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2023 Best Online Colleges in Hawaii

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 9/18/2023
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Online universities in Hawaii offer several online degree and certificate programs students can pursue. The list below highlights the best online colleges based on early career alumni salary. Prospective students can choose from online associate, bachelor’s, master’s degrees, and certificate programs at most Hawaii universities. Online student support services commonly offered at colleges in Hawaii include academic advising, an online library, tutoring, a bookstore, career services, military and veteran services, and counseling. 

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2023 Best Online Colleges in Hawaii

RankSchool Salary Score Online Enrollment
# 1 #1 Chaminade University of Honolulu 49 490
# 2 #2 University of Hawaii at Manoa 45 823
# 3 #3 Hawai'i Pacific University 42 419

#1 Chaminade University of Honolulu

  • Salary Score: 49
  • Online Enrollment: 490
  • Locations: Honolulu
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

Chaminade University of Honolulu is a private, nonprofit, Marianist university established in 1955. The university offers flexible online undergraduate programs and minors. Some of the online bachelor’s degrees offered at Chaminade include a Bachelor of Science in Community and Public Health, a Bachelor of Arts in Historical and Political Studies, and a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Chaminade facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning on Canvas. The university’s Flex program allows students to complete courses at their own pace. Online classes start monthly, so students can immediately advance to the next course without waiting until the next semester. Chaminade’s online student services include career services, a bookstore, tutoring, and academic advising.

#2 University of Hawaii at Manoa

  • Salary Score: 45
  • Online Enrollment: 823
  • Locations: Honolulu
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

Founded in 1907, the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH Manoa) is a public university offering online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificate programs. Online undergraduate degrees offered at UH Manoa include a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, an RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and a Bachelor of Education in Elementary/Hawaiian Language Immersion.

The university offers asynchronous and synchronous online learning on Sakai. UH Manoa has online undergraduate completion degrees to help students accelerate their online degrees. To support online students, the university has flexible course designs, student working groups, and support services. Additional online student support at UH Manoa includes advising, a learning assistance center, a career center, counseling, veteran student services, and a bookstore.

#3 Hawai'i Pacific University

  • Salary Score: 42
  • Online Enrollment: 419
  • Locations: Honolulu
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

Founded in 1965, Hawai’i Pacific University (HPU) is a private, nonprofit institution offering several online associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs and certifications. Examples of online undergraduate programs offered at HPU include a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Development, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, and a Bachelor of Science in Diplomacy and Military Studies.

HPU is Hawaii’s largest private university across the islands. At HPU, online students complete coursework asynchronously and synchronously through the learning management system called Blackboard. The online student resources available at HPU include academic advising, career services, an online library, tutoring, and a bookstore.

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Higher Education in Hawaii

Most of us think of Hawaii as an idyllic vacation destination, but for the 1.4 million residents, this chain of islands is also a place of business and industry. Much of the state's economy revolves around tourism, which includes hospitality services, transportation, and retail trade. Other key industries include agriculture, financial services, healthcare services, and insurance.

Preparing to join the state's workforce through higher education is a high priority in Hawaii. In fact, 34.3% of residents hold a bachelor's degree or higher. Prospective learners can attend one of the many public universities, such as the four campuses of the University of Hawaii, or a private university. Options include Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu and Brigham Young University-Hawaii in Laie.

In addition to on-campus programs, many of Hawaii's colleges and universities offer online learning programs for associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, as well as certificates and diplomas. Health sciences, computer science, criminal justice, and information technology are among the most common bachelor's degrees in the state. Popular master's degree subjects include business administration and public administration.


If you're considering pursuing a college degree at one of the online colleges in Hawaii, there are many factors to consider. Cost, program details, and student services are vital, and accreditation is equally important. All of the schools listed on our rankings of the best online colleges in Hawaii are accredited, most likely by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) or the Distance Education Accreditation Commission (DEAC).

Enrollment in an accredited online college in Hawaii is a top priority for many reasons. It is required for you to qualify for financial aid and to transfer credits from one school to another. You may also need to have earned your bachelor's degree from an accredited school to be accepted into a master's program, and you may need an accredited degree to qualify for licensure to practice certain professions in Hawaii, such as teaching or nursing.

Want a career that allows you to serve your community in Hawaii? Discover some of your many options on our Online Nursing Programs in Hawaii and Online MSW Programs in Hawaii pages.

FAQs About Online Colleges in Hawaii

How Many Colleges Are in Hawaii?

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) lists 23 postsecondary institutions of higher education in Hawaii. The state-run University of Hawaii System is made up of three universities and seven community colleges. The remaining 13 are privately operated universities and specialty colleges.

What Are the Best Colleges in Hawaii?

Many highly regarded colleges can be found in Hawaii. The University of Hawaii campuses at Manoa, Hilo, and West Oahu all offer online bachelor's degrees and master's degrees. One of the top private schools — Chaminade University of Honolulu — offers accelerated online degrees.

How Much Is Hawaii College Tuition?

The NCES provides data that compares each state's tuition and fees with national averages. This data shows that tuition rates at colleges in Hawaii are about equal to rates around the country, although tuition at four-year colleges may be slightly higher.

Traditional and online students in Hawaii — especially Native Hawaiians — may be eligible for an extensive array of scholarships offered by the state. These include the Hawai'i Community Foundation Scholarships, the Ka‘ehu Scholarship Fund, the Hoʻoulu Scholarship Fund, and several scholarships sponsored by civic clubs across Hawaii. Prospective students can apply for these financial aid programs by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Are There Any Online Community Colleges in Hawaii?

Yes, there are six accredited community colleges in Hawaii that are part of the University of Hawaii System. Four of the six — Leeward Community College, Windward Community College, Kaua'i Community College, and Kapi'olani Community College — offer online associate degrees in subjects such as accounting, healthcare administration, and emergency management. There is also an independent two-year school called the Hawaii Tokai International College in Kapolei, but this school does not offer online college courses in Hawaii.

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