History and Milestones

Our History

Due to ongoing misperceptions about the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and a lack of disaggregated data, there continue to be significant challenges for students in higher education. APIASF was formed in the early 2000's at a time when resources for AAPI students looking to pursue higher education were limited and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) were not recognized as minority serving institutions by the U.S. Department of Education. These barriers prevented many students from receiving access to resources that could support their academic goals and caused the institutions serving the highest concentrations of low-income AAPI students from receiving federal funding that could improve success rates on a broader scale. . Recognizing the needs of the community, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) was created to help ensure that AAPI students have the resources to increase access to higher education which serves as the foundation for their future success and contributions to a more vibrant America.

Since 2003, APIASF is proud to have distributed nearly $90 million in scholarships to AAPI students through the APIASF Scholarship Program, Gates Millennium Scholars Program and the APIASF AANAPISI Scholarship Program. Through the organization's holistic range of programs and services, APIASF has helped to develop future leaders who excel in their careers, serve as role models in their communities, and contribute to a vibrant America. APIASF's evidence-based approach continues to make an impact for the community as more than 80 of APIASF's first three cohorts of Scholars have become college graduates, helping to make APIASF one of the leading socially impactful organizations in the country.


2002 APIASF Working Group Formed
2003 Articles of Incorporation Completed
2003-04 APIASF Launch Events Held Across the Country
2004 APIASF Receives 501c3 Designation
2005 National Press Club Event to Announce $330,000 Distributed to First Class of APIASF Scholars
2006 APIASF Begins Administration of Gates Millennium Scholars Program
APIASF Hosts First Today's Minds, Tomorrow's Future Benefit Event
2007 APIASF Opens Office in Washington, DC
2008 APIASF Scholarship Increases from $2,000 to $2,500
2009 First Higher Education Award Presented at Scholarship Benefit
2010 First Summit: ELEVATE
CARE Report Published
First Multi-Year APIASF Scholarship Award
2011 2011 CARE Report Published
Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions Recognized as Minority Serving Institutions
2012 APIASF Recognized by Social Impact Exchange
Partnership for Equity in Education through Research (PEER) Project Launched
2013 First PEER Report Published
First APIASF Scholar Needs Assessment Report Published
First APIASF Jumpstart College Tour Event at Georgia State University