Kupono Diploma

In recognition of the contributions and sacrifices of war veterans and internees, the state of Hawaii grants honorary diplomas through the Kupono Diploma Program.

​Success story​McKinley High student interned in WWII earns diploma.

​​​​The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) Kupono Diploma Program grants honorary high school diplomas to World War II, Korean and Vietnam War veterans, and individuals whose schooling was interrupted due to internment in relocation camps during World War II.


In 2007, the Hawaii State Legislature passed Act 101, allowing World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans and other individuals whose schooling was interrupted due to military service or wartime practices to be granted the Kupono Diploma.

Our war veterans and former internees embody the meaning of "kupono." Kupono means honest, upright, decent, and reliable.  Under this program, qualified applicants will be granted honorary high school diplomas as a gesture of gratitude. 

Current or former Hawaii residents who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply.  Diplomas may also be awarded posthumously to the family of a veteran or former internee.

There is no cost to participate in the Kupono Diploma program.


  • Veterans must have been enrolled in a State of Hawaii public high school prior to enlistment in military service.
  • Evidence of military status eligibility must be included with the program application -- proof of honorable discharge from U.S. military service – DD Form 214 or Enlisted Record and Report of Separation Form or Discharge Certificate
  • Military service in the U.S. Armed Forces must have been during World War II, Korean War, or Vietnam War.
  • Veterans must have received an honorable discharge or discharged under honorable conditions from the U.S. Armed Forces as verified by a certified copy of their discharge or other proof of service.


  • Internees must have been enrolled in a State of Hawaii public high school prior to internment.
  • Must provide evidence of being interned in a relocation camp.

Under this program, qualified veterans or former internees who successfully completed a General Education Diploma (GED) program will also be granted an honorary high school diploma. An honorary high school diploma may also be awarded posthumously and presented to a family member.


  • Download the application here​.
  • Application requests may be sent by e-mail to cherry_okahara@notes.k12.hi.us​​. Or mail to: Hawaii State Department of Education, Kupono Diploma Program, PO BOX 2360, Honolulu, HI 96804
  • Applications may be submitted at any time. However, applications must be submitted no later than January 30 to participate in the current year graduation ceremony.
  • Application processing will take four to six weeks. The DOE will contact all applicants regarding program eligibility.​

Contact Information

Cherry Torres Okahara

Phone: 808-271-5724

Email: cherry_okahara@notes.k12.hi.us


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