GEAR UP Hawaii Running Start financial aid

GEAR UP supports low-income students’ participation in the Running Start dual credit program by providing support for tuition and books.

The program

GEAR UP Hawaii, funded by the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs from the U.S. Department of Education, offers Running Start Scholarships to Hawaii public school juniors and seniors who participate in the Free or Reduced Lunch program. The scholarship is used for tuition/fees and required textbooks for one 3 or 4 credit class. The award is conditional upon verification of Free or Reduced Lunch program approval by the Department, as well as admission to the University of Hawaii campus you are planning to attend.

Each year GEAR UP awards up to $85,000 to eligible students statewide. Priority awards are given to students who qualify for free or reduced lunch status and have received no prior Running Start Scholarship funding from GEAR UP. High school seniors (or incoming seniors) will have priority over juniors. To apply:

  • Complete the Running Start online application (links to the semester of interest are on the Running Start program page.)
  • Click on the Free or Reduced field. Your Free or Reduced Lunch program status must be verified on the print-out of your application by your high school counselor.
  • Apply to your UH college of choice. The University of Hawaii System application form is accessible online.

​The partnership

Hawai‘i P-20 administers the GEAR UP Grant program for the state. In 2018, it was awarded more than $39 million in federal grants to help increase the number of low-income middle and high school students statewide who succeed in college through GEAR UP.

Contact Information

GEAR UP Hawaii

Phone: 808-956-3879


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