Should a Hawaii High School Graduate Go to a Local or Mainland College?

Many say a UH business or law degree is a better ticket to success in Hawaii than a prestigious mainland degree

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Hawaii Public School Graduates 2010

Private High School Graduates

The Hawaii Association of Independent Schools doesn’t maintain a unified database of where private school graduates go to college, but individual schools often do.


Where Hawaii’s Top Executives Go to College

The annual Hawaii Business Black Book is the most comprehensive who’s who of business and nonprofit leaders in Hawaii. In the December 2011 Black Book, 293 of the executives listed the high schools and colleges they attended.

Here is the breakdown:

Of the 151 executives who graduated from Hawaii high schools (public and private):


Business Students at 3 Hawaii Universities

(listed by size)

Hawaii Pacific University

3,085 All business students

(part-time and full-time students combine for 2,099 full-time equivalents)


University of Hawaii

944 Full-time and part-time undergraduates

64 Full-time MBA students

88 Part-time MBA students

144 Executive MBA students


Chaminade University

21 Full-time and part-time AA student

198 Full-time and part-time undergraduates

81 Full-time MBA students

59 Part-time MBA students

Sources: Each university

Hawaii Business magazine invites you to comment on our articles and the issues they raise. Comments are moderated for offensive language, commercial messages and off-topic posts and may be deleted. Some comments may be chosen for inclusion in the magazine on the Feedback page.

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May 10, 2012 09:12 am
 Posted by  johnsonwkchoi

You want to get a business degree at major business/financial centers such as New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and etc and NOT at the State like Hawaii where businesses rank DEAD bottom in the United States as the MOST Anti-business State in the United States of America.

A CBA degree at UH in the 70s and 80s was good value and made sense until Hawaii turned anti-business from the late 80s.

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May 13, 2012 01:03 am
 Posted by  Coltb45

While it's no secret that networking while studying in Hawaii goes far, this is a little misleading.

The vast majority of college-bound Hawaii high school graduates continue their education in Hawaii. A small percentage go away. Despite this, a significant percentage of business and NPO leaders are mainland-only educated. Some who go away dont return and thus even factor in. While the number definitely favors the Hawaii-educated, the ratio favors the mainland-educated.

May 16, 2012 05:12 pm
 Posted by  NorthShore

An interesting article, but I kept waiting to see any reference to Brigham Young University-Hawaii which has a very successful accredited undergraduate business program. According to the combined business/accounting/hospitality/IT school has over 800 students, which is far more than Chaminade and nearly as many as listed for UH. Did the author (noted as being affiliated with UH) even contact BYUH for this article? Pretty incomplete journalism, if not.

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May 16, 2012 06:27 pm
 Posted by  Beebler

80% of Hawaii graduates who went to college went to the University of Hawaii. Which means...
20% max of Hawaii graduates went to college on the mainland/abroad.

56.3% of those from Hawaii high schools in the 2011 Hawaii Business Black Book are Hawaii-only educated.
31.8% are mainland/abroad-only educated.

If going to school in Hawaii was more beneficial like the article states, there'd be 80+% Hawaii-only educated in that 2011 Black Book, not less.

May 25, 2012 05:52 pm
 Posted by  bumper

This article reads more like UH propaganda than real journalism. Why do the majority of "success stories" feature people who are older than my parents? Yes, UH worked for them, but their decades-old experiences don't necessarily ring true today. Further, attention should have been paid to the power of private school networking. Having attended college and graduate school on the mainland, my high school alumni network has proven incredibly advantageous. This is a very limited and one-sided story.

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