Frequently Asked Questions


Is there a cutoff in terms of income to qualify for financial aid?

No. Income is just one of several factors taken into consideration when calculating need. If you would like to see how some factors influence the calculation, visit this website:
While Punahou uses its own formulas, the online calculators can be useful to see roughly how the process works to determine your family contribution to tuition.

In a divorce situation, do you need the same information from all parents?

Yes. Each biological parent is required to fill out a separate financial aid application. If either has remarried or has established a permanent relationship with another adult, stepparents’ or partners' incomes and assets should also be included.

What if one parent has disclaimed responsibility for supporting the child’s education?

It will be taken into consideration. However, the school is not bound by existing decrees or arrangements excluding a parent from financial responsibility for their child’s education. So both biological parents must complete the application process. The committee assesses on a parent’s ability to pay and not willingness to pay.

What if my child’s other biological parent cannot be found or contacted?

Please contact the Financial Aid Office at or 808.943.3627.

If I have more than one child, can both be put on one application?

Yes. A single financial aid application should be submitted to cover all of the students, both new applicants to Punahou and current students, within the household.

Can I send in everything but my tax returns by the February 15 deadline and then send in my taxes after they are done?

No. Application forms, copies of completed tax returns, copies of W-2s and any other required documents must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office at the same time and in one envelope, by February 15. Make plans ahead of time to complete and file taxes by that date.

What if I miss the deadline for turning in the application?

If there are any financial aid funds remaining after all on-time applications have been processed, a late application may be considered for a reduced award. Financial aid applications will not be accepted for admission applicants after admission decisions have been sent out nor for current students after financial aid letters have been sent out. However, if there are still funds available, families may apply for 2nd-semester aid.

What happens if my application is incomplete?

It will not be processed.

Is there an appeals process?

To appeal a decision, send a letter to the Financial Aid Committee explaining the reason you believe the Committee should reconsider. New information must be submitted along with documentation.

What are the main reasons that financial aid is denied?

Incomplete financial information or too much income.

If we don’t qualify for aid, what other options do we have? Are there scholarships that do not require demonstrated financial need?

Financial aid at Punahou is based on financial need with one exception. The Dolores Furtado Martin Scholarship is available to current students in grades 10 – 12, with preference to students of Portuguese ancestry. This scholarship is based on academic achievement. Application is available in April. Contact the Advancement Office for more information

How does the Kamehameha Schools’ Kipona Scholarship get processed with my financial aid?

If you are awarded the Kipona Scholarship from Kamehameha Schools and your financial aid exceeds the Kipona Scholarship, your financial aid from Punahou will be reduced by the Kipona Scholarship amount. Call the Financial Aid Office if you need more information.

What if I don’t know what a question on the Parents’ Financial Statement is asking for?

You may call SSS for support at 1.800.344.8328. The Punahou Financial Aid Office will have two evening presentations in January to explain our guiding principles, to cover the more complicated sections of the SSS form, and to answer questions.

Are there websites available that we can refer to when completing our financial aid application?

Yes, here is a list of websites that you may find helpful:
To apply online or download forms:

PFS online application:

To estimate family contribution:

Property tax assessment:

What should I do if there are special circumstances regarding my application?

There is a place in the application to write about your particular situation. Be sure you explain any issues completely, so that there is no contradictory information.



Jennifer Hong
Director for Financial Aid

Financial Aid Office
Sullivan Administration Building
808.943.3627 Tel
Hours: M – F, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.