University of Hawai'i - West O'ahu


Tuition at UH West O‘ahu is based on whether you are a resident or non-resident of the State of Hawai‘i. Residency for tuition purposes is based on a specific set of regulations and not only on whether you live in the state. Hawai‘i Administrative Rules Title 20, Chapter 4, can be found at Determination of Residency as Applied to Tuition Payments and Admissions (PDF) and in our General Catalog.

An official determination of residency status will be determined at the time of application. Students who do not qualify on the first day of instruction as bona fide residents of the state of Hawai’i, according to Hawai‘i Administrative Rules, Title 20, Chapter 4, will pay the nonresident tuition. Applicants may be required to provide documentation to verify residency status. Once classified as a nonresident, a student continues to be so classified during his or her enrollment.

A student is deemed a resident of the State of Hawaiʻi for tuition purposes if the student (18 years of age or older) or the student (under 18 years of age) and his/her parents or legal guardians have:

  1. Demonstrated intent to permanently reside in Hawaiʻi (see below for evidences);
  2. Been physically present in Hawaiʻi for the 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of instruction, and subsequent to the demonstration of intent to make Hawaiʻi his/her legal residency; and
  3. The student, whether adult or minor, has not been claimed as a dependent for tax purposes for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of instruction by his/her parents or legal guardians who are not legal residents of Hawaiʻi.

To demonstrate the intent to make Hawaiʻi your legal residency, the following evidence applies:

  1. Filing Hawaiʻi resident personal income tax return.
  2. Voting/registering to vote in the State of Hawaiʻi.

Other evidence, such as permanent employment and ownership or continuous leasing of a dwelling in Hawaiʻi, may apply, but no single act is sufficient to establish residency in the State of Hawaiʻi.

Other legal factors in making a residency determination include:

  1. In order to be considered as a resident for tuition purposes, you must be a U.S. Citizen or a permanent resident alien for a period of 365 days/one (1) calendar year.
  2. The 365 days/one (1) calendar year “clock” begins when you take the first action demonstrating your intent to make Hawai‘i our permanent residence (i.e. start employment, register to vote, purchase property, or get a general excise tax license). Residence will be lost if it is interrupted during the 12 months immediately preceding the first day of instruction.
  3. Residency in Hawai‘i and residency in another place cannot be held simultaneously.
  4. Presence in Hawai‘i primarily to attend an institution of higher learning does not create resident status. A nonresident student enrolled for 6 credits or more during any term within the 12-month period is presumed to be in Hawai‘i primarily to attend college. Such periods of enrollment cannot be applied toward the physical presence requirement.
  5. The residency of unmarried students who are minors follows that of the parents or legal guardian. Marriage emancipates a minor.
  6. Resident status, once acquired, will be lost by future voluntary action of the resident inconsistent with such status. However, Hawai‘i residency will not be lost solely because of absence from the State while a member of the United States Armed Forces, while engaged in navigation, or while a student at any institution of learning, provided that Hawai‘i is claimed and maintained as the person’s legal residence.

Board of Regents Exemptions

Non-Resident Tuition

The UH Board of Regents has established exemptions which allow certain non-residents to pay the resident tuition.

Non-residents may be allowed to pay resident tuition if they qualify as one of the following:

  • East-West Center student grantees pursuing baccalaureate or advanced degrees;
  • United States military personnel stationed in Hawai‘i on active duty, and their authorized dependents during the period that the personnel are stationed in Hawai‘i;
  • Members of the Hawai‘i National Guard and the Hawai‘i Reserves;
  • Native Hawaiians whose domicile is outside of Hawai‘i;
  • Employees of the university, their spouses, and their dependents;
  • Veterans eligible to use Post 9/11 GI Bill® or Montgomery GI Bill® Active Duty Program educational benefits, who live in Hawai‘i, and enroll at the university within three years of discharge or release from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • Individuals eligible to use transferred Post 9/11 GI Bill® educational benefits, who live in Hawai‘i, and enroll at the university within three years of the transferor’s discharge or release from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • Individuals eligible to use educational benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, who live in Hawai‘i.
  • Individuals eligible to use transferred Post 9/11GI Bill® educational benefits, who live in Hawai‘i, and whose transferor is a member of the uniformed service who is serving on active duty.

Pacific Island (PI) Exemption

The UH Board of Regents has established exemptions which allow certain citizens of an eligible Pacific island district, commonwealth, territory, or insular jurisdiction, state, or nation which does not provide public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees may be allowed to pay 150% of the resident tuition. At the time of publication, these included the following:

  • American Samoa
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Cook Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Futuna
  • Kiribati
  • Nauru
  • Niue
  • Republic of Palau
  • Republic of the Marshall Islands
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • Wallis

This list is subject to change. For a current list, eligibility and documentation requirements, please contact the Admissions Office of the campus you are applying to.

GI Bill®

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)

The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) is a program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Through WUE, students in western states may enroll at UH West O’ahu at a reduced tuition of 150 percent of the institution’s regular resident tuition. WUE tuition is considerably less than non-resident tuition. Reduced WUE tuition is currently available for freshman and transfer students. UH West O‘ahu reserves the right to limit WUE awards each academic year based on enrollment projections.


You must be a resident of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, Washington State, Guam or Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Your family’s domicile (home) must be maintained as your permanent address throughout the duration of your participation in the WUE program. Freshman applicants must have a 2.7 cumulative grade-point-average over four years in high school. Transfer applicants must have a 2.0 cumulative grade-point-average.  WUE Applicants must be accepted as a degree-seeking student at UH West O’ahu.  Unclassified non-degree students are not eligible.


  • The following programs are not included in the WUE program:
    1. Bachelor programs: Computer, Electronics & Networking Technology, Creative Media, Culinary Management, Early Childhood Education, Information Security & Assurance, Information Technology, Respiratory Care.
    2. All Certificate programs
    3. Distance Learning programs
  • Only undergraduate students, and those who have not already earned a baccalaureate degree, qualify.
  • WUE is awarded only once at the time of admission and will remain in effect for the duration of the student’s academic career at UH West O’ahu.
  • Non-WUE students who enroll as non-residents will not qualify for WUE status in later terms. Hawai’i residency cannot be established under the WUE program.
  • Students changing their residency will be reclassified to non-resident. Students are only able to apply for Hawai‘i residency 12 months after cessation of WUE.

Note: Currently, UH West O‘ahu does not offer housing.

How to Apply

Complete and submit the following:

  1. University of Hawai‘i System Online Application Form
  2. Western Undergraduate Exchange Application
  3. Official transcripts from your high school and/or college/university sent directly to the Office of Admissions. WUE eligibility cannot be determined without official transcripts.
Back To Top
virtual front desk chat icon

Connect with us!

close chat icon


Leave Us a Message

The Virtual Front Desk is open between 10 am - 2 pm on weekdays. Sorry we missed you! Please complete the form below and we will be sure to get back to you within 2 business days. Mahalo!


Thank you for your submission

We will review your question and get back to you within 1-2 business days. Mahalo!