Based in Washington, D.C., the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is the nation's largest non-profit provider of college scholarships for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). APIASF creates opportunities for students to access, complete, and succeed after post-secondary education; thereby developing future leaders who will excel in their careers, serve as role models in their communities, and will ultimately contribute to a more vibrant America. Since 2003, APIASF has distributed nearly $90 million in scholarships to AAPI students across the country and in the Pacific Islands. APIASF manages three scholarship programs: APIASF's general scholarship, the APIASF Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander - Serving Institutions scholarship program and the Gates Millennium Scholars/Asian Pacific Islander Americans funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
APIASF leverages a scalable model of change that mobilizes communities for increased support, accelerates student success through scholarship and programs, and strengthens institutional capacity through partnerships with the nation's Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander - Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs). APIASF continues making a significant social impact with more than 80 percent of its first three cohorts of scholarship recipients in 2005, 2006 and 2007 becoming college graduates and nearly 60 percent of all scholarship recipients being the first in their family to attend college.
APIASF is proud to be recognized as a leading nonprofit by several charity evaluation platforms for its effectiveness and impact including the Social Impact Exchange's S&I 100, Gold-level GuideStar Exchange participant and Charity Navigator 4-star rating.
The Need for APIASF
FACT: In America today, 13 percent of Asian Americans and 18 percent of Pacific Islanders live at or below poverty, compared to 12 percent of the general population, with some ethnicities at 29 percent (Cambodian) and even 38 percent (Hmong and Marshallese) of the population at or below poverty.
FACT: According to the U.S. Census, the fastest growing race groups will continue to be Asian American and Pacific Islander populations. By 2050, the AAPI community is expected to reach 41 million.
FACT: Access to higher education remains a significant challenge for many AAPI students with 50 to 65 percent of Southeast Asian and 50 to 60 percent of Pacific Islander adults (25 or older) not enrolled in any form of postsecondary education.
FACT: Nearly half of all AAPIs attend community college, not four-year institutions. More than half of all eligible Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander - Serving Institutions are two-year colleges.
FACT: Studies show that AAPI students are often marginalized and overlooked in leadership development programs and in leadership positions on college campuses; many do not readily relate to or embrace the label of "leader" relative to their non-AAPI peers.
Based on these and other statistics, APIASF provides scholarships to underserved AAPI students with a special focus on those who:
- Live at or below the poverty level, or are otherwise of low socioeconomic status;
- Are the first in their families to attend college;
- Are representative of the AAPI community's diversity, geographically and ethnically, especially those ethnicities that have been underrepresented on college campuses due to limited access and opportunity; and
- Have placed strong emphasis on community service and leadership as well as solid academic achievement.
Vision and Mission of APIASF
Our vision is to see that all Asian American and Pacific Islanders have access to higher education and resources that cultivate their academic, personal and professional success regardless of their ethnicity, national origin or financial means.
Our mission is to make a difference in the lives of AAPI students by providing them with resources that increase their access to higher education which serves as the foundation for their future success and contributions to a more vibrant America.
We carry out our mission by:
- Providing scholarships to AAPI students;
- Forging partnerships among corporations, foundations, community organizations and individuals to provide adequate financial and other resources to carry out our mission;
- Providing guidance, mentorship and programs to facilitate students' academic success, leadership and professional growth;
- Establishing strategic alliances within AAPI and educational communities; and
- Building a clearinghouse of higher education research on AAPI high school and college students and continue to increase awareness of AAPI education issues and challenges.