Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, December 10, 2002

More students applied to Kamehameha

By Timothy Hurley
Advertiser Maui County Bureau

Kamehameha Schools has announced that a campaign aimed at attracting more student applications from Native Hawaiians for Kamehameha Schools' Neighbor Island campuses was overwhelmingly successful.

The recruiting campaign was launched after the institution was stung by controversy over the admittance of a non-Hawaiian eighth-grader at its Maui campus this school year. Some critics accused Kamehameha of not doing enough to publicize class openings at the schools.

CEO Hamilton I. McCubbin said in a statement Friday that the objective of the recruiting campaign was to achieve a ratio of at least two applicants for each space at the Maui and Big Island campuses. The application deadline for the 2003-04 school year was Oct. 15.

"We have met and surpassed that goal at each grade level,'' he said.

More than 963 applications were received to fill 232 vacancies at the Maui campus for the 2003-04 school year. Last year there were 493 applicants for 272 openings.

At the Big Island campus, roughly 815 applications were received to fill 184 openings. Last year there were 641 applicants for 340 spaces.

Kamehameha gives preference to applicants of Hawaiian ancestry to the extent permitted by law. The preference is applied at the time final admissions decisions are made.

Kamehameha officials did not respond to a request for the number of applications submitted by non-Hawaiians.

During the recruiting campaign, Kamehameha Schools ran newspaper and radio ads and held community meetings on both islands in an effort to draw more applicants.

At the Maui campus, the school's 180 eighth- and ninth-graders were each asked to invite four friends to a dance that featured a video extolling the Kamehameha experience. Many of the guests returned home with enrollment applications.

Kamehameha Schools, a multibillion-dollar charitable trust formerly known as Bishop Estate, was founded in 1887 by the will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the great-granddaughter and last direct royal descendant of Kamehameha the Great.

School officials said the non-Hawaiian eighth-grader was enrolled at the Maui campus only after the list of qualified Native Hawaiian students was exhausted.

In addition to the recruitment campaign, Kamehameha Schools adopted interim changes to admissions procedures at its Maui and Big Island campuses. The $25 application fee was waived, and a requirement to meet minimum test scores was suspended. Also, no applicants are to be screened out after the preliminary evaluation.

Annual tuition at Kamehameha Schools is $1,093 for grades kindergarten to 6 and $1,518 for grades 7 through 12 — well below the fees at other private schools.

Reach Timothy Hurley at (808) 244-4880 or thurley@honoluluadvertiser.com.