HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.R. NO.

206

TWENTY-SIXTH LEGISLATURE, 2011

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 


HOUSE RESOLUTION

 

 

URGING THE STATE OF HAWAII TO CREATE AND FUND A STATE GRANT PROGRAM FOR NATIVE HAWAIIAN STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII.

 

 

 


WHEREAS, the goal of the University of Hawaii System is to provide higher education for all its students; and

 

WHEREAS, some of those college students, specifically native Hawaiian students, may need financial assistance to offset Hawaii's high cost of living, and other socio-economic factors; and

 

WHEREAS, this academic and economic support for native Hawaiian students attending and graduating from the University of Hawaii System can have far-reaching positive consequences for the State as a whole; and

 

WHEREAS, native Hawaiian graduates of the University of Hawaii System will be able to contribute more effectively to the economic and social health of the State and of the native Hawaiian people; and

 

WHEREAS, the challenge for native Hawaiian students begins in the classroom, where they have the lowest college graduation rates of all ethnic groups in Hawaii, and of those who are able to attend college, far fewer actually graduate with a college

degree than students from any other ethnic group in the State; and

 

WHEREAS, according to the University of Hawaii's

institutional research office and 2000 United States census,

native Hawaiians:

 

(1) Represent 22.4 percent of the total University of Hawaii student population, a figure that includes all native Hawaiians attending the System's three baccalaureate campuses and seven community colleges;

 

(2) Return for a second year of college at a slightly lower percentage compared to non-native-Hawaiian students. More than 76.7 percent of the University of Hawaii System's non-native-Hawaiian students return for a second year of college, whereas the percentage of native Hawaiian students returning is 76.1 percent;

 

(3) Earn a low percentage of college credits and degrees. Even though 25 percent of all native Hawaiians have earned some college credits, most have not completed their undergraduate degrees, and only 15 percent of all native Hawaiians have earned at least a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, only 3.2 percent of native Hawaiians have earned a graduate degree of any kind, compared with 8.4 percent of all Hawaii residents and 8.9 percent of the total United States population;

 

(4) Represent only 9.5 percent of the current doctoral candidates at the University of Hawaii, and nearly 38 percent of native Hawaiian candidates do not receive any type of financial aid or tuition waivers; and

 

(5) Represent just five percent of all faculty positions at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and 3.1 percent of permanently tenured positions are held by native Hawaiians;

 

and

 

WHEREAS, the academic stress of earning a college degree is drastically increased for many native Hawaiian students by high levels of economic stress; and

 

WHEREAS, statistically, native Hawaiians attending the University of Hawaii are, on average, far more affected by negative economic indicators than students from other ethnic groups, and for example, native Hawaiian students who do complete their degrees take longer to do so than students of other ethnic groups and many native Hawaiian students must work full- or part-time jobs while attempting to complete their college degrees. This slower-than-average completion rate is due primarily to the consequences of native Hawaiians' poor access to available socio-economic resources, combined with their ongoing need to produce income for themselves and their families and Hawaii's high cost of living; and

 

WHEREAS, as more native Hawaiians are able to earn college degrees, more native Hawaiians can pursue the highest levels of academic and professional achievement; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2011, that the State of Hawaii is urged to create and fund a state grant program that would award aid to all native Hawaiian and Hawaiian students with financial need, as determined by federal financial aid guidelines, enrolled at any of the University of Hawaii System's ten campuses; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that to qualify for such financial aid, the student must possess a card issued by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs identifying the student as a person included in the Hawaiian registry under section 10-19, Hawaii Revised Statutes, which will constitute conclusive proof that the student is native Hawaiian or Hawaiian; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, University of Hawaii Board of Regents, President of the University of Hawaii, and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Report Title:

Native Hawaiians; State Grant Program