Thomas Le: The MVP

Thomas Le: The MVP

Thomas Le

HPU alumnus Thomas Le was recently awarded the 2021 MVP award (Most Valuable Professional) from the National Association of Student Financial Administrators (NASFAA). Le is associate director of financial aid reporting at New York Film Academy, Los Angeles.  

“I was flabbergasted the day I was contacted on being selected for the NASFAA MVP award,” said Le. “I was thinking, this must be a prank! But it came to fruition, and on the very same day as I was busy hosting our virtual conference for the California Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (CASFAA) meeting as the conference chair. I heard all the buzz going on around me. I started to receive a flurry of congratulatory messages from my colleagues.”  

Le graduated from HPU in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and management. He went on to earn his MA in educational/instructional technology from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles.  

“I loved attending HPU for my undergraduate studies,” said Le. “It’s a great place to study with a diverse and large international population of students. I enjoyed making new friends and learning about other cultures.” 

Le was a resolute student, working three part-time jobs and enrolled for coursework year-round. He graduated in three years from HPU and appreciated the flexibility and accommodation the university provided to work within his busy schedule. “I went to school early in the morning, worked in the afternoon, and went back to class at night. The small class sizes and individualized attention from professors helped me tremendously with my studies.” 

Le’s family immigrated from Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The family lived in Palolo Valley on Oahu. He graduated from Kaimuki High School and was the first in his family to attend college.  

“I attended University of Hawaii, but found myself lost,” said Le. “I was not focused, and I decided to transfer. I chose HPU for the quality of the education and I knew it was a better fit for me right away. I was going to be successful at the university. The financial aid office at HPU was superlative. The best support possible. The staff was patient, helpful, friendly with the aid process. I could not have obtained my education without their assistance in securing the funding to attend college and graduate early. 

“I knew back then that one day I would be in the financial aid profession and would pay it forward, helping others to achieve their education.” 

Le has worked with New York Film academy for five years. Prior to his current position, he was a financial aid counselor at Pepperdine University, assistant director of financial aid at the Art Center College of Design and Loyola Marymount University. He currently serves on the executive council as secretary for the CASFAA and is a member of both the Western Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and NASFAA.