May 8, 2008
APIASF Awards More Than $700,000 in National Scholarships
For Immediate Release
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WASHINGTON, DC — The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), the country's largest national organization devoted solely to providing scholarships for Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) students, announced the recipients of its 2008 scholarships. APIASF is awarding more than $700,000 in scholarships to 285 students during this scholarship cycle, the organization's fourth. This year, the individual scholarship amount per recipient has been increased by 25 percent to $2,500 from $2,000. When the 2008-2009 scholarship cycle funds are disbursed this summer, APIASF will have distributed more than $1.8 million to 850 students since the organization's inception in 2003.
All of the scholarship recipients will be freshmen this fall and will enter an accredited college or university. The recipients represent 35 of the 50 U.S. states, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. More than 1,500 students applied for this year's scholarships, representing a diverse range of Asian and Pacific Islander American communities including: Cambodian, Chamorro, Chinese, Filipino, Hawai’ian, Hmong, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Samoan, Taiwanese, Thai, Tongan, Vietnamese and Yapese. Sixty-nine percent of the recipients were women, and more than 60 percent of the awardees were from ethnic groups that — according to the U.S. Census Bureau — have lower college graduation rates than the overall U.S. population.
"There is no escaping the fact that college costs are steadily rising," said Wai-Ling Eng, Chair, APIASF Board of Directors. "This year, the APIASF Board voted unanimously to increase the individual scholarship amount in order to help bridge the gap. The majority of our scholarship recipients have significant financial need and getting a national scholarship such as ours can often mean the difference between going to college or not," continued Eng.
This year's scholarship recipients plan to pursue various fields of study with medical-related fields topping the list for the second year in a row. The top majors identified by this year's recipients (in order of popularity) are: pre-medicine; business; biology; engineering; pre-pharmacy; nursing; biochemistry; bio-medical engineering and education. Other majors to be pursued by the class of 2008 include biomedical sciences, social work, international business and mathematics.
The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is based in Washington, DC, and is the country's largest non-profit organization devoted solely to providing scholarships to Asian and Pacific Islander American students. APIASF manages two scholarships: APIASF's general scholarship program and the Gates Millennium Scholars/Asian Pacific Islander Americans (GMS/APIA). Funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and administered by UNCF, the GMS/APIA program provides outstanding Pell Grant eligible APIA students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline they choose and a graduate degree in specific fields. Supporters of APIASF include members of the general public and a wide spectrum of community and professional leaders, organizations and corporations. Corporate supporters include, but are not limited to: AT&T, Abercrombie & Fitch, the Coca-Cola Foundation, IBM Corporation, Macy's Inc., McDonald's USA, Met-Life Foundation, Nationwide Financial Networks, the Sodexo Foundation, Southern California Edison, Target, USA Funds, the Wachovia Foundation, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Wells Fargo.