Press Releases

June 27, 2011

Growing Asian and Pacific Islander American Student Population Dramatically Changing The "Face" of America's Higher Education System

New Research Shows Shift in Education Policy Discussions and Advocacy Efforts Needed to Provide Greater Support for Asian and Pacific Islander American Students

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tia T. Gordon

Washington, D.C., June 27, 2011—The recent release of the 2010 Census data shows that America is at the crossroads of tremendous demographic changes, including a significant growth among Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIAs). The face of American education from K–12 to higher education is quickly experiencing profound changes spurred on by the fast pace growth among APIAs—a population that is expected to reach nearly 40 million people by 2050. As the growth and the needs of the APIA community continue, likewise are diversity and equity in education quickly becoming matters of importance to higher education policy discussions and, ultimately, the national college completion agenda.

The National Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Research in Education (CARE) is releasing today, in partnership with the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, precursory findings from its forthcoming research report, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, The College Completion Agenda, and America's Commitment to Equity and Diversity. Authored by acclaimed researcher and CARE Principal Investigator Robert Teranishi, the highly anticipated report is the most comprehensive data available about college completion among APIA students. The findings being revealed today from the report point to the implications that the shifting demography of the APIA population has on higher education, and the institutions that disproportionately serve APIA students.


"Demographic trends among APIA exemplify why APIA students are relevant to the college completion agenda. The changing face of students in our education system is a growing theme that must be addressed both from a policy and institutional perspective," said Teranishi who is also an associate professor of higher education at New York University. "We need to think about ways to better serve the unique needs and challenges of APIA students who are not gaining access to higher education or who are dealing with a high rate of attrition during college."

In addition, and in response to the needs that exists for APIA students in higher education and our nation's future more broadly, the Asian Pacific Islander American Association of Colleges and Universities (APIACU) is also launching today at 2011 APIASF College Completion Forum: Strengthening Institutions that Serve Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Washington, D.C. Serving as the new and only national organization representing AANAPISIs, the mission of APIACU has four objectives: (1) To promote the development of member colleges and universities; (2) to improve the quality of postsecondary educational opportunities and access thereto for APIA students; (3) to meet the needs of business, industry, and government through the development and sharing of resources, information, and expertise; and (4) to support and lobby for the success of AANAPISIs through the development of programmatic activities of AANAPISIs.

"For too long has there not been enough consideration given toward the unique educational experiences of APIA students and their unique needs. In fact, although there are 48 different ethnic sub-groups within the APIA population, up until this point, differences between the sub-groups remain invisible in many higher education

policy discussions," said APIASF President and Executive Director Neil Horikoshi. "As America becomes more and more diverse in its population, additional federal policy attention must be paid to the APIA population; this is goal and hope of APIACU. If we continue to do very little as it relates to the APIA community, we will find ourselves living in a nation that cannot meet its creativity, productivity, and achievement goals because America will not have a pipeline of diverse workers and future leadership to ensure its success in the 21st century global economy."

For more information about CARE, visit Additional details about the 2011 APIASF College Completion Forum: Strengthening Institutions that Serve Asian and Pacific Islander Americans may be found by visiting APIASF's Web site at

About CARE The National Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Research in Education (CARE), consisting of a national commission, research advisory group, and research team at New York University, aims to engage realistic and actionable discussions about the mobility and educational opportunities for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIAs) and how distinctions of race, ethnicity, language, and other factors play out in the day-to-day operations of America's education system. Our goal is to provide much needed and timely research on key issues and trends related to access and participation of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in higher education.

About APIASF Based in Washington, D.C., the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is the nation's largest non-profit organization devoted solely to providing college scholarships for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIA). Since 2003, APIASF has provided a critical bridge to higher education for APIA students across the country by distributing more than $40 million in scholarships to 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. APIASF's 2011 higher education summit is made possible through the generous support of our presenting sponsors: Walmart, the Kresge Foundation, and USA Funds.