Bank of Hawaii College Assistance Program Pays Full Tuition for Employees to Graduate from Chaminade University

The program has now paid for 20 bank employees to graduate from college.


May 7th, 2023

Among the sea of graduates at Chaminade University’s commencement ceremony on Saturday was a mother of five who didn’t think she’d ever be able to afford a degree of her own. Linda Yoshimoto was working full time at Bank of Hawaii to put her daughter and two sons through college when she learned about the bank’s popular employee benefit, the College Assistance Program, or CAP. With this program, the bank fully covers tuition—including fees for textbooks and materials.

It was a lifelong goal for Yoshimoto to graduate from college, so she jumped at the chance and enrolled at Chaminade University. With three of her own children in college, including one at Chaminade, and two younger sons at home, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in history while continuing her job as a Bank of Hawaii branch manager in Kapolei.

“As children get older, they tend to wean off their parents, but this brought us together in such a special and meaningful way,” said Yoshimoto. “It could get pretty hectic sometimes, especially when we were all doing finals at the same time. But we relied on each other a lot.”

Yoshimoto graduated with honors and is now the latest of 20 Bank of Hawaii employees to obtain the degree of their choice through CAP.

Understanding that the cost of obtaining a higher education can be a deterrent, CAP allows employees without a college degree to achieve their educational goals by paying 100% of their tuition upfront. Fees for textbooks and materials are covered, and participants are given an extra paid day off from work during final exams so they can focus on studying. With the goal of helping individuals reach their personal educational dreams, employees are not required to remain with the company upon graduation.

Since its inception in 2016, 20 employees have earned degrees from Chaminade University or an associate degree from the University of Hawaii Community Colleges with more than $1.7 million in educational costs covered.

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