Student aid hotline to open March 18-22 for federal college financial assistance

March 11, 2024

Local assistance will be available during the public schools spring break for families seeking help with applications for federal financial aid for students entering or attending college.

Hawaiʻi P–20 and GEAR UP Hawaiʻi announced that a hotline will be available March 18-22, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., to answer questions about the 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. The hotline phone number will be 808-842-2540.

Callers to the FAFSA Hawaiʻi Hotline will be able to speak directly with counselors and financial aid specialists to assist with any questions they may have regarding the FAFSA process.

Additionally, virtual FAFSA Submission Summary Review Workshops have been scheduled for the evenings of March 28 and April 4. The workshops will offer families details on what they can expect in the months following their FAFSA submission, including how to review their FSS and Student Aid Report. Registration for these free webinars is available at

“With so many uncertainties surrounding the current FAFSA, we want people to know that we are here to help with the process,” said Gus Cobb-Adams, Hawaiʻi P–20 College Application and Transition specialist. “Completing the FAFSA is necessary whether you plan to attend a two-year or a four-year college, and it must be completed each year.”

It is anticipated that the FSS will be available by Federal Student Aid and sent directly to students this month. Scholarship providers understand there is a delay in processing the FAFSA form and awarding financial aid funding. Families should confirm with scholarship providers regarding any deadlines for applications in addition to verifying any college tuition deadlines.

Hawaiʻi P–20 will continue its Virtual FAFSA Completion Workshops on Wednesday evenings through April to allow families to ask financial aid questions, get individual assistance with creating their FSA ID, or work directly with an expert to submit their FAFSA. During these sessions, attendees are placed with a representative to receive individualized feedback. Families may also email to directly contact University of Hawaiʻi System financial aid officers and FAFSA experts year round.

Additional efforts to reach families statewide include Hawaiʻi P–20’s recent collaboration with the Native Hawaiian Education Association for the Native Hawaiian Scholarship ʻAha Series. Nearly 1,000 local families gathered to attend these in-person events across six Neighbor Islands. The Scholarship ʻAha Series aims to provide students an opportunity to discover scholarships that are available to Native Hawaiians in one place. During each event, multiple $500 scholarships were awarded by event co-sponsors and matched by the UH System, in addition to FAFSA and financial aid representatives available on site to ask questions or complete their FSA ID.

“For many in our Native Hawaiian communities, participating in Scholarship ʻAha opens doors to opportunities that may seem out of reach,” said Loea Akiona, NHEA president. “Scholarship ʻAha brings financial aid information and resources directly to our communities, increasing awareness, confidence, and application success. This is important work as we believe that an educated lāhui is a healthier, stronger lāhui.”

The Native Hawaiian Scholarship ʻAha Series was a joint effort made possible by ALU LIKE Inc., Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, Kamehameha Schools, KūPono Educational Foundation, Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program, Pauahi Foundation and UH Foundation.

For information about upcoming events for high school juniors and seniors, or to register for free upcoming FAFSA workshops or Junior JumpStart Financial Aid Planning webinars starting in April, visit