Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, Hawaii offers two-year associate degree programs at eight community colleges.


    Based on estimates from College Board, enrolled students in Hawaii paid an average in-district tuition of $4,019 for the 2022-23 school year at community colleges.


    During the 2019-20 academic year, 452,493 enrolled students used some type of financial aid to help cover the costs of tuition at community colleges in the United States.

Our Research

This list features some of the best community colleges in Hawaii. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included small, midsize, and large colleges as well as trade, technical, and vocational programs. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The colleges on our list are accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), a reputable organization that examines objectives, quality and overall effectiveness of education programs in the United States.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

The Top 50 Community Colleges in Hawaii

Best Community Colleges In Hawaii Badge 2023
Intelligent Pick
Hawaii Community College
Best for Online Learning
Kapiolani Community College
Best for Liberal Arts
Honolulu Community College
Best Certificate Programs
Leeward Community College
Best Student Resources & Facilities
Kauai Community College
Best Pre-College Programs
Windward Community College
Best for Continuing Education
University of Hawaii Maui College

What You Should Know About Graduating From Community College in Hawaii

Looking at the career options available should help you decide on your career path. Indeed, picking a program with a strong earning potential will make your associate degree a good investment. May 2021 median wage data shows that the top highest-paying jobs in Hawaii for people with an associate degree were air traffic controllers, nuclear medicine technologists, magnetic resonance imaging technologists, diagnostic medical sonographers, and electrical engineering technologists.

For job seekers with an associate degree, the careers with the most openings in Hawaii are paralegals and legal assistants; preschool teachers (except special education); life, physical, and social science technicians; dental hygienists; and computer network support specialists.

On the opposite end, the associate degree-level careers in Hawaii with the greatest projected decline include mechanical drafters, electro-mechanical and mechatronics technologists, architectural and civil drafters, and human resources assistants.

What’s Next?

Part of researching community colleges in Hawaii is understanding the options you have for financial aid. Below is a list of state and federal resources that help you explore grants, scholarships, and other financial aid options for Hawaii community college students.

  • Hawaii Post-Secondary Education Authorization Program. This agency offers information about financial aid options for students attending college in Hawaii.
  • Federal Student Aid. More than $120 billion in financial aid comes from the office of Federal Student Aid each year. Use FAFSA4caster to determine your eligibility for scholarships, grants, loans, and work study. When you’re ready, there’s an online FAFSA form that you can use to apply for financial aid.
  • CareerOneStop. With CareerOneStop, you can search for scholarships, grants, fellowships, and other financial aid options for your degree type and state. This resource provides helpful details on qualifications, award amounts, deadlines, and contact information.