Kamehameha Schools admits children who show potential and who are able, in a timely and satisfactory manner, to meet all academic, physical and religious activities requirements which together comprise the fundamental nature of a Kamehameha education. Kamehameha admits children on the premise that they have the intent and ability to graduate from Kamehameha.
Kamehameha’s policy on admissions is to give preference to applicants of Hawaiian ancestry to the extent permitted by law.
The ideal candidate for Kamehameha Schools Kindergarten has:
- Performed among the highest scorers (relative to his/her region and gender grouping) on the admissions test and;
- Demonstrated an average to above-average understanding of foundational mathematics concepts and reading skills.
The highest scoring children in each region are asked to participate in a classroom observation which is designed to assess a child’s non-cognitive skills. Candidates who are successful in the classroom observation have demonstrated strong non-cognitive skills and traits. The ideal candidate for Kamehameha Schools, with or without accommodation:
- Is attentive and focused
- Demonstrates self-control
- Gets along well with other children and with adults
- Demonstrates kindness and consideration
- Respects others and their property
- Is empathetic
- Is persistent and willing to try new things
- Takes responsibility for self and property
- Participates willingly in class activities
- Communicates clearly and effectively
The ideal candidate for Kamehameha Schools, with or without accommodation (Grades 4-11):
- Performs academically at or above his/her current grade level as evidenced by report cards indicating that the child meets or exceeds grade level standard expectations (e.g., a GPA of 2.5 or higher);
- Has average to above-average test scores demonstrating that the student is able to read and perform mathematical computations at or above their present grade level;
- Is able to complete in-class and out-of-class assignments and;
- Meets attendance requirements, with or without accommodation.
Along with a record of strong academic performance, the non-cognitive skills possessed by the candidate are also critical to his/her success. Kamehameha Schools seeks candidates who demonstrate positive non-cognitive skills and traits, including excellent behavior and conduct at their current school as evidenced by teacher and administrative references, teacher comments on report cards, and their performance in interviews and/or observations (as appropriate). The ideal candidate for Kamehameha Schools:
- Is goal-oriented and persistent
- Enjoys hard work and new challenges
- Is confident in their ability to reach goals
- Is able to identify, articulate and solve problems
- Works collaboratively with others on teams
- Maintains strong, positive inter-personal relationships
- Is empathetic and kind
- Takes responsibility for his/her own decisions and actions
- Consistently demonstrates personal integrity and good moral character
Kamehameha’s policy on admissions is to give preference to applicants of Hawaiian ancestry to the extent permitted by law.
|Campus & Grade||Average Number of Applicants||Available Spaces||Applicant to Space Ratio|
|Kapālama Grade 4||1,000||64||16:1|
|Kapālama Grade 7||1,200||176||7:1|
|Kapālama Grade 9||900||130||7:1|
|Hawaiʻi Grade 6||250||60||4:1|
|Hawaiʻi Grade 9||150||36||4:1|
|Maui Grade 6||250||62||4:1|
|Maui Grade 9||100||12||8:1|
*Limited vacancies are available for grades 10 & 11 at KS Kapālama only.
Applications are available online beginning on August 15. The application deadline for the 2020-2021 school year is September 30, 2019. Applications are submitted online. If you require assistance to submit an online application, please contact one of our three campus Admissions Offices, the Applicant Services Center at Kawaiaha‘o Plaza in downtown Honolulu, or at one of Kamehameha Schools’ Regional Resource Centers. To see a list of support sites locations and contact information click here.
|Grade Applying To||Age or Grade Level Requirement|
|Kindergarten||Born between August 1, 2014 and July 31, 2015*|
|Fourth||Currently in Grade 3|
|Sixth||Currently in Grade 5|
|Seventh||Currently in Grade 6|
|Ninth||Currently in Grade 8|
|Tenth (Kapālama only)||Currently in Grade 9|
|Eleventh (Kapālama only)||Currently in Grade 10|
*Kindergarten applicants will need to submit their original birth certificate to the Ho‘oulu Hawaiian Data Center (HHDC) to validate their age. Until the applicant’s birth certificate is submitted, their application for admission to Kamehameha Schools is considered incomplete.
Children who apply for admission to a Kamehameha Schools K-12 campus may also apply to the Kīpona Scholarship program.
The Kīpona Scholarship program provides need-based financial assistance to children attending participating private schools in Hawai‘i (other than Kamehameha Schools).
Kīpona applicants to grades 6 and 9 are required to meet minimum academic requirements through the KS Admissions Office. Therefore all Kīpona applicants are tested and applicants to grades 6 and 9 must submit their report cards. Kindergarten applicants to Kīpona are not tested.
The single application point for both Kamehameha’s K-12 campus program and the Kīpona Scholarship program is designed to simplify the process for parents and provide multiple opportunities for Native Hawaiian keiki to attend private schools.
Please note that grade level and regional eligibility for the Kīpona Scholarship program is re-evaluated annually and subject to change.
Residency requirements apply to the applicant and his/her parents/legal guardians, all of whom must be legal residents of the island/region and physically residing on the island served by the campus to which they are applying as of September 30, 2019.
If the applicant’s parents/legal guardians are not married and/or are living in separate homes, the physical residence of the applicant’s primary custodial parent/guardian and the island or state in which the applicant actually lives and attends school will determine his/her residence and eligibility.
|Island/Region||Grade Applying To||Eligible for This Campus|
|All O‘ahu||All Grades||Kapālama|
|East Hawai‘i||All Grades||Hawai‘i|
(Between Pa‘auilo and Ocean View)
|Kindergarten and Grade 6||Hawai‘i|
|Grade 9||Hawai‘i OR Kapālama|
|Grades 10 & 11||Kapālama|
|All Maui||All Grades||Maui|
|Hāna, Maui||Kindergarten and Grade 6||Maui|
|Grade 9||Maui OR Kapālama|
|Grades 10 & 11||Kapālama|
|Kaua‘i/Ni‘ihau||Grade 7 and Grades 9-11||Kapālama|
|Moloka‘i||Grade 7 and Grades 9-11||Kapālama|
|Lāna‘i||Grade 7 and Grades 9-11||Kapālama|
|Out-of-State||Grade 6||Hawai‘i OR Maui|
|Grade 9||Kapālama, Hawai‘i OR Maui|
Regional allocation numbers are obtained from the Department of Education which provides a report of the ethnic breakdown of students in every DOE school, statewide, in grades K-12.
Kamehameha uses these numbers to determine regional allocations. These statistics are reviewed annually, and updated as needed, to ensure that even those living in rural and/or neighbor island communities have access to our application and admission process.
Please note that as of August 2017, Kamehameha Schools has adopted updated regions. The new regions are different from the previous regions that most of our families are accustomed to.
This map shows O‘ahu island and Hawai‘i island regional boundaries. All other islands are considered a single region:
KAPĀLAMA: Students only compete for admission with children who live in the same geographic region. The five Oʻahu regions are:
Waialua (North Shore)
Wai‘anae (Wai‘anae Coast)
Neighbor island regions (for admission to the Kapālama Campus) are:
West Hawai‘i (from Pa‘auilo to Ocean View)
Kamehameha Schools’ Kapālama Campus on O‘ahu has a boarding community of 450 students in grades 7-12. The Boarding Program is a residential learning community and provides a home away from home for Neighbor Island students.
The Boarding Program provides students with a safe, nurturing environment that complements KS’ regular academic program. The program is designed to encourage student efforts to be respectful, responsible and resourceful members of our lāhui. The program is full and varied, and provides haumāna the opportunity to learn and practice independent life skills in a safe environment with the guidance and support of caring adults and peers.
Boarding spaces are reserved for Neighbor Island students from islands/communities not presently served by Kamehameha’s Neighbor Island campuses. Currently, there is no boarding program at either the Hawai‘i or Maui campuses.
E hele mai to our Kapālama Campus boarding website link.
Kamehameha’s K-12 program gives priority to students who reside in the State of Hawaiʻi, however, out-of-state students may apply and be considered for admission to the following grades: 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11.
Kamehameha will not accept applications to preschool or elementary school (at any campus) from out-of-state students. No exceptions will be made.
Boarding: Boarding at the Kapālama Campus may be requested, but is not guaranteed. Boarding is not available at the Hawaiʻi or Maui campuses.
Testing for All Middle and High School Applicants: Testing is in November. If an applicant is unable to attend one of Kamehameha’s scheduled tests, they should indicate so on their application. To meet our evaluation deadlines, testing for grades 6-11 must be completed by November 30, 2019.
Interviews for Grades 6-9 Applicants: Only applicants to grades 6, 7 and 9 are interviewed. Interviews must be conducted in-person by one of our staff, preferably at the campus to which the student is applying. Telephone or Skype interviews are not acceptable. Kamehameha is not responsible for the travel expenses of applicants.
If an applicant is unable to attend one of Kamehameha’s scheduled interview sessions in November/December, interviews may also be scheduled during the Christmas break at one of our campus offices with at least one-month notice. All interviews for SY 2019-2020 must be completed by the end of December 2019.
Admissions priority is given to applicants residing in Hawaiʻi with their parents or legal guardians, all of whom are current and permanent residents of the State of Hawaiʻi in accordance with KS policy.
Kamehameha observes Geographic Regional Allocations to ensure equitable geographic distribution of spaces. Therefore, upon acceptance, parents must verify the physical home address listed on their child’s application.
In addition, if the applicant’s biological parents are not currently married, you will be required to submit all necessary court documents (divorce decrees, custody agreements, legal guardianship, etc.) to determine parental authority.
Parental authority establishes who has the legal authority to make decisions and to sign school documents on behalf of this child prior to your child’s enrollment at Kamehameha Schools.
NOTE: By policy, all applicants to Kamehameha Schools must be U.S. citizens. Even if an applicant is of native Hawaiian ancestry, if they are not also a U.S. citizen Kamehameha Schools cannot accept or process their application.
In accordance with the ADA, children with a diagnosed, life-long disability that requires the utilization of accommodations during the testing and/or observation or interview phases of the application process may receive the required accommodation in these phases of Kamehameha Schools’ application process.
Validation of the required accommodation is needed. Parents requesting a testing and/or observation or interview accommodation for their child should include in-depth documentation of their child’s diagnosed disability that includes, but is not limited to:
- A diagnostic statement from the diagnosing professional that;
- Indicates the level of severity and;
- Provides a listing of functional limitations and;
- Provides a prognosis for the future (Will the disability stay at the same level of severity? Will it improve? Will it worsen?)
Before applying your child for admission to Kamehameha Schools (KS), please be sure that any outstanding debts you have with KS are cleared. An outstanding debt may have been incurred if you have another child who is currently, or was previously, enrolled at KS.
An outstanding debt may delay application processing for your child. Applicants whose families have outstanding debts may not be offered admission to KS until the debt has been cleared.
If you have an outstanding debt, please call our Student Billing Office at 842-8309 or toll-free at 1-800-842-4682 x28309.
Admission to Kamehameha is selective and, due to the large number of applicants, very competitive.
Applicants who meet the September 30, 2019 deadline will be scheduled for standardized testing.
Kamehameha will schedule kindergarten applicants for testing beginning in October through early December. All testing for Kamehameha Kindergarten must be completed by the end of December.
Once testing is completed, scores are evaluated and applicants are divided by campus, region and gender, and then ranked by their test scores. Based on the strength of their test scores relative to their region and gender grouping, a small number of students from each region/gender group are asked to participate in the second phase of testing: A classroom observation.
Classroom observations are conducted during the first two Saturdays in March and are used to evaluate an applicant’s non-cognitive skills, social skills and general school readiness.
Parents of students invited to participate in the classroom observation will also be asked to complete a Questionnaire and submit a Teacher Reference Report (completed by their child’s current preschool teacher).
Kamehameha will schedule grade 4 applicants for testing in January. Testing is conducted in groups of 20-25 children in self-contained classrooms. Testing takes about 2-1/2 hours and includes an essay-writing component.
Applicants are also required to submit their final report card from grade 2, and their first semester report card for grade 3 (once they are received, typically in January). Parents/Legal Guardians of students who are home schooled should call our office if they have any questions regarding report card submittal requirements.
Applicants also submit two Teacher Reference Reports. Acceptable TRRs will be completed by the applicant’s previous year and/or current year self-contained classroom teacher(s), Math teacher(s) and/or Language Arts/English teacher(s).
Kamehameha will schedule applicants to grades 6, 7 and 9 for testing in November. Testing is conducted in groups of 20-25 children in self-contained classrooms. Testing takes about 3-1/2 hours and includes an essay-writing component.
In addition to testing, applicants are scheduled for a personal interview with a Kamehameha teacher or administrator in late November or early December.
Applicants are required to submit their final report card from the previous school year, and their first quarter report card for the current school year (once they are received, typically in October). Parents/Legal Guardians of students who are home schooled should call our office if they have any questions regarding report card submittal requirements.
Applicants also submit two Teacher Reference Reports. Acceptable TRRs will be completed by the applicant’s previous year and/or current year self-contained classroom teacher(s), Math teacher(s) and/or Language Arts/English teacher(s). Applicants also submit Administrative Reference Report from their current Principal, Vice Principal or School Counselor.
Applications to grades 10 and 11 are only accepted for the Kapālama campus. Kamehameha will schedule applicants to grades 10 and 11 for testing in late November. Testing is conducted in groups of 20-25 children in self-contained classrooms. Testing takes about 3-1/2 hours and includes an essay-writing component.
Applicants are required to submit their final report card from the previous school year, and their first semester report card for the current school year (once they are received, typically in January). Parents/Legal Guardians of students who are home schooled should call Admissions if they have any questions regarding report card submittal requirements.
Applicants also submit two Teacher Reference Reports Acceptable TRRs will be completed by the applicant’s previous year and/or current year Math teacher(s) and/or Language Arts/English teacher(s). Applicants also submit Administrative Reference Report from their current Principal, Vice Principal or School Counselor.
Once all tests, interviews and observations have been administered and completed, and all grade-level required documents (report cards, references, etc.) have been received, applicants are reviewed by a four-member rating committee comprised of current Kamehameha Schools’ faculty and staff who work with students in the grade level to which the children are applying.
Committee members rate the applications individually, and then the Admissions Office compiles their scores to arrive at an overall “composite score” for each student.
The applicants are divided by campus, region and gender, and ranked by their composite score. Committee members then meet to discuss the applicants and make their final selection recommendations. The Admissions Office records committee decisions and notifies parents.
Notification Dates (All Campuses and Grade Levels)
|Grade Applying To||Notification by:|