Taking the SAT May Give You an Edge in Receiving a UH Scholarship


Aya Chang, Staff Reporter

Students vying for scholarships from the University of Hawaiʻi who take the SAT rather than the ACT exam have a “clear, strong, and unfair advantage,” according to The Princeton Review.

Each year, the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa awards up to 16 Regents and 80 Chancellor’s scholarships to incoming in-state freshmen. The Regents scholarship offers students a full, four-year tuition, a $4,000/year stipend, and a $2,000 one-time travel grant. The Chancellorʻs scholarship offsets tuition by $10,000/year.

To compete for the scholarships, students must fill out an application and include a personal statement, letter of recommendation, and meet a minimum 3.5 GPA and cutoff test scores for either the SAT or ACT.

UH sets those cutoff scores as either a 1380 on the SAT or 29 on the ACT for the Regents scholarship, and either a 1200 on the SAT or 27 on the ACT for the Chancellor’s scholarship. These SAT/ACT match-ups were on par with the College Board’s comparison prior to the SAT’s redesign in 2016, however, the College Board has since updated their concordance table.

Most state universities around the U.S. used the new table to adjust cutoffs scores for 2017-18 scholarship recipients, but two states didn’t adjust their scores: Hawaii and Florida.

Because of this, SAT-takers have a 70-point advantage for Regents scholarships and an 80-point advantage for Chancellor’s scholarships over ACT-takers.

The Princeton Review claims to have reached out to the University of Hawaiʻi to alert them of this issue. Until then, students who hope to receive a scholarship from the University of Hawaiʻi and are deciding between taking the SAT or the ACT should take the SAT.