What is Punahou looking for in a student?

Punahou welcomes avid learners who embrace school, life and the world as one big classroom. Our Admission team carefully considers the whole child, balancing prior school performance and test scores with an individual’s personal interests, abilities and learning style.

For grades 6 – 12, we are interested in the applicant’s involvement in activities beyond academics. We are seeking qualities of citizenship and moral character, along with the ability to connect positively with peers. Punahou is committed to attracting a diverse community of students from different economic and ethnic backgrounds.

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • Is there a particular profile Punahou hopes to enroll?

    No, and you can see that in Punahou's student population. Punahou is looking at kids who have different interests, different talents, different skills. That's what makes it a more vibrant community. Punahou admits students who might not have the highest test scores, but because of their work ethic, have been very successful and have become leaders at the school.
  • Who determines “need” for financial aid?

    Punahou uses School and Student Services (SSS) to help determine eligibility. The Financial Aid Committee may make adjustments based on the documents and information you have submitted to us.
  • Is there a connection between giving and admission?

    None whatsoever. Admission and Advancement are two separate departments. There is no correlation between gifts to Punahou and the admission process. Admission to Punahou is based on the match between the child and the school. It is a process managed separately from a family's giving to Punahou.
  • Is summer school a requirement prior to being admitted to Punahou?

    No. Many families use the summer school program as an introduction to Punahou, but enrollment in summer school is not a requirement for admission.
  • Does applying for financial aid have any bearing on the admission decision?

    No. Admission decisions are completely independent of financial aid.
  • Are there feeder schools for Punahou?

    No. Punahou admits applicants from all schools. In kindergarten, which is the largest entry point, 150 admitted students typically come from more than 50 schools.