Virtual Admissions Center

Get ready to dive in!

HPA will prepare you for college and so much more. Here, you’ll discover learning opportunities that exist only on Hawai‘i Island. You’ll dive into new experiences—from sea turtle research and astronomy atop Mauna Kea to musical theater, basketball games, and hiking in the magical Waipi‘o Valley.

Along the way, you’ll develop the academic skills, independence, and confidence that universities expect and that will serve you for years to come. Most of all, you’ll meet teachers and friends who will change your life forever. In Hawaiian, ‘ohana means “family,” and at HPA, you’ll become part of a campus community where we challenge, help, and celebrate each other.

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Meet your mentors

HPA faculty will guide and support you every step of the way. Meet some of the fascinating and friendly people who teach, coach, and live at HPA.

Every opening night at Gates Performing Arts Center gives me chicken skin, even after all these years. Seeing all of our hard work and the actors’ efforts up there on that stage, coming to life for a live audience.”

Jared Terpak, fine arts department chair

Sports, along with the passage of time, has taught me this other valuable lesson: If we spend our precious time doing anything, then we should do it to the very best of our ability.”

Kimo Higgins ’86, Upper School English teacher and coach

Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the application deadline?

    Application deadlines for first-round admission decisions are listed by grade level here. The receipt of all application forms and materials listed as “required” in the application checklist and any supplemental material specifically requested by the admission office will constitute a complete application.

  • When should an applicant begin the admission process?

    Once the application for the upcoming academic year is available on the HPA website, applicants are welcome to engage in the admission process. By starting the process early in the fall, applicants have more time to consider the opportunities at HPA and gather supplemental materials for the application process. It is important to pay attention to all deadlines.

  • What happens if an application is late?

    If an application set is received after the priority deadline, the applicant will move into the rolling decision process, to be considered after applicants who submitted complete files by the priority deadline. Rolling admission decisions will be made based on space availability.

  • How many applicants are admitted each year?

    Typically, about 120 students are admitted each year, grades K-12 and postgraduate.

  • How many applicants are enrolled into the residential program each year?

    About 55 students are enrolled into our residential program each year (grades 9- 12, PG), with the majority going into grade 9 (approximately 35 boarding students for 9th grade).

  • Do applicants need to take the SSAT?

    Applicants applying to grades 6-11, have the option this year to submit SSAT scores as part of the admission process. HPA will accept other standardized test scores as well, and again this is optional. Applicants applying to grade 12 and PG may submit College Board PSAT or SAT, ACT, PLAN, EXPLORE, as well as psycho-educational testing or Woodcock Johnson test administered in the past 18 months.

  • How important are test scores?

    Test scores are considered within the context of the student’s complete application. Test scores can provide insight into a student’s academic capability and potential. For test dates, visit HPA test center code is 3766.

  • Once a student is enrolled, do they automatically get enrolled the following year?

    If a student is in good standing with the school and has an acceptable record, the student will be offered re-enrollment to the next grade and/or level of the school. Generally speaking, for example, our current 5th grade day students rise up into our 6th grade class and our current 8th grade day students rise up into our 9th grade, automatically taking the majority of those day student entry spaces. We do, however, have new spaces in most grades especially for those key entry points in the 6th and 9th grade. We encourage families to apply by the published deadlines for consideration in all grade levels.

  • What does HPA look for in an applicant?

    HPA is a selective institution, which means we are looking for applicants who are seeking a challenging environment where they will be among peers who share their ambition and initiative. We believe there are many ways to make an impact on the world and at HPA we give serious consideration to grades and test scores, but HPA also is looking for a “good match” between the applicant and the school. By “good match” we mean someone whose values are aligned with HPA’s, which include holding oneself to a high moral and ethical standard and looking for opportunities to make positive change in the world. We also are looking for applicants who identify as a contributor, who are engaged, and embody a collaborative spirit; those who are willing to step outside their comfort zone and try new things; those who express a healthy curiosity and are excited about learning; those who strive for balance and can prioritize their commitments; and those who understand the value of creating space for reflection in their life. Of course, there is no one profile that represents the student community here at HPA, but there are definitely common threads that run throughout. Some applicants come into the admissions process already exhibiting these attributes; others have noted potential. In the selection process, we are looking for applicants who we believe will thrive on campus and who will come academically prepared.

  • Is there an age cutoff for kindergarten applicants?

    Yes. Applicants must turn 5 years old by July 31st of the kindergarten entry year.

  • What if an application is incomplete?

    If an applicant’s admission file is incomplete at the time of an admission deadline, the Admission Committee will not put the applicant’s file into the review process. If a family does not anticipate being able to complete an applicant’s file, this matter should be discussed with the Admission Office well in advance of the admission deadline.

  • Can an applicant visit the campus or have a shadow experience?

    HPA is managing the safety of our current students and faculty and is working toward modified in-person tours and campus visits.  Please refer to our Virtual Admission Center to learn more about ongoing events and options throughout the admission process and season.

  • Do applicants need to submit all of the pieces of the application at the same time?

    No, the application, student statement, parent statement, and all supplemental material may be submitted separately. It is important for the applicant and family to submit their material as early as possible and to begin working with the applicant’s school and teachers to ensure their material also is submitted on time.

  • What are the requirements for home-schooled applicants?

    Applicants who have been home-schooled must submit the following information in addition to, or in place of, a school transcript, and all of the required materials on the application checklist:

    • Documentation of compliance with a state-accredited home schooling program
    • Explanation of philosophy: explain the philosophy that guides the approach to your home schooling. Provide specific home-school dates for the applicant.
    • Comprehensive description of home-school curriculum: books and resources that have been used in the applicant’s school experience.
    • Provide a syllabi, if available.
    • Grades for each course taken and description of the grading standards.
    • Describe what factors played into your decision to homeschool your child. How do you think your child will perform in an independent school environment both socially and academically ?
  • Does HPA allow students to repeat a year?

    Families must discuss this with the Admission Office and there must be a compelling reason for the request. Typically, it is rare that HPA would allow a student to request repeating a year, however, it is possible. In some cases, the Admission Committee may recommend a student to repeat a grade.

  • Does HPA accept applications for Spring semester?

    Yes. HPA accepts a limited number of applications for the Spring semester and admission will be on a space available basis. Applicants for Spring semester should contact the admission office to discuss this option.

  • Is an interview required?

    Depending on the grade a student is applying to and the time of year, an individual or group interview may be scheduled for an applicant. Interviews are scheduled at the discretion of the Admission Office.

  • Does an applicant have to live in the area to be eligible as a day student?

    Day student status: A student may be considered for day status only if the student lives full time with a biological parent on the Island of Hawai‘i and they reside north of Captain Cook or north of Pepeekeo. Students who live south of either town must be classified as boarding students. HPA does offer boarding to students in grades 9-12 & PG, based on space availability. A student may be considered for In-State boarding status if the student qualifies. See this link to learn more about the different kinds of boarding options HPA offers and the qualifications involved.

  • How competitive is admission to HPA?

    HPA is a selective school and competition varies at each level, particularly in the day student pool. Our primary entry points are grades K, 6, and 9. 

  • When and how are admission decisions communicated?

    For boarding students whereby HPA is their first or only choice (Early Decisions) will be communicated before January 15.

    For Kindergarten, priority admission decisions will be communicated on March 1.

    For Day student applicants grades 1-12, priority admission decisions will be communicated on March 4.

    For Boarding student applicants, priority admission decisions will be delivered on March 9.

    All decisions will be delivered via email.

  • How large is the wait pool and how does it work?

    The size of the wait pool varies from year to year. If we are unable to offer an applicant, who is considered acceptable, a space in a given grade, we will offer a space in the admission wait pool. The applicant will remain in the wait pool until a space becomes available. At that point, all of the applicants for that grade will be considered for the space and one will receive an enrollment offer. Otherwise, students will remain in the wait pool until the start of the school year, at which time the wait pool will be dissolved. Students seeking admission for the following school year may reengage in the admission process in the fall. Re-applying requires a family to begin a new application and complete the checklist associated with the application. The family may request rolling over grade reports from a previous application with the Admission Office.

  • If an applicant is denied admission, can they apply again?

    Yes. A student may need more time to develop their academic profile or other forms of readiness and HPA understands that a student who was previously not offered admission may be more ready at some point in the future.

  • Does HPA offer financial aid, athletic or other scholarships?

    HPA offers need-based Financial Aid to families who qualify. There are also limited and select scholarships available  To learn more, visit THIS LINK.