Press Releases

July 28, 2016


Leilani Pimentel
Director of Communications & Strategic Initiatives

Krista Jahnke
Communications Officer

APIASF Launches with Generous Support from The Kresge Foundation

Capacity Building Website to Support APIA-Serving Institutions

Washington, D.C. (July 28, 2016) - The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), the nation's largest nonprofit provider of college scholarships for Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) students, today announced the launch of, an innovative website and resource center supporting Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs). Funded as part of a three-year $500,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation, will serve as a capacity-building resource for institutions and organizations serving the needs of APIA college students. The launch of the website will be followed with convenings of AANAPISI partners over the next year.

The AANAPISI program, one of eight federally designated Minority Serving Institution (MSI) programs, was established by Congress in 2007 as part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. It was expanded in 2008 under the Higher Education Opportunity Act. The purpose of the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) Program is to support institutions of higher education in their effort to increase their self-sufficiency through two-year grants to improve academic programs, institutional management, and fiscal stability.

APIASF has served AANAPISIs in a capacity-building role through technical assistance workshops and by facilitating and securing funding for much-needed research on APIA communities and APIA student outcomes. For the past seven years, APIASF has also experienced continued success in establishing its national presence by convening AANAPISI leaders at its annual APIASF Higher Education Summit in Washington, D.C. A beta version of the website was first shared with AANAPISI partners at the AANAPISI Technical Assistance Workshop that took place on June 15, 2016. is designed as a platform to share AANAPISI successes, as a resource for sharing best practices and policies, and as a catalyst for innovative collaboration across a wide network of nonprofit organizations, research institutions, government agencies, foundations, and the business community. The website will include a list of all AANAPISIs viewed as an interactive map, past technical assistance presentation materials, grantee abstracts, infographics and data, videos featuring AANAPISI leaders, and more. Content for the website was created with guidance from an Advisory Council of AANAPISI leaders from across the country.

"There is a great need for national awareness of the AANAPISI program and its potential to impact America's fastest growing racial group. As a relatively new federal designation in comparison to other Minority Serving Institutions, AANAPISIs continue to be largely unknown even among higher education and policy leaders," says Neil Horikoshi, President & Executive Director of APIASF. "We are grateful to The Kresge Foundation for this critical support. Without such support, AANAPISIs continue to be disconnected from opportunities and are challenged in their ability to share publicly the impact of their programs. This need for capacity building and awareness along with the potential to reach a high proportion of APIA students nationally through AANAPISIs serve as the premise of and aligns with Kresge's strategy of 'building the capacity of institutions focused on low-income and underrepresented students.'"

"We are proud to partner with APIASF to help build the capacity and awareness of the institutions serving Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, which for so long have gone overlooked within the higher education landscape," said Rebecca Villarreal, program officer on Kresge's Education Program team. "We hope will provide the platform for colleges and universities to learn best practices and connect to others serving these populations. Ultimately, we believe it will be a catalyst for additional support for and investment in these important institutions."

APIASF, with guidance from the Advisory Council, will continue to work with AANAPISI partners to share new content and opportunities that ultimately support the success of APIA college students across the nation. For more information, please email

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Based in Washington, D.C., the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is the nation's largest non-profit organization devoted to providing college scholarships for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIA). APIASF works to create opportunities for students to access, complete, and succeed after post-secondary education; thereby developing future leaders who will excel in their career, serve as role models in their communities, and will ultimately contribute to a vibrant America. Since 2003, APIASF has distributed more than $100 million in scholarships to deserving APIA students. APIASF manages two scholarship programs: APIASF's general scholarship and the Gates Millennium Scholars/Asian Pacific Islander Americans funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

About The Kresge Foundation

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.6 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America's cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development in Detroit. In 2015, the Board of Trustees approved 370 grants totaling $125.2 million, and nine social investment commitments totaling $20.3 million. For more information, visit