Finding the perfect small college in Hawaii can be a daunting task if you don’t know where to start.

With the breathtaking landscapes, diverse cultures, and unique academic offerings of the Hawaiian Islands, the choices may seem overwhelming.

Fear not, as we embark on a journey to unveil the best small colleges in Hawaii, navigating through the distinct features, vibrant communities, and academic excellence each institution has to offer.

Whether you’re drawn to the serene beauty of Maui or the cultural richness of Oahu, join us as we explore the hidden gems that make these small colleges the perfect fit for your educational adventure in paradise.

However, if you do not find the school that suits your preferences in Hawaii, you can consider other locations by checking out other small schools and exploring our archive of the best small colleges in other states of the US.

What is the easiest college to get into in Hawaii?

Honolulu Community College stands out as the most accessible institution in Hawaii, boasting a 100% acceptance rate for high school students.

With a focus on practical, career-focused education, HCC provides an inclusive entry point for students seeking diverse educational opportunities and hands-on learning experiences.

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What is the number-one college in Hawaii?

The University of Hawaii at Manoa takes the top spot as Hawaii’s premier institution, offering a comprehensive range of academic programs, cutting-edge research opportunities, and a diverse campus culture. With its esteemed faculty and commitment to excellence, UH Manoa provides students with a transformative education in the heart of Honolulu.

What is the average cost of Hawaii’s small colleges?

The average cost of small colleges in Hawaii typically ranges from $20,000 to $30,000 per year, encompassing tuition, fees, and room and board.

However, costs may vary based on factors such as the specific institution, the chosen program of study, and whether the student is an in-state or out-of-state resident.

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What are the best small colleges in Hawaii?

Without further ado, we lead you to the top colleges with small class sizes and student populations in Hawaii. Our job here at Ziiky is to make school searching easy and seamless for you.

Now here are the top 10 small schools in Hawaii:

1. Hawaiʻi Pacific University

  • Phone: +1 808 544-0200
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 4,066 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1 Aloha Tower Drive, Honolulu, HI 96813

Situated in the vibrant heart of Honolulu, Hawaii Pacific University stands out for its diverse community and global perspective.

With a focus on experiential learning and innovative programs, HPU provides students with the tools they need to thrive in an ever-changing world, all while enjoying the beauty of the Aloha State.

HPU is different from a lot of schools in the state because students get to learn from professors who are at the top of their field, not only in academics but also in applied and industry knowledge.


2. Chaminade University of Honolulu

  • Phone: +1 808-735-4711
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,536 (2020–21)
  • Address: 3140 Waialae Ave., Honolulu, HI 96816

Chaminade University of Honolulu is a private Marianist university in Honolulu, Hawaii, offering bachelor’s degrees in 23 fields of study and five master’s degree program

The university offers a unique blend of Catholic Marianist traditions and a commitment to fostering personal growth.

With small class sizes and a supportive community, Chaminade provides students with a well-rounded education that emphasizes both academic excellence and ethical leadership.


3. Brigham Young University, Hawaii

  • Phone: +1 808-675-3211
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,861 (2020–21)
  • Address: 55-220 Kulanui St, Laie, HI 96762

Brigham Young University-Hawaii is a private college in Laie, Hawaii, owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

BYU Hawaii is the preeminent international center of learning in the Pacific. The college combines academic rigor with a strong emphasis on spiritual and moral development.

With a focus on fostering a sense of community and global citizenship, BYU Hawaii prepares students for success in their chosen fields while nurturing their values and character.


4. University of Hawaii—West Oahu

  • Phone: +1 808-689-2800
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,913 (2020–21)
  • Address: 91-1001 Farrington Hwy, Kapolei, HI 96707

UH West Oahu, located in the thriving city of Kapolei, offers a close-knit campus community and a commitment to hands-on learning.

The University of Hawaiʻi—West Oʻahu is a public college and part of the University of Hawaiʻi system. The college offers baccalaureate degrees in liberal arts and professional studies.

With a focus on sustainability, innovation, and cultural diversity, UH West Oahu provides students with a modern education rooted in Hawaiian values.


5. University of Hawaiʻi Maui College

  • Phone: (808) 984-3500
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 4,527 (2020–21)
  • Address: 310 W. Ka’ahumanu Ave., Kahului, Hawaiʻi 96732-1617

Set against the breathtaking backdrop of Maui, UH Maui College stands out for its strong ties to the local community and a range of academic programs.

With a focus on sustainability and cultural understanding, students at UH Maui College benefit from a supportive environment that prepares them for both local and global challenges.

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Keep in mind that UHMC has over 20 innovative programs, from certificate programs to doctoral programs.


6. University of Hawaii at Hilo

  • Phone: +1 808-932-7446
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,630 (2020–21)
  • Address: 200 W Kawili St, Hilo, HI 96720

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is a fully accredited comprehensive public liberal arts university in Hilo and one of ten general campuses of the University of Hawaiʻi System.

The University of Hawaii is celebrated for its commitment to environmental science, indigenous knowledge, and cultural diversity.

With a personalized approach to education and a stunning natural setting, UH Hilo provides students with a unique and enriching college experience.


7. Honolulu Community College

  • Phone: +1 808-845-9211
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,099 (2020–21)
  • Address: 874 Dillingham Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96817

Honolulu Community College is a public community college that is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. HCC is in the heart of Honolulu and stands out for its practical and career-focused education.

With strong connections to local industries, HCC prepares students for success in the workforce through hands-on learning experiences and a commitment to innovation in education.


8. Kapiʻolani Community College

  • Phone: +1 808-734-9000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 4,039 (2020–21)
  • Address: 4303 Diamond Head Rd., Honolulu, HI 96816

KCC, located near the iconic Diamond Head, is known for its strong emphasis on culinary arts, health sciences, and sustainability. The college is also known as an innovative center of opportunity, diversity, and inclusion.

With a diverse student body and a commitment to community engagement, KCC provides students with a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in their chosen fields.


9. Leeward Community College

  • Phone: +1 808-455-0011
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 4,066 (2020–21)
  • Address: 96-045 Ala `Ike, Pearl City, HI 96782

Nestled in Pearl City, Leeward Community College is recognized as one of the public schools on the list of the best small colleges in Hawaii for its dedication to student success and community development.

With a focus on affordability and accessibility, LCC offers a range of programs and support services that empower students to achieve their academic and career goals.


10. Kauaʻi Community College

  • Phone: +1 808-245-8311
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 817 (2020–21)
  • Address: 3-1901 Kaumualii Hwy., Lihue, HI 96766

Set against the backdrop of Kauaʻi’s lush landscapes, Kauaʻi Community College stands out for its small class sizes and personalized attention.

With a focus on sustainability and Hawaiian culture, Kauaʻi Community College provides students with a unique and enriching educational experience on the “Garden Isle.”

Though a public school, Kaua’i Community College is a kahua that inspires, engages, and empowers learners and educators to enrich their community and their world.


11. Hawaiʻi Community College

  • Phone: +1 808-934-2500
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,634 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1175 Manono St, Hilo, HI 96720

HCC, with campuses in Hilo and Kona, is known for its hands-on learning opportunities and commitment to serving the local community. The college, which is a 2-year college, has provided high-quality educational opportunities for Hawai’i Island for over 80 years.

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With a range of academic programs and a supportive environment, HCC prepares students for success in their chosen careers while embracing the spirit of aloha.


12. Windward Community College

  • Phone: +1 808-235-7400
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,028 (2020–21)
  • Address: 45-720 Keaahala Rd., Kaneohe, HI 96744

Nestled on the windward side of Oʻahu, Windward Community College is celebrated for its commitment to sustainability and cultural understanding.

With a focus on experiential learning and a beautiful natural setting, Windward Community College provides students with a unique and enriching college experience.


13. Pacific University Forest Grove Campus

  • Phone: +1 503-352-6151
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,638 (2020–21)
  • Address: 2043 College Way, Forest Grove, OR 97116

Pacific University is a diverse learning community offering a unique combination of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in the arts and sciences.

While not in Hawaii, Pacific University’s Forest Grove Campus offers a Hawaiian Studies Program that provides students with a deep understanding of the Pacific Islands’ cultures and environments.

With a commitment to diversity and global awareness, Pacific University enriches the educational experience with perspectives from the Pacific region.


14. University of Phoenix

  • Phone: +1 844-937-8679
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 55 (2020–21)
  • Address: 745 Fort St, Honolulu, HI 96813

With a presence in Hawaii, the University of Phoenix offers flexible online programs for students seeking to advance their education while balancing other commitments.

With a focus on accessibility and tailored learning experiences, the University of Phoenix provides a convenient option for those looking to pursue higher education in the Aloha State.

The University of Phoenix is accredited, affordable, and has many online degrees aligned with careers.


FAQs on best small colleges in Hawaii

What makes small colleges in Hawaii unique?

Small colleges in Hawaii offer a distinctive blend of personalized education and a connection to the local culture. With smaller class sizes, students can expect individualized attention and a more intimate learning experience, often complemented by the beauty and diversity of the Hawaiian Islands.

How do I choose the best small college in Hawaii for me?

Consider factors such as academic programs, campus culture, and location. Whether you’re drawn to a college in bustling Honolulu, the lush landscapes of Maui, or the serene surroundings of the Big Island, exploring these aspects will help you find the best fit for your educational and lifestyle preferences.

What are the admission requirements for small colleges in Hawaii?

Admission requirements vary among small colleges but generally include a competitive high school GPA, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

It’s crucial to review each college’s specific criteria and deadlines to ensure you meet the necessary qualifications for a successful application.



Grace Iroh
Grace Iroh
Articles: 162

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