Are you committed to teaching in Hawaiʻi? You may be eligible for stipends* to reimburse tuition costs through the Grow Our Own (GOO) Teachers Initiative!

GOO is made possible through a partnership between the Hawaiʻi Department of Education (HIDOE) and the College of Education at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Recipients of GOO funding are required to:

1. Enroll in one of the following programs to gain teacher licensure through the Hawai‘i Teacher Standards Board (HTSB):

2. Commit to three (3) years of full-time teaching (grades K-12) in their licensed field in Hawaiʻi Public Schools.

*Stipends reimburse tuition costs for required teacher licensure courses while enrolled; previously completed program courses are not eligible; subject to fund availability. Note: BAP = Bachelor and Post Bac Certificate, BAM = Bachelor and Master

Those seeking licensure in special education should refer to the Special Education Stipend opportunity instead.

General Info

GOO applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Resident of Hawaiʻi
  • Admitted to one of the identified School of Teacher Education Programs.
  • Submit GOO Application by Deadline

All eligible candidates are encouraged to apply for GOO funding. If there are more qualified applicants than available funds, we will use the following priorities to award GOO stipends:

  1. Hawaiʻi Public School Employees (i.e., emergency hire, substitute, educational assistant, etc.) in K-12 school settings
  2. HIDOE Federal Teacher Shortage Areas* (listed below)
  3. College of Education Program Priority:
    • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Secondary
    • MEdT-Secondary
    • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Elementary
    • MEdT- Elementary

* HIDOE Federal Teacher Shortage Areas:

Priority given to applicants seeking licensure in:

  • English
  • English as Second Language (ESL)
  • Hawaiian Immersion
  • Hawaiian Knowledge
  • Hawaiian Language
  • Hawaiian Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Special Education*
  • World Languages

*Note: Refer to Special Education Stipend opportunity instead

GOO recipients are eligible for stipends that reimburse the cost of tuition for courses required for teacher licensure. Program courses that were previously taken will not be covered. Students enrolled in an online program will only be assessed for resident tuition regardless of their residence in a different state or country.

Stipends will cover tuition and fees (Based on 2024 tuition rates):

Post-Baccalaureate Secondary Up to 36 credits; $16,956
MEdT K-12 Up to 34 credits; $20,489
MEdT Hawaiian Immersion Up to 46 credits; $26,876
Post-Baccalaureate Elementary Up to 31 credits; $14,601
BEd Elementary Hawaiian Immersion Up to 54 credits; $25,434

Please Note:

  • Neighbor island students will also receive travel stipends to cover roundtrip flights that are purchased by the GOO recipients to attend mandatory face-to-face meetings.
  • Tuition stipends are issued each semester after the “drop a course” deadline (see academic calendar for dates). GOO recipients are subject to follow UH Mānoa’s payment deadlines. Please consider tuition stipends as reimbursements, which may take a month or more to process and deliver by mail.
  • Repeated courses for any reason (i.e., no pass, withdrawal after the official drop date, etc.) will not be funded.
  • The total amount of the stipends received under the GOO Memorandum of Agreement is considered income by the IRS and is, therefore, reportable. If an individual receives in total more than $600 in a calendar year, the university will report the income on a Form 1099-MISC.
  • GOO recipients are required to sign and return a memo that will be emailed from our GOO Administrator to confirm receipt of issued stipend checks.

Subject to availability of funds.

Link to application form:

Deadline to apply: October 1 (To be notified when applications are open, please complete this interest form:

Eligible Applicants: Current Fall 2024 admitted candidates and prospective Spring 2025 applicants (must have submitted application prior to applying for GOO funding). Please contact for more information.

The GOO application has three parts:

  1. Applicant Information
  2. Personal Narrative (limit 500 words)
    1. Why do you want to become a teacher and why is long-term teaching in Hawaiʻi important to you?
  3. Optional Recommendation Form
    • If applicable, applicants may consider sending their Principals or Vice Principals a Recommendation Form to submit on their behalf. Priority will be given to those who have a Recommendation Form submitted by their school administration by October 22.

Application Process

How can I apply for GOO funding? 

If funding is awarded by the State Legislature, a GOO application will be made available during the Fall semester and will be due by October 1. To receive updates on the availability of GOO funding, please click here

I’m interested in applying for GOO funding, but I’m unsure of which academic program is best for me.  

We highly suggest reaching out to our Recruitment Specialist who can help you decide which program is right for you. Complete an interest form or schedule a virtual appointment

Three-Year Teaching Obligation

I have work experience at a HIDOE school in my intended field of licensure. Will those years count towards my three-year contract obligation? 

GOO recipients commit to three years of dedicated, full-time teaching (grades K-12) within Hawaiʻi Public Schools following their licensure recommendation. If you’re currently employed as an emergency hire, substitute teacher, or in any other role within a Hawaiʻi Public School before receiving your teaching license, that time won’t count towards fulfilling your three-year contract commitment.

Where can I work to fulfill my three-year teaching obligation? 

Employment in your licensed field at HIDOE Public Schools or HIDOE Public Charter Schools contributes to fulfilling your three-year service commitment.

Will I be placed at a particular school for my three-year teaching obligation? 

No, you will not be placed at a particular school for your service obligation. GOO recipients follow the same HIDOE employment protocols as other prospective teachers.   

How soon do I need to start my three-year teaching commitment?

GOO recipients are expected to start their three-year teaching commitment in the school year following graduation.

What happens if I’m unable to fulfill my three-year teaching commitment or if I need to withdraw from my academic program? Do I need to pay back my GOO stipend?

In the event that you are unable to complete your academic program or fulfill your three-year teaching commitment, you will be obligated to repay the DOE the full amount of the stipend you received. GOO recipients may qualify for partial repayment based on the duration of their service as licensed teachers.

Tuition Stipends

Do I need to pay for my tuition upfront? 

Yes. Because GOO recipients are subject to follow UH Mānoa’s payment deadlines each semester, please think of GOO tuition stipends as reimbursements. Some GOO recipients opt to enroll in a payment plan to hold their classes until they receive their stipend.

When will I get my check?

Tuition stipends are issued each semester after the “drop a course” deadline (see academic calendar for dates).

Student Testimonials