H.B. NO.














relating to post-secondary education.





SECTION 1. The legislature finds that community colleges play a vital role in meeting the State's employment needs. A well-trained and highly qualified work force would also attract employers to the State, diversifying the local economy and allowing Hawaii to compete in the global market.

The purpose of this Act is to begin the State's transition to providing free public education from grades K to 14. By establishing a pilot program in counties with the smallest populations, this Act not only increases access to higher education but also serves as an incubator to determine the program's effects on workforce needs and economic development.

SECTION 2. Chapter 304A, part IV, subpart A, subdivision 1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"304A- Community college tuition waiver. (a) The board of regents shall waive the tuition of any person who is admitted to and enrolled full-time at a community college campus of the university of Hawaii; provided that the person:

(1) Is a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen;

(2) Has been a resident of the State for at least twelve months prior to applying for the waiver;

(3) Qualifies for resident tuition;

(4) Is a graduate of a private or public high school located in the State;

(5) Maintains satisfactory academic progress, as determined by the community college at which the person is enrolled;

(6) Maintains continuous full-time enrollment at a community college, except for medical or personal absences approved by the community college;

(7) Is physically present in the State; and

(8) Is twenty-five years old or younger.

(b) As used in this subsection, an "eligible non-citizen" means an individual who is:

(1) A United States permanent resident who holds a permanent resident card;

(2) A conditional permanent resident of the United States;

(3) The holder of an arrival-departure record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations:

(A) Refugee;

(B) Asylum granted;

(C) Parolee; or

(D) Cuban-Haitian Entrant."

SECTION 3. The university of Hawaii shall implement section 2 of this Act as a pilot program in any county with a population of fewer than one hundred thousand residents, beginning with students enrolled in the fall semester of 2020.

SECTION 4. In addition to the requirements set forth in section 2, and notwithstanding any conflicting requirements, the board of regents shall waive the tuition of any person who enrolls at a community college campus of the university of Hawaii system in a county with fewer than one hundred thousand residents and who:

(1) Completes and submits to the board of regents a Free Application for Federal Student Aid;

(2) Has been a resident of the county for at least two years;

(3) Attended high school for at least two years; and

(4) Graduated from a high school located in the county.

SECTION 5. The board of regents shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations regarding the outcome of the tuition waiver program, including any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2022.

SECTION 6. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2019; provided that sections 2 and 4 shall apply beginning with the fall 2021 semester.








Report Title:

Community Colleges; University of Hawaii; Tuition Waiver



Grants tuition waivers to University of Hawaii community college students who meet certain criteria. Initiates the waiver program as a pilot program in counties with populations of less than 100,000.




The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.