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Friday July 1, 2011

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

PR Newswire

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 Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).  The face of American education from K–12 to higher education is quickly experiencing profound changes spurred on by the fast pace growth among AAPIs—a population that is expected to reach nearly 40 million people by 2050.  As the growth and the needs of the AAPI 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 American and Pacific Islander 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 Americans and Pacific Islanders, 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 AAPI students.  The findings being revealed today from the report point to the implications that the shifting demography of the AAPI population has on higher education, and the institutions that disproportionately serve AAPI students.


* AAPIs are exemplary of the tremendous demographic changes occurring in the United States. The AAPI population increased at a faster rate than any other major racial group in America between 2000 and 2010. Population projections are showing that this trend will continue over the next two decades, and their college enrollment is projected to increase by 30 percent between 2010 and 2019.

* AAPIs have wide variation in college participation and degree attainment. Among Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders, 55 to 66 percent of adults have not attended any form of post secondary education, according to analysis of ACS data. While more than four in five East Asians (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) and South Asians (Asian Indian and Pakistani) who enter college earn at least a bachelor's degree, large proportions of Southeast Asians (43 percent) and Pacific Islanders (51 percent) report having attended college, but not earning a degree.

* Increased investment is needed for institutions that serve large concentrations of AAPIs. With 2/3rds of AAPI college enrollment in 300 postsecondary institutions, and 47.3 percent of their enrollment in community colleges, it is important to invest in institutions that are responding to the unique needs of the population. In 2009, the first 15 Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) enrolled nearly 89,000 AAPI students—equal to 1 in 10 AAPI undergraduates—and conferred nearly 10,000 associate's and bachelor's degrees to AAPI students.

In addition, and in response to the needs that exists for AAPI 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 Americans and Pacific Islanders in Washington, D.C. 

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

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

SOURCE Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund

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