costs can vary greatly depending on the type of rental. Here is an overview of average rental rates for 2023:

  • Studio apartment: $1,500-$2,000 per month
  • 1-bedroom apartment: $1,800-$2,500 per month
  • 2-bedroom apartment: $2,200-$3,500 per month
  • 3-bedroom house: $3,500-$5,000 per month

When living off campus, utilities and wifi are usually not included and cost an extra $200-$400 per month. Grocery costs for food also need to be factored in at around $300-$500 per month.

Websites like and Zillow can be great resources to search rental listings and compare prices for off-campus housing options near the University of Hawaii.

Books, Supplies, and Transportation

When budgeting for college, it’s important to account for more than just tuition. At the University of Hawaii, students also need to consider costs for books, supplies, transportation, and other daily living expenses. Here’s a breakdown of what undergraduates can expect to pay in these areas.

Books and Supplies

The University of Hawaii estimates students should budget $1,300 per year for books and supplies. This includes textbooks, laptops or tablets, printer paper, pens, notebooks, calculator, and any other tools needed for courses.

Many classes now use online platforms and ebooks to reduce costs, but some traditional textbooks can still be over $100 each. Tips to save money on books include:

  • Buy used textbooks or rent textbooks
  • Share books with classmates
  • Find free online resources and library books when possible
  • Sell back textbooks at the end of the semester


With campuses across Oahu, transportation is an essential expense for University of Hawaii students. Costs vary dramatically based on if a student lives on campus, nearby, or commutes longer distances. Here are some transportation estimates:

Transportation Type Annual Cost
On campus with no car $100 for bus or bikes
Off campus within 5 miles $100-500 for bus, bikes, electric scooters
Longer commute with car $2,000+ for gas, insurance, parking

The university also offers discounted bus passes and campus shuttle services to help students.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Opportunities

Grants and Scholarships

The University of Hawaii offers various grants and scholarships to help students fund their education. Some popular options include the UH System Scholarship, which awards up to $2,000 per year based on academic achievement, and the UH Opportunity Grant, which provides need-based aid to resident students.

There are also scholarships for students from underrepresented groups, STEM majors, veterans, and more. Students are encouraged to thoroughly research all available aid options and apply early to maximize their chances of receiving free financial assistance.

Work-Study Programs

Work-study programs allow students to earn money to pay for college expenses while gaining valuable work experience. The University of Hawaii administers Federal and State work-study programs that provide part-time employment opportunities on campus or with approved off-campus employers.

Jobs typically pay at least the minimum wage and may relate to the student’s academic or career interests. During the 2021-2022 school year, over 2,000 UH students participated in a work-study program, collectively earning more than $5 million.

Work-study income does not have to be repaid like loan money.


For many students and families, educational loans are necessary to bridge the gap between costs and available savings or financial aid. The most common options are federal direct loans, which currently feature fixed interest rates around 5%.

Students can borrow up to $5,500 (freshmen) or $6,500 (sophomores) per year. Parent PLUS loans allow parents of dependent undergrads to cover any remaining costs after other aid is applied. Although loans do need to be repaid with interest, they enable many students to invest in themselves through higher education when they otherwise may not be able to afford it.

Students should educate themselves on smart borrowing tactics to keep debt manageable. The UH Financial Aid Office also provides loan counseling.


While the University of Hawaii has risen in cost over the years, it remains an affordable option compared to many U.S. colleges and universities today. With financial planning and taking advantage of aid opportunities, students from Hawaii and the mainland alike can potentially realize their dream of obtaining a high-quality degree surrounded by island paradise and beaches.

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