by Lalaine Ignao, ABS-CBN News
HONOLULU, HI — A recent report stated that the University of Hawaii at Manoa has a record-setting number in the four-year graduation rate for the Filipino ethnic group–more than doubling the number of undergraduate diplomas issued over the last eight years, from around 14 percent in 2010 to nearly 38 percent in 2018.
Some university workers believe that the numbers do not include those who of mixed race, especially those with Native Hawaiian blood, as they receive more scholarship opportunities if they claim this part of their identity.
“Unfortunately, there is much more money available for Hawaiians than for Filipinos for education and so in that sense, Filipinos who are mixed are going to be declaring themselves as Hawaiian to qualify for these extra funds,” said Clement Bautista, Director, Office Of Multicultural Student Services.
While the university is happy to see the amount of Filipino students graduating increase, some feel that many are forced to graduate sooner due to tuition rising. This causes students to race to the finish line without fully enjoying their undergraduate college experience.
Along with the graduation rate successes, the university welcomed its largest freshman class of 2,209 students in fall 2018.
The university hopes to continue increasing the diversity within its student body, using over thirty programs to attract more students ever since the office of undergraduate education was established in 2006.