Asian-Americans are one the fastest-growing racial groups in the United States. They are expected to pass Hispanics and become the largest group of immigrants heading to the U.S. by 2065, according to research by the Pew Research Center. With higher education enrollment of Asian and Asian-American students soaring, nonprofits, corporations and government entities have made millions of dollars in scholarships available to these students. Identifying and applying for these grants and scholarships can be a time-consuming process. To help make this task a little easier for you, we have put together a wide range of options for scholarships based on your specific needs.

Scholarships and Grants for Asian-American and Pacific Islander Students

APIASF Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution Scholarship Program

This organization’s scholarships are open to full-time, undergraduate students who are citizens of the United States, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia or Palau. Students must attend one of 18 AANAPISI colleges, including American Samoa Community College, California State University East Bay, California State University Sacramento, City College of San Francisco and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

$2,500 to $5,000. Mid-October
APIASF General Scholarship

Open to Asian American and Pacific Islander high school and college students seeking an undergraduate degree.

Ranges from $2,500 to $15,000. There are multiple awards that vary in amount, number of years, field of study and location. Early January
APIASF/AT&T Scholarship

This one-time scholarship is open to first-year students of Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity.

$2,500 Early January
APIASF/BBCN Bank Scholarship

This one-time scholarship is open to undergraduates with a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Students must demonstrate financial need and live in one of a handful of large counties in California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Virginia or Washington state.

$2,500 Early January
APIASF/Coca-Cola Foundation Scholarship

This one-time award of $2,500 is open to applicants of Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry who are the first generation in their family to attend college.

$2,500 Early January
APIASF/Darden Restaurants Foundation Scholarship

This two-year scholarship gives special consideration to undergraduates of Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry pursuing a degree in hospitality management or culinary arts. Applicants must live in a large metro area.

$2,500 Early January
APIASF/FedEx Scholarship

This four-year, $2,500-a-year scholarship is open to first-year students of Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry. Applicants much have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

$2,500 Early January
APIASF/Frances Sonn Nam Memorial Scholarship

This two-year scholarship is open to undergraduates of Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry. Applicants much have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.and plan to pursue a career in law, public service or government affairs.

$4,000 Early January
APIASF/General Mills Foundation Scholarship

This two-year, $2,500-a-year scholarship is open to first-year students of Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry. Applicants must live in Minnesota.

$2,500 Early January
APIASF/Target Scholarship

This one-time award is open to students of Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity. Pharmacy majors and upperclassmen get preference.

$2,500 Early January
APIASF/TAAP (A Toyota Giving Circle) Scholarship

This one-time award is open to students of Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity. Preference is for students who live in Southern California. Applicants whose parents work for Toyota Motor Sales USA are not eligible.

$2,500 Early January
APIASF/United Health Foundation Scholarship

Award: Three-year scholarship of $5,000/year

This three-year scholarship is open to students of Asian or Pacific Islander descent studying to work as a health-care professional. Applicants must live in one of 16 states, including California, Texas, Florida and New York, and show a commitment to working in an underserved community.

$5,000 per year Early January
APIASF/Wells Fargo Scholarship

This one-time scholarship of $2,500 is open to students of Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity.

$2,500 Early January
CANFIT Scholarships

Undergraduate and graduate scholarships are open to African-American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian American, Pacific Islander or Latino students who live in California. Applicants must have financial need and plan to study nutrition, physical education or culinary arts in the state of California.

Varies January 1 to March 31 each year
Gates Millennium Scholars Program

Funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this award was established to support outstanding African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian-American and Hispanic students. Gates Millennium Scholars can request funding for a graduate degree program in one of the following disciplines: computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science.

Varies to cover unmet need Jan. 13, 2016
CCAPW Scholarships

The Central California Asian Pacific Women offers scholarships of varying amounts to Asian and Pacific Islander women who live in Fresno County.

Award Amount: Varies, and some scholarships are not awarded every year
Deadline: March

Chi Am Circle ScholarshipOpen to women of Asian ancestry, awards are based on merit, community service and extracurricular activities.

$1,000 March
Drs. Poh Shien and Judy Young Scholarships

Awarded by the U.S. Pan Asian Chamber of Commerce, this scholarship goes to Asian-American high school seniors who demonstrate academic achievement and financial need. Applicants must be of Asian or Pacific Island heritage and have a GPA of at least 3.3.

$2,500 to $5000 Inquire for details.
Kaiser Permanente Asian Association Scholarship

Kaiser Permanente offers seven scholarships. Applicants must be graduating from high school in spring 2016, and planning to attend college the following fall. Applicants must live or attend high school in Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Kaiser service area and you must have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Winners can be of any ethnicity but must demonstrate leadership in an Asian community.

$3,500 Feb. 21, 2016
RMHC/Asia Scholarship

The Ronald McDonald House offers scholarships to high school seniors who have at least one parent of Asian heritage and plan to attend college. Applicants must be legal U.S. resident.

Varies Jan. 20, 2016
Tang Scholarship

Administered by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, this scholarship targets Asian-Pacific Islander students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender and involved in the gay community. Applicants must graduate from high school in one of nine counties in the San Francisco Bay Area and have a GPA of at least 3.0.

Varies, with $60,000 apportioned among four recipients Late April
Asian Women in Business Scholarship Fund

This award goes to female students of Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry. Applicants must be full-time students with a minimum GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0. Students should show evidence of leadership or entrepreneurial achievement.

$2,500 Early October
Matt Fong Asian Americans in Public Finance Scholarship

These awards go to students in accounting, business administration, political science or public policy. Applicants must be at least 50 percent Asian and attend a four-year school in California.

$1,500 February
Robert Toigo Foundation Fellowship

This scholarship is geared toward minorities entering MBA programs. Applicants must be African-America, Asian-American, Hispanic or Native American and planning a career in investment banking, real estate, private equity, venture capital or other financial field.

Varies April 15
Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts Scholarship

This award goes to a law student studying in Massachusetts. Applicants must show commitment to making a contribution to the Asian-American Community.

$2,500 March 22
Anheuser-Busch/NLF Presidential Scholarships

This program awards to students who show potential to serve the Asian Pacific American community. Applicants need not be Asian.

$7,500 Sept. 1
Chris Nakamura Scholarship

This directs an award to a law student. Applicants need not be Asian.

$2,500 Sept. 1
Lim, Ruger & Kim Scholarship

This scholarship gives to a law student. Applicants need not be Asian.

$2,500 Sept. 1
Low Family Scholarship

One scholarship goes to a law student who has a history of demonstrated leadership and community service to the Asian Pacific American community. Applicants need not be Asian.

$2,500 Sept. 1
UPS/NLF Gold Mountain Scholarships

Two scholarships each go to law students who are the first in their immediate family to attend law school. Applicants must show commitment to serving the needs of the Asian Pacific American community. Applicants need not be Asian.

$5,000 Sept. 1
APIASF/NBCUniversal Scholarship

This one-time award of $2,500 is open to students of Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity. Applicants must be majoring in journalism or communications and be a college junior or senior.

$2,500 Early January
CIC/Anna Chennault Scholarship

Organized by the Asian American Journalists Association, this award donates to an undergraduate student who hopes to pursue a career in journalism.

$5,000 Early May
Ohio Newspaper Association Minority Scholarship

This award goes to an Ohio student hoping to pursue a newspaper career. Applicants must be African-America, Asian-American, Hispanic or Native American.

$1,500 April 5
Yuchengco Memorial Journalism Scholarship

These awards support undergraduate students studying journalism or planning a journalism career. Applicants must be of Filipino heritage, live in the San Francisco Bay area and demonstrate financial need.

$500 to $3,000 February
APIASF/Southern California Edison Scholarship

This one-time award of $2,500 is open to students of Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity who live in Southern California Edison’s service area. Applicants majoring in STEM fields get preference.

$2,500 Early January
APIASF/Toyota Scholarship

This one-time award of $2,500 is open to students of Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity who major in a STEM field. Preference is for students who live in Southern California. Applicants whose parents work for Toyota Motor Sales USA are not eligible.

$2,500 Early January
APIASF/NASA Scholarship

This one-year award is open to students of Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity with a GPA of at least 2.8 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants must major in engineering or computer science.

$2,900 Early January
Xerox Technical Minority Scholarships

Awards support students studying engineering, physics, chemistry or any other technical field. Applicants must be legal U.S. residents of African-American, Asian, Native American or Hispanic descent.

$1,000 to $10,000 Sept. 30

Resources and Scholarships for Undocumented Students

Many of the scholarships available to Asian-American and Pacific Islander students require that applicants are U.S. citizens, or at least documented immigrants. What if you or your parents came to the United States illegally? In that case, the options for scholarships and financial aid narrow. But there are some glimmers of hope. In California, for instance, state law lets undocumented immigrants pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities, so long as the student has attended three years of high school in California. And there are a handful of scholarships available to undocumented Asian-American students:

Ascend Educational Fund

This nonprofit awards scholarships to immigrant students and children of immigrants who are graduating from a New York City high school and plan to attend public or private colleges or universities. Applicants must be born outside the United States or have two parents born outside the U.S. Scholarships are given regardless of ethnicity or immigration status.

$2,500 to $20,000 March
Dream Summer

An internship program organized by the Dream Resource Program, Dream Summer employs participants for ten weeks working at social justice organizations with a focus on immigration issues.

$5,000 March
OCIYU Scholarship for Undocumented Students

Orange County Immigrant Youth United awards scholarships of $250 to $500 to students who are undocumented immigrants living anywhere in the United States.

Varies Spring
RAISE Scholarship

Offered by Revolutionizing Asian American Immigrant Stories on the East Coast, this scholarship goes to Asian students who are undocumented. The scholarship goes to five applicants in the areas of arts and culture, higher education, leadership, community service and professional development.

$500 January

Resources for First-Generation Asian College Students

While Asians generally excel in the U.S. economy, the group is not monolithic. Many Asian immigrants struggle economically. Poverty is especially acute for Laotian, Hmong and Bangladeshi immigrants. For these students, poor schools and pressure to support the family financially make attending college a challenge, the Asian-American Psychological Association reports. Language barriers also can pose an obstacle. Nearly half of Laotian and Hmong adults report attending college but not earning a degree. The statistics are even worse for immigrants from Tonga and Samoa. More than half who attend college fail to graduate. Some nonprofits offer resources for first-generation students. The Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, for instance, has a mentorship program.

The Frederick & Demi Seguritan Scholarship, sponsored by the Asia Pacific Fund is also geared towards first-generation immigrants. The award if goes to a first-generation Asian American with a passion for business. Applicants need not major in business but must show financial need and live in the San Francisco Bay Area. The award amount is$5,000. The deadline to apply is in February.

Asian-American & Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Contrary to the stereotype, not all Asian-American students attend elite institutions. Recognizing that reality, the U.S. Department of Education created the AANAPISI program. The clumsy acronym refers to Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. These schools are public universities and community colleges where at least 10 percent of the students are Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders, and where at least half the students receive federal financial assistance.

The federal government has designated nearly 20 AANAPISIs. Most are in California and U.S. territories such as American Samoa and Guam. A couple are scattered on the East Coast (University of Massachusetts Boston and Queens College CUNY), and there’s one in each in the Midwest (University of Illinois at Chicago) and Texas (Richland College).

AANAPISIs aren’t the most prestigious academic institutions — for instance, there are no schools from the University of California system on the AANAPISI list. These schools cumulatively receive millions to help Asian American students earn degrees and find jobs. For Asian-American students attending AANAPISIs, benefits include scholarship eligibility and academic help. San Jose State, for instance, uses its AANAPISI grant to improve students’ writing skills and graduation rates. The University of Illinois at Chicago has devoted the money to operating an Asian American studies program, mentoring Asian-American students and teaching writing skills. Here is a list of AANAPIS schools.

AANAPIS

  • American Samoa Community College
  • California State University, East Bay
  • California State University, Sacramento
  • City College of San Francisco
  • Coastline Community College (CA)
  • College of Micronesia – FSM
  • De Anza College (CA)
  • Guam Community College
  • Laney College (CA)
  • Mission College (CA)
  • Northern Marianas College
  • Queens College, CUNY
  • Richland College (TX)
  • San Jose State University (CA)
  • South Seattle College
  • University of Guam
  • University of Hawai’i at Hilo
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of Massachusetts Boston

By the Numbers

Arrivals of new immigrants to the U.S. in 2010: A
Asians: 36 percent B
Hispanics: 31 percent C
Percent of Asian-American adults with a bachelor’s degree: 49 D
Percent of all Americans adults with a bachelor’s degree: 28 E

Source:Pew Research Center