Scholarships & Resources for Asian American and Pacific Islander Students

Whether majoring in accounting, music, or healthcare, financial aid and resources can be key. If you’re Asian or Pacific Islander and have college in your future, check out some of 2020’s best scholarships and resources for students in your community.

Paying for college may be difficult, but it shouldn’t be a barrier to higher education. Scholarships, grants, and financial aid can make college far more affordable, whether you’re seeking a certificate in medical assisting or a master’s degree in public health. And while you should apply for as many scholarships as you realistically can, the more each scholarship is in-line with who you are and what you want to study, the better your chances of landing it. The following guide lists 20 scholarship opportunities and college resources specifically for Asian and Pacific Islander students, and includes five key ways to make your applications shine. Good luck!

Scholarships & Financial Aid for Asian American and Pacific Islander Students

There are three main types of financial aid: loans, grants, and scholarships. All three can help pay for tuition, room, board, and living expenses. However, loans must be paid back — often with interest – while grants and scholarships do not. Grants are usually based on someone’s financial situation, while scholarships may place a greater emphasis on student achievement. As a result, scholarships are often the most sought after form of financial aid. See if one (or more) of these scholarships fits your academic and financial needs.

General Scholarships

Organization

Organization

APIA Scholars

Amount

Amount

$2,500 – $5,000

Deadline

Deadline

9/21/20 (annual)

Eligibility

In addition to being of Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity, applicants must have legal status to be in the U.S. and be enrolled in a full-time program that results in a degree.

How to Apply

Individuals may apply online and complete the application in multiple sessions. Applicants will also have to complete the FAFSA.

Organization

Organization

Asian Pacific Fund

Amount

Amount

$2,000 – $3,000

Deadline

Deadline

3/27/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Must be first in immediate family to attend college, have a minimum 2.8 GPA, and be a resident of California

How to Apply

Applicants must complete the application and essay, submit two letters of recommendation and a resume, and provide recent transcripts.

Organization

Organization

APIA Scholars

Amount

Amount

$2,500 – $20,000

Deadline

Deadline

1/22/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be Asian or Pacific Islander, have legal status to be in the United States, plan to enroll in a United States college and have at least a 2.7 GPA.

How to Apply

Application requirements include completion of the FAFSA and providing one letter of recommendation.

Organization

Organization

Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL)

Amount

Amount

Varies

Deadline

Deadline

2/13/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must have at least a 2.8 GPA and awarded an unpaid internship in the Washington, D.C. area.

How to Apply

Go to the CAPAL website and complete an application form. Provide one letter of recommendation, a transcript, and a personal statement that should be 750 words or less.

Organization

Organization

Against the Grain Productions

Amount

Amount

$1,500

Deadline

Deadline

5/31/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Students must be of at least 25% Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity, have at least a 3.5 GPA, and show “visionary leadership through innovative means.”

How to Apply

The applicant will create a short video production. An interview, essay, and letters of recommendation are also required.

Medical and Health Scholarships

Organization

Organization

AfterCollege, Inc.

Amount

Amount

$2,500

Deadline

Deadline

Varies, but four scholarships are awarded each year

Eligibility

Applicants attending a graduate or undergraduate nursing program, with preference given to those hoping to become a nurse educator or enrolled in an accelerated nursing program.

How to Apply

Students will need to show evidence that they are enrolled in an AACN member institution in addition to completing the application and providing letters of recommendation.

Organization

Organization

AHIMA Foundation

Amount

Amount

$1,000 – $2,500

Deadline

Deadline

9/30/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be members of the AHIMA, have at least a 3.5 GPA, and be actively enrolled in at least six credit hours.

How to Apply

The online application requires writing several essays, providing proof of program enrollment, and submitting necessary transcripts and letters of recommendation.

Organization

Organization

American College of Healthcare Executives

Amount

Amount

$5,000

Deadline

Deadline

4/30/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

This scholarship is for minority students who are attending a healthcare management program at the graduate level and demonstrate financial need.

How to Apply

The online application requires a resume, academic transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and an essay.

Organization

Organization

AMA Foundation

Amount

Amount

$10,000

Deadline

Deadline

2/20/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Individuals must be final year medical students enrolled in an accredited allopathic or osteopathic medical school.

How to Apply

Interested students must get their medical school dean’s office to nominate them.

Organization

Organization

American Medical Technologists

Amount

Amount

Varies

Deadline

Deadline

4/1/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

A high school student or current college student who intends to begin a career in a medical field eligible for a certification offered by AMT.

How to Apply

Completion of an online application form.

5 Keys to Scholarship Success

Scholarships might be the most sought after forms of financial aid, which means fierce competition. That’s why you need to make sure your scholarship application is as perfect as possible, with no mistakes or careless errors. Scholarship committees are flooded with applications; a simple error could bump yours to the bottom of the pile. Don’t let this happen to you!

Here are more tips that can improve your chances of applying for a scholarship.

  • Key #1: Get your application in early
    It’s a given that you need to submit your application on time, but submitting it early can increase your chances of getting an award, especially if decisions are made on a rolling basis.
  • Key #2: Look for small scholarship awards
    As you might expect, the larger the scholarship award, the higher number of applications. Improve your chances of winning a scholarship by going up against less competition.
  • Key #3: Tweak, tweak, tweak
    Like any other piece of work, the highest quality product is almost never obtained on the first try. Scholarships are no different, especially when they have an essay requirement.
  • Key #4: Don’t be afraid to ask for help
    Whether it’s advice on what you can say to stand out or getting an extra set of eyes to look over your essay, outside help is almost always a good thing.
  • Key #5: Foster great relationships
    Many scholarships will require letters of recommendation. Take the time now to cultivate the relationships you need to get those great letters – and besides that, it helps to network!

College Resources for Asian American and Pacific Islander Students

Getting into the healthcare program of your choice isn’t as easy as simply applying and hoping for the best. The time to begin work toward that career begins early, with a variety of resources available specifically for those who are looking for financial and developmental help. The following sections detail a few great places to begin the journey.

Academic & Career

  • Asian American Youth Leadership Empowerment and Development (AALEAD)
    Through mentoring, leadership, empowerment, and self-awareness programs, AALEAD works to help disadvantaged Asian and Pacific Islander youth succeed in school and careers.
  • APIA Scholars
    APIA Scholars helps Asian and Pacific Islander students find the best access to higher education. Resources include scholarships, mentoring, and leadership training.
  • Asian Career Network
    The Asian Career Network is a hub that connects Asian job seekers and employers in one convenient online location. There are several career resources to help Asians and Pacific Islanders make the most of the job search process.

Social & Networking

  • Ascend
    Through regional and national programs, Ascend works to promote professional and academic development for its membership. Resources include access to networking events and skill development programs.
  • National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA)
    The NCAPA is a consortium of more than 30 Asian and Pacific Islander organizations, including those who focus on healthcare issues. The mission of the NCAPA is to facilitate the goals of each of these organizations.
  • U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAACC)
    The USPAACC is the largest non-profit professional organization representing Asian groups in a number of contexts, such as business, sports, arts, education, and science.

Advocacy & Diversity

Healthcare Education

  • Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA)
    The APAMSA is a national organization focused on advocating for the concerns of Asian and Pacific Islander medical students.
  • American Medical Student Association (AMSA)
    For students seeking a future career in a physician, the AMSA can provide a host of assistance, including educational opportunities that teach skills that aren’t often taught in school.
  • National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians (NCAPIP)
    The NCAPIP’s primary mission is to give Asian and Pacific Islander physicians opportunities to improve the healthcare of every member of society. One available resource includes a research leadership training program for undergraduate students.
  • HOSA
    HOSA has the two-pronged purpose of helping students seeking a career in the healthcare industry as well as improving medical care access to everyone.