Press Releases

June 20, 2012

Contact: Tia T. Gordon
202-756-4851 or 202-906-0149

APIASF and Care Receive $2 Million from National Foundations to Increase Student Success among Asian and Pacific Islander Americans

The Kresge Foundation, USA Funds, and the Walmart Foundation Support the Fastest-Growing Student Population with One of the Largest Investments in History

Washington, D.C., June 20, 2012—The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) and the National Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Research in Education (CARE)—the leading APIA student- and research-focused organizations, respectively—launched today the Partnership for Equity in Education through Research (PEER) project to help realize the full degree-earning potential of the Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) student population. Considered one of the largest investments in history to increase APIA student success, the PEER project is a three-year, nearly $2 million effort being supported by The Kresge Foundation, USA Funds, and the Walmart Foundation.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census data, the APIA population is projected to reach nearly 40 million people by 2050. APIA students will also experience a particularly high proportional increase in college enrollment (35 percent) over the next decade. Unfortunately, the most marginalized and vulnerable APIA students too often go overlooked and underserved in higher education. In response, the PEER project will work to achieve the following goals:

"We're pleased to be spearheading an innovative effort that supports the rapidly growing underserved APIA student population to complete college," said APIASF President & Executive Director Neil Horikoshi. "In the coming years, the PEER project can possibly help reshape the entire U.S. higher education system and its barriers to equitably meet the unique needs of these underserved and overlooked students."

In addition, the PEER project will also work collaboratively with three of the nation's top AANAPISIs: De Anza College, City College of San Francisco, and South Seattle Community College. These "pilot" institutions—which have previously demonstrated some of the greatest success when it comes to supporting APIA students as they pursue their degrees—will serve as key project partners. Each institution will also receive a small grant for their participation.

"America's colleges and universities are currently serving 1.3 million APIA undergraduate students. With the number of APIA students projected to increase significantly in coming years, we need to investigate and model promising practices and targeted interventions that promote access and success for this population," said CARE Principal Investigator Robert Teranishi. "Holistic approaches to serve these students' needs are realized at AANAPISIs, which play a vital role in advancing the college completion agenda and the democratic mission of higher education. Through the PEER project, we would like to achieve the same success beyond our pilot campuses, in other AANAPISIs, and eventually throughout the higher community."

AANAPISIs are minority-serving institutions designated by Congress that have at least a 10 percent enrollment of APIA students and have a significant number of students who are Pell Grant eligible, among other criteria. These institutions are enrolling and conferring degrees to a large concentration of the nation's APIA undergraduate students. In 2010, the 150 institutions eligible to be AANAPISIs made up only 3.4 percent of the nation's colleges and universities, but enrolled 40.8 percent of all APIA undergraduates. AANAPISIs confer undergraduate degrees to a large concentration of APIA students. In 2010, the 150 institutions eligible to be AANAPISIs produced 46.6 percent of the associate's degrees and 35.3 percent of the bachelor's degrees awarded to APIA students nationally.

The PEER project was announced today during the 2012 APIASF third annual higher education summit, with the theme, "Advancing the Democratic Mission of Higher Education: The Relevance of Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders." For more information about the PEER project of the 2012 APIASF higher education summit, visit APIASF's website at Also, visit CARE's website at

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 $60 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. The 2012 APIASF higher education summit is made possible through the generous support of our presenting sponsors: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Southwest Airlines, USA Funds, Walmart, and Wells Fargo.

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.