Obuchi Student Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. What should I send to the East-West Center to apply for the Obuchi Student Scholarship? 
  2. When does the East-West Center need to receive my application?
  3. Is it possible to apply online?
  4. Must I send everything by November 1?
  5. Do I have to apply separately to the University of Hawai‘i?
  6. May I apply to the University of Hawai‘i using their online application system?
  7. How will I know whether my application is complete?
  8. What is the latest date that you will accept documents that I could not include with my application?
  9. Is my application disqualified if my recommenders do not submit their letters by the deadline?
  10. I studied at a university where English was the medium of instruction. Am I still required to take TOEFL or IELTS?
  11. What is the absolute latest date that I can take TOEFL, IELTS, GRE or GMAT?
  12. What kind of page format should I use in my essay responses?
  13. When will I know of the results of my application?
  14. I am currently enrolled at the University of Hawai‘i. Do I need to provide you with official documents—transcripts and test scores—or will you accept photocopies?

  1. What should I send to the East-West Center to apply for the Obuchi Student Scholarship?
    The application checklist provides a quick overview. Your application to the Obuchi Student Scholarship requires 1) the application form; 2) a cover letter, resume, and essay responses regarding your contribution to the future of the Okinawan community, biographical essay, your involvement in civic engagement and community service activities, and your preparedness for an inter-cultural learning environment; 3) the University of Hawai‘i Admissions application and statement of objectives (for the academic program you are applying to); 4) official transcripts from each college or university you attended; 5) three letters of recommendation; 6) any official test score reports that are required by the University of Hawai‘i. (Back to Top)
  2. When does the East-West Center need to receive my application?
    You have until November 1 (or following Monday if deadline falls on a weekend) to mail your application to the East-West Center. Your application does not have to reach the Center by the deadline, you only need to show evidence that you have mailed your application by that date. If you are mailing your application close to the November deadline, you should obtain a receipt from the post office. In the event we are unable to read the postmark, we will need you to send your receipt to us. If you plan to courier your application, be sure to obtain evidence that the service accepted your application by the deadline. (Back to Top)
  3. Is it possible to apply online?
    The East-West Center does not have a process by which you can fill out an application and securely submit it electronically. We have fillable application forms which you can type into but you will need to print your completed forms and mail them to the East-West Center. Your application contains personal information and should not be submitted via the internet. Email is not secure. (Back to Top)
  4. Must I send everything by November 1?
    No, only the EWC application and University of Hawai‘i application and supporting essays for both applications must be postmarked by November 1 (or following Monday if deadline falls on a weekend.)  Supporting documents such as test scores, transcripts and letters of recommendation do not have to be postmarked by the application deadline. The application checklist provides a quick overview. (Back to Top)
  5. Do I have to apply separately to the University of Hawai‘i?
    You should submit your University of Hawai‘i application to the East-West Center at the time you apply for the Obuchi Student Scholarship. If you learned about EWC after you applied to UH, please include a note to tell us that you already applied and provide your application number if possible so that we can contact the Admissions Office to let them know that you are applying to EWC for financial support. (Back to Top)
  6. May I apply to the University of Hawai‘i using their online application system?
    Yes, you may submit your University of Hawai‘i application via their online system if you are seeking admission to the University regardless of whether you receive an Obuchi Student Scholarship. You must pay the application fee in order for the system to accept your application. Please include a copy of the confirmation page you receive when your application is accepted in lieu of the paper application so that we are aware that you have applied directly to the University. A paper application should be completed and included together with your scholarship application if you are not able to attend the University of Hawai‘i unless you receive support from the East-West Center. (Back to Top)   
  7. How will I know whether my application is complete?
    We will email you upon receipt of your application and periodically send you a summary report of what we received and what may still be missing. Please realize that as it gets closer to the deadline or in the 2-3 weeks following the deadline that the office is extremely busy and we may be delayed in notifying you on the status of your application. (Back to Top)
  8. What is the latest date that you will accept documents that I could not include with my application?
    We do not have a definitive deadline however we encourage applicants to send their remaining documents to reach the Center by mid-November so that their application is complete by the time the EWC preliminary review process begins. (Back to Top)
  9. Is my application disqualified if my recommenders do not submit their letters by the deadline?
    No, your application would not be disqualified if your recommenders do not provide us with their recommendations in a timely manner. However, it is your responsibility to check with your recommenders to urge them to submit the letters so that your application can be completed. (Back to Top)
  10. I studied at a university where English was the medium of instruction. Am I still required to take TOEFL or IELTS?
    The University of Hawai‘i requires proof of English proficiency in determining your readiness for graduate level work. The University of Hawai‘i will grant an exception only if the following criteria are met: a) your academic program was in a country where English is the first language; b) you received a degree from that institution within the past five years. Please refrain from requesting EWC to grant a TOEFL or IELTS exemption as the Center is not in a position to overrule a University of Hawai‘i requirement. The Center will abide by the UH Admissions Office’s decision if an exemption is allowed. (Back to Top)
  11. What is the absolute latest date that I can take TOEFL, IELTS, GRE or GMAT?
    We would like to receive your TOEFL or IELTS score by the time the East-West Center begins the preliminary review process in mid-November. If you are unable to provide your test scores during the Center’s review process but make it through the preliminary screening, we will need to receive your official score report from the testing service by mid-January in order forward your application to the University of Hawai‘i. The UH Admissions Office will not accept an application that is lacking an official TOEFL or IELTS score report if proof of English proficiency is required.

    GRE and GMAT scores are requirements by some University of Hawai‘i academic programs but are not a requirement for the Obuchi Student Scholarship. Nevertheless, because the Center is responsible for submitting your application to the University, we need you to submit your official score report to the East-West Center in order to complete your UH application. Official GRE and GMAT score reports should reach EWC by mid January so as not to delay the UH admission process. (Back to Top)
  12. What kind of page format should I use in my essay responses?
    We do not require a particular font type or line spacing but keep in mind that your essays will be read by many people, some of whom may have difficulty reading certain styles of print or font sizes. An example of a clear, readable type/font is Times Roman type and font size 12. Handwritten essays are acceptable as long as they are legible. (Back to Top)
  13. When will I know of the results of my application?
    The selection process is conducted in two phases. The first phase is meant to determine whether you meet the criteria for the scholarship and results of the preliminary assessment will be made by early January. Applicants who make it through to the final selection will be contacted in late March concerning the Center’s decision on your application. The Center will email all applicants of the result. The Center will not disclose results over the telephone. (Back to Top)
  14. I am currently enrolled at the University of Hawai‘i. Do I need to provide you with official documents—transcripts and test scores—or will you accept photocopies?
    Since you are already admitted to the University of Hawai‘i, it is not necessary for you to provide official transcripts or official test score reports. Photocopies of these documents, preferably from your academic program or the UH Records Office, are acceptable. (Back to Top)