Student Resources

Naviance College Counseling Tool

In 2001, HPA became the first high school in the state of Hawai'i to begin using Naviance-Family Connection for academic advising and college planning. HPA now has over 10 years of statistical data to help students, families and counselors in the college search and matching process. While our college counselors pride themselves on providing individualized attention for each student, the online resources of Naviance-Family Connection helps to maximize access to information and ease of communication.

Learn about the many valuable tools that come with Naviance's Family Connection

  • Online HPA Class Registration
  • Free ACT and SAT prep through the Method Test Prep program
  • Learning Style and Personality Test Inventories
  • College Major and Career Matching Services
  • College Search Engines and Scattergrams
  • College Planners and Calendars
  • Online Submission of College Application Materials
  • College Scholarship Database

If you have questions about Naviance-Family Connection, please contact Hui-Chun O'Leary at

Frequently Asked Questions

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Topic: Whom do I contact in College Counseling?

Please contact Hui-Chun O'Leary for all general questions about our college counseling programs, standardized testing, SAT prep, college visits, the webpage, and Naviance-Family Connection. Hui-Chun also is our specialist for underclassmen questions. Her number is 808-881-4295 and her email is

For specific questions about upperclassmen in the first half of the alphabet, please call Andrew Kelsey at 808-881-4055 or

For specific questions upperclassmen in the second half of the alphabet, please call Hui-Chun O'Leary at 808-881-4295 or

Topic: Standardized Testing

1. Please tell me more about the PSAT.

All HPA juniors and any interested sophomores take the PSAT in October. HPA automatically registers the juniors for the tests and covers the costs. Sophomores need to sign up for the test, but there are no additional costs. The scores on these practice SAT-format tests are not seen by colleges, but the tests give the students experience with a true standardized testing situation. Students and families can convert the PSAT scores to predict SAT performance to check if they are on track for their college goals. Sophomore scores are compared to national sophomore scores; junior scores are compared to national junior scores. As students retest each year, they can chart their progress as they move through high school. Very high scores on the junior year test might qualify students to be invited to take part in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

2. When should HPA students take the SAT and ACT tests for college admissions?

The typical testing program for an HPA student includes a total of three SAT exams, one or two ACT exams, and one or two SAT II exams taken over their junior and senior years. While the tests are offered almost every month, most juniors will take their first SAT in January and their first ACT in February. HPA registers the juniors for these two tests and covers the cost. With the experience and scores from these two tests, students can choose which test they prefer to focus on for retaking for college admissions (most colleges will accept either the SAT or the ACT). Juniors end the year with another SAT and/or the SAT II. In the senior fall, seniors are able to take the SAT I or SAT II again in October, November or December. The ACT is offered in October and December for seniors. HPA also covers the testing fees for all of these tests.

3. What is the difference between the SAT and the ACT? Do all colleges take either test?

The SAT is divided into three sections: critical reading, math, and writing. The ACT has the following sections: English, math, social science, natural science, and writing. Each section of the SAT is scored on a scale that goes up to 800 with national norms set at 500 (the highest possible score is 2400). The ACT is scored on a scale of 1-36. Many HPA students who are not satisfied with their SAT scores often score higher on the ACT. There is a concordance table available for students to check which score is better for them to use for college admissions.

4. Do I have to take the SAT II? When do I take it?

Sophomores might want to take the SAT subject test in chemistry or world history. Typically, students will take two SAT II subject tests at the end of their junior year. It is a good idea to take these tests since many students add colleges that require the SAT II. The University of California system and many selective colleges back East require the SAT II.

5. Where can I find a calendar for all of the testing registration and testing dates?

We keep an updated testing calendar on the College Counseling webpage. Go to our College Calendar menu listing.

6. Other useful information: Our SAT school code is 120150 and the testing center is 12170. For the ACT, our school code is 120150, and the testing center is 163970. HPA covers the cost of all of these tests as long as students register through the College Counseling Center. We recommend three SAT test and at least one ACT test for every HPA student.

Topic: How can I learn more about the college counseling program at HPA?

The best way to start is to study our webpage, attend our informational programs for families, and begin working with Naviance-Family Connection.

Topic: What is Naviance-Family Connection?

Naviance-Family Connection is a fantastic resource for all HPA students and families. It includes a searchable database of 5,000 colleges, personality and skills inventories that matches students with appropriate majors and careers, free ACT and SAT prep, and statistical analysis of HPA's college admissions results. HPA uses Naviance-Family Connection to electronically submit all school materials (transcripts, teacher recommendations, and school reports) for college applications. Students are given a personal password and a parent password to access Naviance-Family Connection from our College Counseling Web site. If you have any questions, or would like to receive your password, please contact Hui-Chun O'Leary at

Topic: What is the value of college campus visits?

Our experience over the years has taught us that visiting college campuses on the mainland is a vital experience for all students, and in particular Hawaiian and international students. Colleges become a real place rather than remaining something in the abstract. For many students, visiting colleges provides motivation for improved performance in high school academics. Going whenever possible is recommended. You can include a college campus visit when you are on vacation. Students definitely get more out of the experience if it is something that they initiate or that they participate in planning. We would recommend seeing schools during the summer after sophomore or junior year. Many students will take a second college trip in their junior and senior years.

Topic: Which colleges visit HPA each year? When can students attend these visits?

For an updated list of our college visitors, please check our Web site under "calendars" or contact Hui-Chun O'Leary at College Counseling hosts more than 50 colleges on our campus each year. Typically, the college reps are directors or deans of admission who have worked with our college counselors for a number of years. In the last two years, some of the colleges that have visited include: Cornell, Columbia, Harvard, Dartmouth, MIT, Stanford, Amherst, Vanderbilt, Middlebury, USC, Pomona, Bowdoin, Carleton, Boston College, Boston University, Carnegie Mellon, Williams College, George Washington University, and Washington University in Saint Louis. We require freshmen and sophomores to attend two of these meetings in our College Counseling Center. Juniors are required to attend four meetings. Seniors are welcome to come to as many as they like.

Topic: Seniors Applying to College

While our Planning Guide addresses this topic in more detail, here is a brief overview of some key FAQs.

1. What is the Common Application?

The Common Application allows seniors to apply to a number of colleges with a single application. There are about 300 colleges that participate in this program. Students will often need to submit a supplementary essay or form, but the Common Application saves an incredible amount of time. Paper Common Application forms are available in College Counseling. Students can also complete and submit the Common Application online. The link is on the College Counseling webpage under "Internet Resources."

2. How do I send my high school transcript?

Students fill out a form in the College Counseling Center, and we send the transcripts directly to the colleges.

3. Does HPA rank?

On many applications, there is a question asking students to report their class rank. HPA, like most prep schools with small class sizes and a rigorous program of study, does not rank its students. The no-ranking policy is in the best interest of our students, and colleges respect the policy.

4. How do I send my test scores?

HPA students are required to send SAT, AP, and ACT scores directly to their colleges by contacting the College Board or the ACT. The College Board Web site walks students through the process of sending SAT and AP scores. The ACT homepage does the same thing for the ACT scores. Sending scores will require payment with a credit card.

5. What is the policy for asking teachers for letters of recommendation?

Students are required to request letters of recommendation one month prior to the college's application deadline. We strongly advise students to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope, a letter of self-assessment for the particular course, and a thank you note that lists the schools and deadlines, and any special directions. The note might also provide the student's cell phone or e-mail contact in case there are any questions.

6. Should I waive my right to access my letters of recommendation?

Students are usually only able to access their letters of recommendation if they are admitted to a school. While it is their choice on this question, waiving your right to read the letter assures the teacher and the college that the letter is confidential and written in good faith. This makes for a stronger letter of recommendation.

7. What do I need to give College Counseling? When?

Students are required to complete a transcript request form and turn in the "School Report Form" and "Mid-Year Report Form" (if these forms are part of the application) at least one month prior to each college deadline. College Counseling keeps track of all of our students' applications and follows up directly with the colleges. We will write "School Reports" and "Mid-Year Reports" for most of our senior class of 90 students. In a busy year, we will handle 700 applications in a three-month period. While this sounds like an amazing amount of work, we have been taking care of business for seven years. Meeting our one-month notice deadline is very important to our application management process.

8. What about the rest of my application?

The application, application fee, and essays are submitted directly by the student. College Counseling is happy to look over any application before it is mailed out.

9. What are the various types of admission programs?

Regular Admission - Students typically send applications in January and February. They learn the admissions results in two to three months and must make a decision by May 1.

Rolling Admission - Students may apply during first and second semester. The college will process a decision in 3-5 weeks, but the student has until May 1 to decide. Larger institutions often use this admissions program.

Early Action (EA) - Usually chosen by students with strong transcripts and test scores, Early Action allows students to apply in November (or in some cases, December) and learn the results in the first two weeks of December. Students are often allowed to apply to a number of schools under Early Action. They also may add Regular Admissions schools to their list. The Early Action decision is non-binding; students have until May 1 to make their college decision.

Early Decision (ED) - Chosen by students with strong transcripts and test scores who have definitely decided where they want to go to college. Early Decision is a binding agreement. If the student is admitted under ED, they must attend the college unless they are unable to pay for the cost of education. While ED often increases chances of admission, it is not to be entered into without careful consideration. Some students might change their mind during senior year. In addition, students will not be able to compare various financial aid packages.

Single Choice Early Action and the new programs--Single Choice Early Action or SCEA was introduced by Stanford University. The program is a hybrid of EA and ED. Students are only allowed to apply to one early admissions school (in this case, Stanford) and they learn the result at the start of December. The wrinkle is that SCEA is non-binding. The student may now apply regular decision to other schools and wait until May 1 to make their college decision.

Recently, Harvard and Princeton have ended ED admissions programs at their institutions and other colleges are following suit. While this does not mean that we will see the end of early admissions programs across the country, it will definitely be interesting what changes take place in the next few years.

10. What do I do if get a letter that says my application is incomplete?

First, please don't panic. This is actually a normal part of the process. Because your application is coming in separate pieces (testing, teacher recommendations, school report and transcript, and application), it often takes time for the admissions office to track down and collate the different parts into one file. Many colleges immediately send out this letter as soon as they process the student's application. This does not mean that the other parts are not in the office; it just means that they came separately. Once you receive the letter, check with College Counseling or with your teacher to confirm that the specific documents were sent. Contact the Admissions Office to let them know that you have confirmed the missing parts were sent. If the college has not yet collated the information, or if a deadline for completing the application is soon, College Counseling will be happy to contact the college for you and resend or fax any missing information. For more on this topic, please see our Planning Guide.

Topic: Financial Aid and Scholarships

Where can I learn more about Financial Aid and Scholarships?

HPA's webpage is the first place to start your search. We also have resources on scholarships and financial aid in the College Counseling Center. In November, we host a Financial Aid Night for parents. We will also host an Early Financial Planning Night for parents in the second semester.

Topic: How can I learn more about the academic advising and college counseling programs at HPA?

The best way to start is to study the webpage, download the planning guide, and speak with your son or daughter's academic advisor. You also should become familiar with our Naviance-Family Connection site. You may also call the College Counseling Center's main number, 808-881-4295, and Hui-Chun O'Leary will be able to field most of your questions.

Internet Resources

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Naviance-Family Connection - HPA's excellent resource for researching majors, colleges and future careers. The site provides an outstanding college search engine, statistical information on HPA's college matriculation history, and a personality assessment tool. (Requires password provided by College Counseling)


Get Advice, Search, Register and Prepare for Tests, and Apply Online.

The College Board - an organization of colleges and high schools. The site includes advice for students and parents, a college search program, online applications and everything you need to know about SAT testing and the CSS Financial Aid Profile.

ACT - the official site of the ACT. It includes college searches, online applications, advice and timelines, financial aid information and estimator, and lots of information on the ACT tests.

Common Application - the official site from which you can download the application, view the list of participating colleges, and get application information. - a great site that offers free SAT and ACT test preparation practice.

Campus Tours - this site includes virtual college tours, web cams, campus maps, college videos, movies and pictures..

College Net - a handy short cut college search engine

Peterson's - the site of the company that publishes the guidebooks. The site includes a college search, information on financial aid, test prep information, online applications, and information on colleges. It also includes information on careers and is one of the best sources for information on summer programs.

The Princeton Review - the test prep company. The site includes a college search, advice, information on scholarships and financial aid. discussion groups, online applications, and lots of information on the company's courses and books.

US News and World Report - the magazine publisher and college ranker. site includes a college search, college comparisons, information on colleges, advice, information on financial aid and scholarships, and the famous college rankings.

Kaplan - the test prep company. The site includes college search and application information, graduate program information, and lots of information on the company's courses and books.


WUE - Western Undergraduate Exchange - The WUE program offers great deals for qualified Hawai'i students at public universities in the Western United States. Hawaii students are eligible for in-state tuition plus 50 percent for many of the academic programs at WUE schools.

FinAid - probably the best site for information on all aspects of financial aid. Loans, grants, estimators; if it has to do with financial aid, it is probably here.

FastWeb - probably the biggest and best scholarship search site on the web. You do have to register, but it is free.

FAFSA Online -the Department of Education's site with online FAFSA.

CSS Profile - the online first step of the financial aid form required by many selective colleges.

Sallie Mae - lots of information on student loans and financing a college education.


Ranking Pages - site sponsored by the University of Illinois at Urbanna-Champaign. Has links to many of the well-known and not so well-known rankings and college lists. Also has "cautions and controversies" section.

Community Colleges - the member list for the American Association of Community Colleges, with links.

Women's Colleges - Yahoo's list of women's colleges and links to their websites.

Catholic Colleges - site includes a directory of member institutions of the National Catholic College Admission Association; as well as a common application to download.

Canadian Colleges - Canadian government site with links to all colleges and universities in Canada.

UCAS - Organization that processes all applications for Colleges and Universities in the UK

Australearn - Great site for students interested in studying in Australia or New Zealand

Directory of Art schools - Searchable by Name, US State and Major with free Information Request Options

General School Directory - A comprehensive overview of education providers, specialized in famous majors and degrees.


Majors - search for college program by specific major.

The Guide for High School Students - has even more useful information for students thinking about a career in medicine. There is also a list of combined BA-MD programs.

Art Schools - links and helpful information for the student considering a career in art or design. This is the site of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design.

Nursing Schools - the Education Center on the site of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Contains advice and links related to studying and a career in nursing.


NCAA Info - The NCAA clearinghouse: the site where prospective student-athletes register to play D1 and D2 sports in college.

NAIA - the other intercollegiate athletic association. Information on sports programs at member institutions. - for more student-athlete pages on the internet.


Pathways - Welcome to PATHWAYS, the University of California's online undergraduate admissions and application network. Everything you need to apply to the schools in the UC system is here.

California Colleges This is a fantastic site for all of the schools in California. It includes a matching search engine and virtual campus tours.

CSU Mentor is a guide to applying to all Calstate schools.

California Community Colleges Online Application Center This site offers information and access to over 100 California community colleges. Details of college location, academic programs, services, and entrance requirements are found here. Check "Ask the Experts" for information about financial aid, counseling, tuition and living costs, student life, and more.

Independent Colleges and Universities - This is the resource center for students interested in independent schools in California

7. International Students

Here are some of the best sites for international students looking for help on various subjects including international application, financial aid (loans and scholarships) and immigration status. - This site provides information for international students who are thinking about pursuing an education in the United States. It has "information about everything an international student needs to know about studying and living in the United States. It covers every topic, from college admissions and financial aid to culture shock and clothing sizes." There is also an Ask the Advisor section for asking questions via email. - General resources for study in US, UK, and Austalia

Testing - The official homepage for the TOEFL exam.


The Chronicle of Higher Education - a news source for professionals interested in current issues in university education

NACAC - NACAC's online newsletter for and about students in the school to college transition. New articles are added throughout the year, and you can access archived articles. A great resource for students and parents

Black Excel - college information and resources for African-American students.


College Press Network - site includes "channels" with information on college life and issues. Includes links to online college newspapers.

Greek Pages - "the original, the definitive fraternity and sorority website." Site includes information on fraternities and sororities, and a searchable list of campuses and chapters.

Campus Security - this searchable database allows users to browse records of reported criminal offenses at over 6000 colleges and universities

Financial Aid/ Scholarships

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As college costs continue to rise, most families search for financial aid resources to assist their college bound students. The main sources of aid include Federal Student Loan programs, college scholarships and grants, and private competitive scholarships. Most students use a combination of these resources, as well as their family contribution, to help pay their college expenses. On the page below, you will find links to useful online sites and information on how HPA's CCC can help you plan how to pay for college.

Important Websites

FAFSA Online
The Department of Education's site with online FAFSA to apply for Federal Student Loan programs. FAFSA is required by all schools.

CSS Profile
The online first step of the financial aid form that is required by many colleges (especially private colleges). This profile is used to determined your family's financial need and from there determine the amount of aid awarded by a college.

Probably the best site for information on all aspects of financial aid. Loans, grants, estimators; if it has to do with financial aid, it is probably here.

College Cost Calculator
Use this simple calculator to determine how much your "estimated family contribution" (EFC) will be for college expenses. The EFC number is the sum that both the US government and the
colleges expect you to contribute for your child to attend college. This number stays the same regardless of the varying tuition costs at different schools.

Possibly the biggest and best scholarship search site on the web. You do have to register, but it is free.

Sallie Mae
Lots of information on student loans and financing a college education. This agency administers the Federal Parent Plus Loan program.

WUE - Western Undergraduate Exchange
The WUE program offers great deals for qualified Hawaii students at public universities in the Western United States. Hawaii students are eligible for in-state tuition plus 50 percent for many of the academic programs at WUE schools.

Competitive Scholarships and Links to Resources

Families should not overlook the variety of scholarships (both merit and need-based) available through almost every college and university in the country. In addition, be aware that thousands of foundations and organizations earmark money for college-bound students each year and in some cases the funds go unused.

To help HPA's seniors, we compile the scholarship information we receive each year from colleges, universities, organizations, and foundations eager to award money to deserving students. We keep this information in our Scholarship Binder in the College Counseling Center and we upload all of the information on to the Scholarship Page on our Family Connection website. On Family Connection, students and parents can look up scholarships by matching criteria, deadlines, and award amounts. We also list these scholarships by monthly deadlines on this webpage (click on the links below). In addition, we encourage seniors to research scholarships through other volumes in our office.

  1. Click here to go the Hawaii Community Foundation Webpage.
    This is the best site for scholarships for Hawaii residents.
  2. Click here to go find scholarships for students with Hawaiian ancestry. This foundation is called Ke Ali'i Pauahi Foundation.This is the new name for the Bishop Estate Scholarship Program. These scholarships require proof of Hawaiian ancestry.
  3. Click here for the WUE - Western Undergraduate Exchange.
    The WUE program offers great deals for qualified Hawaii students at public universities in the Western United States. Hawaii students are eligible for in-state tuition plus 50 percent for many of the academic programs at WUE schools.
  4. Log in to Family Connection to see HPA's current listings of independent scholarships.

International Students

International Student Declaration of Finances

With each application to an American college or university, international students must send a document certifying the amount and source of income available to the student for study in the United States. Colleges or universities will provide the necessary forms. You must complete the form and have the financial information certified by an officer of your bank. You will need a separate form for each application, and each must be certified. Colleges will not accept a photocopy or a fax of the form. It must be an original with the actual bank seal affixed. You may photocopy the blank form, itself, but not the signature or the seal. We encourage you to get the forms as soon as possible, fill them out right away, have them certified by your bank and then give them to us to include with applications. Send one form for each application (five applications require five forms). On each form you must write the amount of money you are able to provide each year. The minimum amount required will differ from college to college. However, we suggest you use the figure $50,000. That amount will take care of all of the differences between colleges.

International Students and Financial Aid and Scholarships

While international students are not eligible for US federal aid programs, a growing number of American colleges and universities offer both merit and need-based aid for international students. For a current list of these schools, please see your HPA College Counselor.

Student Athletes

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All HPA student-athletes should understand the various opportunities to continue playing their sport at the collegiate level through participation in the NCAA (D1, D2, and D3 levels), NAIA, club and intramural athletics. While we believe that high school sports should be played simply for the love of the game, we also believe that making the effort to continue with athletics in university will add a great deal to a student's overall college experience.

If a student-athlete's ultimate goal is to earn an athletic scholarship to help pay for college, we strongly recommend that they and their parents read Athletes Wanted by Chris Krause. This outstanding guidebook covers every detail of the college athletic recruiting process. This book is available through your HPA varsity coach. You can purchase your own copy of Athletes Wanted at the HPA Book Store or online at Amazon. You can also check out a copy from the upper school library, dormitories, or College Counseling. We believe that this is the best guidebook for students who are working towards earning an athletic scholarship.

The most important thing to remember is that grades and test scores matter. College coaches are very interested in recruting athletes with a solid academic profile. A strong profile assures them that the athlete is truly prepared for college and will not be an academic risk or fail to meet academic eligibility if recruited. It is also important to point out that many more HPA students will earn scholarships or merit aid due to academic strength rather than athletic ability. Many of our most fortunate graduates ended up playing sports at the D3 level with a merit scholarship based on their academic ability, character, community service, and recommendations along with their ability to play sports. This well rounded applicant can often earn more funding at the D3 level than a student pursuing an athletic scholarship from a D1 or D2 program.

Students interested in playing NCAA D1 or D2 must complete the eligibility process through the The NCAA Clearinghouse Eligibility Center. Students should make an appointment with their college counselor in the spring semester of their junior year to complete this assignment. College Counseling assists students in sending their transcripts and test scores to the NCAA Clearinghouse.

Important Websites

NCAA Clearinghouse Eligibility Center - Students interested in playing NCAA sports at the D1 or D2 level (athletic scholarship level) must complete the application process on this website. They will also need to send their transcripts and test scores. There are fees associated with this process. Students who plan on playing NCAA sports at the D3 level (no athletic scholarships) do not have to go through NCAA Eligibility Center.

The NAIA Eligibility Center - Students interested in playing NAIA sports must complete the application process on this website. They will also need to send their transcripts and test scores. There are fees associated with this process.

Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance - This website helps guide athletes from Hawai`i through the college athletic recruiting process. It also provides a place for the athletes to market themselves to college coaches.W - for more student-athlete pages on the internet.

Wiseman Tech - This website maintained by Martha Wiseman, a retired college counselor, has a number of internet resources for high school athletes involved in the athletic recruiting process.

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