Hawaii Central Federal Credit Union Announces New Scholarship Fund
During a check presentation to Chaminade President Dr. Lynn Babington, Hawaii Central Federal Credit Union’s Board Chairman, Neil Shimogawa, said this would be the first of hopefully many to follow in the years to come.
“We couldn’t do this without our community partners like yourselves,” said Dr. Babington to Shimogawa and fellow board members Ariel Chun, Director, and Alan Yasuda, Secretary. “Scholarships are often the optimal form of financial aid since, unlike student loans, scholarships do not need to be repaid.”
According to U.S. News & World Report, the average college student graduates with about $30,000 in student loans. That’s nearly a 25 percent increase from a decade ago. Many of these student loans carry high interest rates, and create a severe financial burden for young professionals. In contrast, scholarship programs can help students afford college without strings attached. As a result, scholarship recipients can pay off loans more quickly and use their extra income to start saving for the future.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, many colleges and universities experienced significant budget cuts. And while public schools experienced a squeeze in funding, passing these costs along to students, Chaminade did the opposite. Instead of increasing its tuition, the university introduced its Hawaii Guarantee pilot program, which ensures all graduates of Hawaii high schools entering as first-time freshmen pay the exact same tuition rate as the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s annual resident undergraduate tuition, and an achievable path to graduate in four years.
These days, many scholarship opportunities target communities that haven’t historically had access to higher education. These include students from communities with lower household incomes and who also represent the first generation of their families to attend a four-year university.
While many scholarships are need-based, or select winners based on academic achievement, others prioritize community service. The latter is one of the reasons that spurred board members of the Hawaii Central Federal Credit Union to establish its scholarship at Chaminade.
“Chaminade has one of the best nursing programs in Hawaii, and it was a perfect fit for what we wanted to do for the community,” says Shimogawa, with Chun and Yasuda nodding in agreement. “Our scholarship fund is targeted at nursing students, who are entering a field that the community really needs.”
Chaminade’s student-centric focus also appealed to the three Board Members. “This is all for the students,” Babington said. “I was reading the remarks of our student speakers at Commencement this year and it was inspiring to hear, and it’s why I come to work every day.”