Press Releases

February 15, 2013

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

Katie Tran-Lam
Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund

Lumina Foundation Commits $200k to APIASF and Care's National Effort to Improve Asian and Pacific Islander American Student Success

Investment Further Supports Three-Year Initiative to Realize the Full Degree-Earning Potential of the APIA Student Population

Washington, D.C., Feb. 15, 2013-The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) and the National Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Research in Education (CARE), the leading Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) student- and research-focused organizations, respectively, recently received a $200,000 grant from Lumina Foundation for the Partnership for Equity in Education through Research (PEER) project-a bold, three-year effort aiming to increase APIA student access and success. The grant supports one of the largest investments in history, with more than $2 million, to improve educational outcomes for the APIA student population.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census data, the APIA population is projected to reach nearly 40 million people by 2050. Data also show APIA students will experience a 35 percent increase in college enrollment over the next decade. Unfortunately, the most marginalized and vulnerable APIA students are often overlooked and underserved in higher education. In response, the PEER project was launched in June 2012 to help ensure that past access and success challenges experienced by the APIA student population do not continue.

The PEER project provides scholarships, institutional capacity-building, and institutional collaboration based on research by working collaboratively with Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)-a category of federally-designated Minority-Serving Institutions enrolling and conferring the largest concentration of degrees to the nation's APIA undergraduate students. Serving as the PEER project's institutional partners are three of the nation's top AANAPISIs: City College of San Francisco, De Anza College, and South Seattle Community College.

In addition to the Lumina Foundation grant, the PEER project received support early on from The Kresge Foundation, USA Funds, and the Walmart Foundation.

"Lumina's support reinforces APIASF's efforts to raise awareness of AANAPISI institutions, their students and the local communities that they serve to help increase the number of APIAs with postsecondary degrees," said APIASF President & Executive Director Neil Horikoshi. "AANAPISIs are critical points of interception to provide the programs and resources needed to support not only America's fastest growing population, but one of our nation's most underserved as they pursue higher education."

Recognizing the face of American education from K-12 to higher education is at the crossroads of tremendous demographic changes, APIASF and CARE began challenging major philanthropic organizations to support the PEER project in 2011. Through the PEER project, APIASF has already provided nearly $350,000 in scholarships for APIA students attending the project's partner institutions as well as begun collecting data to understand the key issues affecting APIA student access and success.

"We appreciate Lumina's support and the active role they continue to play in helping to improve the college-going experience for APIA students," said CARE Principal Investigator Robert Teranishi. "The PEER project not only helps us learn more about the unique experiences and outcomes of APIA students attending community colleges, it is working directly with campus partners to inform the work they do with their students."

To learn more about the PEER project, visit APIASF's website at or CARE's website at Also, follow APIASF on Facebook ( and Twitter (

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.

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.