Access and Opportunity

Access and Opportunity

Punahou believes all students who have the talent and promise to thrive at our School should have an opportunity to attend, regardless of their family’s financial circumstances.

By committing to fund the demonstrated financial needs of all admitted students, we continue to draw highly capable, motivated and talented applicants each year from across the state. The result is an economically, ethically and culturally diverse school.  

Maintaining need-based financial aid remains a top priority, and increasing our designated endowment for financial aid is the best way to secure long-term support for deserving students. Gifts from donors help Punahou establish this vital foundation.

Hear from students who have been the beneficiaries of financial aid during their time at Punahou.

Support beyond tuition

Beyond tuition, Punahou provides financial assistance to students to take part in various programs and activities, including class trips, School performances and Summer School. This financial support allows all students to participate in valuable experiences that enrich their education.

Endowed Financial Aid Funds

Punahou’s 534 endowed financial aid funds made it possible for 750 student families to afford a Punahou education in school year 2018 – 2019. Since 1994, Punahou’s financial aid budget has grown from $1 million to $7.8 million, thanks in large part to the generous donors who support its need-blind admissions policy and philosophical emphasis on a diverse learning community. In the past six years, a total of 130 new Endowed Financial Aid Funds were established through the Ku‘u Punahou Campaign.


It All Started with a Single Gift

Punahou’s first endowed fund was established by Rev. Eli Corwin on January 1, 1859, with a gift of $500 (still the current book value).

Rev. Eli Corwin was born on October 30, 1824, in Wallkill, New York. After graduating from Williams College and Union Seminary, he sailed for San Francisco as a seamen’s chaplain and eventually made his way to Honolulu in 1858. For the next 10 years, he served as pastor to the Fort Street Church, later to become Central Union Church. In 1859, he was named the “nominal president of Oahu College” in the interim between the School’s second president, Rev. Edward Beckwith, and its third, Rev. Cyrus T. Mills. During his tenure at Punahou, he also attended student rhetoricals and taught Bible History.

In 1868, Corwin returned to the mainland and passed away at the age of 74. The fund’s Market Value as of December 31, 2018, was $9,208. The fund has supported approximately 160 students since its introduction.