I-WORK Program

What is I-WORK? 

International Work Opportunity Returnability Kuleana (Responsibility)

The I-WORK program is to assist students from our target area (South Pacific & Far East) in obtaining a quality education at BYU-Hawaii. It is built on the principle of self-reliance and its goal is to provide the necessary financial assistance to worthy members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so they can return home to their countries and regions debt-free and qualified to provide leadership roles in an international church, in civic and social affiliations, and within their families. 


Principles of I-WORK at BYU-Hawaii 

I-WORK is typically reserved for students from our target area – South Pacific & Far East– attending BYU-Hawaii. It teaches self-reliance, responsibility, and accountability. The program is equally supportive for both single and married students; however, we strongly prefer married couples to both be able to attend BYU-Hawaii at the same time. It requires recipients and their families to work and contribute to the cost of their education at BYU-Hawaii and it encourages returnability.


How Can I-WORK help me in college? 

The I-WORK Program is a unique and generous opportunity available only at BYU-Hawaii. The program offers a 50 percent grant and 50 percent forgivable loan.  The loan portion is only repayable if the recipient chooses not to return to their home region or target area (South Pacific & Far East) following graduation from BYU-Hawaii (see application for complete details).

  • No Student Loan Debt. Students attending BYU-Hawaii using I-WORK can finish college and return to their home region with no student loan debt.
  • Benefits. I-WORK will help cover tuition, fees and housing costs for all recipients.  Amount covered is based on need.
  • For International Students. I-WORK is based on need and is typically reserved for students from our target area (South Pacific & Far East). (Additional preference is given to returned missionaries.)


How do I apply for I-WORK? 

Before applying for the I-WORK program, please make sure that you meet the minimum test score to one of the below English Proficiency exams that are accepted by BYU-Hawaii.  Also, please visit the admissions website to view the admissions country criteria for international applicants.







Composite Score Minimum






Sub Score Minimum

Writing & Speaking: 17

No BAND lower than 5.0

Stage 1 63+ (with 2 EIL online classes)

Part 1 Listening- 13+

(typically reserved for those currently serving missions) Can take 3 times in a year

Stage 2 27+ (with no EIL online classes)

Part 2
Reading- 13+

Test intervals can be 1 month apart

As the I-WORK program provides the necessary financial assistance to students, we must verify the income stated in the application.  In order to complete the application for I-WORK, please make sure that you have verifying documentation to support your stated income. For example, pay slips, tax returns, profit and loss statements and when necessary a Bishops letter.  You will need to upload these documents when applying online. 

  1. Before starting the application, please make sure that you have all the supporting documentation to upload in the application.
  2. Click on the link to start the application
  3. Complete application and submit documentation to verify income


Basic I-WORK Requirements 

  • Complete at least 14 credit hours in a semester
  • Maintain good academic standing
  • Expected to graduate in 9 semesters in residence
  • Abide by the Honor Code
  • Be physically able to participate in any job assigned at BYU-Hawaii or the Polynesian Cultural Center
  • Work 19 hours/week during semester and 40 hours/week while school is not in session.


Whenever an IWORK student leaves the island of O’ahu or takes time off from work we consider this travel/vacation.  We understand that students might need to travel for personal reasons (e.g. visit family/friends, wedding, etc.), however, travel must not interfere with their scheduled classes.  In order for us to make sure that our IWORK students are fulfilling their responsibilities both at school and work the following process must take place in order for a student to travel.


All travel must first be approved by an IWORK counselor BEFORE tickets are purchased.  Travel information and reasons for travel should be explained using the IWORK Request for Travel Form.

A flight itinerary must be submitted to confirm the dates of travel after approval has been received.  Students are responsible for their own travel cost. (NO Buddy passes allowed)

In order for students to travel they will need to meet 5 criteria:

  1. Must be enrolled for 2 consecutive semesters before they can request to travel
  2. Must get approval signature from their employment supervisor/manager and HR
  3. Must be current with their BYU-Hawaii financial student account
  4. Must be in good academic standing
  5. Travel must not interfere with scheduled classes
  6. Must meet with a DMBA representative to get clearance from any outstanding medical co-pays and/or have a payment plan in place.


Travel requests should not be longer than two weeks.  Traveling for more than two weeks is highly discouraged for several reasons:

  • Employers of IWORK students (PCC) have travel policies that do not allow for students to take more than two weeks off.
  • IWORK students have committed to assist with the cost of their education through continuous employment. 
  • The University is paying for facilities and resources (e.g.  Housing and a meal plan) that are not being used while the student is traveling. 


All travel request for more than 2 weeks will need to be reviewed and approved by the IWORK committee. Any exceptions to the policy will also need to be reviewed and approved by the IWORK committee.    


The IWORK program will NOT pay for students housing and meal plans for any student traveling for more than two weeks.  Students who are requesting to travel for more than 2 weeks will be required to pay the expected contribution (typically paid by their hours of work) and the costs associated with housing, meals, and facilities that would have otherwise been used.  These costs are pro-rated.  Students are also required to make arrangements with housing in the event that the student will need to check out of their current room and be re-assigned a new room when they return from travel. The financial aid office will not be responsible for arranging housing accommodations anytime a student travels for more than 2 weeks.


The following required costs for students traveling more than 2 weeks MUST be paid before the student travels.




Cost to Travel 

Days/Weeks of Travel 

Hale w/o Kitchen 

Hale w/ Kitchen & TVA 

1 - 14 days (up to 2 weeks)


15 - 21 days (3rd week)

$419 - $586

$209 - $293

22 - 28 days (4th week)

$614 - $781

$307 - $390

29 - 35 days (5th week)

$809 - $977

$404 - $488

Note: amounts above are subject to change as the rates for room and board change.

Motorized Vehicles 

I-WORK students are not allowed to own a vehicle. Insurance, gasoline, liability, and legal requirements of owning a vehicle are costly; therefore, it is recommended that I-WORK students do not drive.  However, we understand that in some cases students will need to have the ability to drive.  In order for students to drive any motorized vehicle, the student must:

  • Verify that he/she is legally able to drive in the U.S. (e.g. driver's license)
  • Verify that the vehicle is legally registered and insured

A Grant & Loan 

The financial assistance the I-WORK program provides is 50% grant and 50% forgivable loan.  The student does not have any responsibility to pay back the 50% grant.  The remaining 50% forgivable loan will only be forgiven if the student fulfills their commitment to return to their home country or target area (South Pacific & Far East). 

Forgivable Loan 

Each year that former I-WORK students are residing in their home country/region, 25% of their I-WORK loan portion will be forgiven. 

Each year, former I-WORK students must submit documentation to the BYU-Hawaii Financial Aid Office verifying that they are indeed residing in their home country. Either of the following documents will be acceptable: 

  1. I-WORK Loan Forgiveness Verification form
  2. Bishop’s Endorsement/Letter
  3. Local tax form indicating residency in country for the past year---

Forgiven loans will never have to be repaid.

If an I-WORK student decides not to return to his/her home country or target area (South Pacific & Far East) he/she will become subject to the repayment terms and conditions of the loan agreement.  The following are the basic loan terms:

  • Interest accrues on loan balances at the rate of 4% per year
  • The loan will be amortized over the period of 8 years
  • There is a 6 month grace period that begins as soon as the student is no longer enrolled at BYU-Hawaii
  • During the grace period no interest accrues and the student is not required to make any monthly payments


 Student Contribution

Student Contribution is the amount that the student, family, or sponsor is required to pay as their contribution to the educational cost each year.

  • This amount is based on the financial strength of the student, family, sponsor, and home country
  • The student contribution amount is for a full year- Fall, Winter, Spring
  • A student contribution can be split into 2 or 3 semesters in order to accommodate more feasible payment options
  • In addition to your student contribution, students are responsible for the purchase of their textbooks.



  • The IWORK program will provide on campus housing 
  • Students are required to live in university housing and abide by the housing rules
  • Housing contracts are determined by the housing department


Return Home 

The I-WORK program allows students from the Pacific Rim to fulfill BYU-Hawaii’s mission and prophetic vision.  I-WORK students integrate spiritual and secular learning to provide a foundation for a lifetime of Learning. The I-WORK program assists young men and young women in developing character and integrity so they can provide Leadership in all aspects of their lives.  It also provides a significant group of faithful and committed church leaders who will assist in Building the kingdom, particularly in the Pacific and Asia Regions.


Change in Status 

I-WORK students will fill out a Change in Circumstance (CIC) form on a yearly basis. If there is any change in the student’s status financially, academically or if the student is planning to get married they must come into the Financial Aid Office to discuss how it can affect their Student Contribution or eligibility in the program. Students that marry a U.S. citizen have 6 months on the I-WORK program to give them the time necessary to apply for U.S. citizenship so that they may receive U.S. Federal Aid.


Change in I-WORK Term/Policy 


I-WORK Forms 



Phone: (808)675-3316
Email: iwork@byuh.edu
I-WORK Counselors: Jocelyn Lopez, Laverne Puhi, JoAnn Lowe