Generous Donors are Changing Lives

The Wai‘aka Initiative for Financial Aid


Financial aid has always been a strong tradition at HPA. For generations, alumni, parents, and friends have generously helped to keep HPA a welcoming place for talented students from many different backgrounds. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, this tradition has grown even more essential. The past year has been difficult for HPA families, with many struggling to make ends meet. HPA is stretching its current resources as far as possible; however, a stronger financial aid budget is imperative if HPA is going to make a long-term difference for students and their families.

Unlike many of its peer schools, HPA has a very modest endowment and a limited number of donor-established funds that are dedicated to financial aid. While special initiatives like Alu Mai, along with the HPA Fund, provide immediate and growing support, HPA can only meet a limited percentage of the actual financial need each student has.

HPA proudly embraces its commitment to financial aid. At the same time, the current funding situation cannot be sustained indefinitely. Families that can afford the full cost of HPA—or any private school—are coming from a smaller and smaller segment of the population. The Wai‘aka Initiative for Financial Aid is the first critical step toward protecting HPA’s student body: a unique and life-changing mixture of students from Hawai‘i, the continental U.S. and many other nations. Above all, each financial aid gift touches the life of a specific HPA student—as revealed by their voices here on the page.

The Wai‘aka Initiative: Fast Facts

You can earmark your HPA Fund gift for financial aid.

The HPA endowment is currently valued at roughly $45 million and generates about $2.6 million per year for all HPA operations. Of this amount, roughly $500,000 can be used for financial aid.

Every year, nearly 50% of HPA students require financial aid, and the need is growing. HPA urgently needs generous donors who can establish endowed funds for deserving students to come to HPA. Within the HPA endowment, a donor can establish a permanent fund that will generate financial aid every year.

Endowment fund levels start at $25,000 and rise to $250,000 or more, depending on the impact donors want to make for HPA students.

  • $25,000 generates approximately $1,000 for a student each year.
  • $250,000 generates approximately $11,000.
  • $2.5 million generates approximately $112,500.

To expand financial aid at HPA, we need every member of our HPA ‘ohana at every gift level. Support the HPA Fund, and consider directing your gift to financial aid. If you are able, consider a Leadership Circle gift and/or a permanent endowed fund. To learn more, please contact Hannah Hind Candelario ’01, director of advancement, at