The University of Hawaii at Manoa is one of the least popular schools in the country, according to an analysis by, an online resource for prospective college students. 

The website recently put together a map showing the “Most Desirable” universities in each state — in other words the schools that received the most undergraduate applications. 

UH Manoa, unsurprisingly, got the prize for Hawaii’s “most desirable” university. The flagship school doesn’t have much competition, save small private colleges such as Hawaii Pacific University and other campuses in the UH consortium.  

But UH Manoa also scored poorly on an overview of the country’s universities, placing fifth on the list of “Top 5 Fewest Applications.”

UH Manoa received just 6,901 applications in fall 2013, compared to the 72,676 applications received by the University of California — Los Angeles, the country’s “Most Desirable” school. The country’s “Least Desirable” school? The University of Alaska — Anchorage, which received 3,062 applications last semester. 

There are caveats, of course, including Hawaii’s relatively small population and remote location, as well as the many deterrents from living in the country’s most expensive city. And just 54 percent of public school students in Hawaii’s class of 2013 enrolled in college to begin with, according to data from Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education and the state Department of Education. 

UH Manoa enrolled about 2,000 freshmen last fall. 


Photo: UH Manoa (RJ Brown/Civil Beat)

— Alia Wong

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