11 Best AAPI Scholarships for Asian American/Pacific Islander Students

Contrary to popular belief, there are many high-dollar scholarships for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) minority students. If you fall into this category, you may be eligible for one of these AAPI scholarships.

Paying for college as an AAPI student can be difficult, especially when you have to pay for it on your own. That being said, it wouldn’t hurt to check out these AAPI scholarships to ensure you attend and graduate from your university of choice and have meaningful college years.

AAPI Scholarships
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1. Gold Mountain Scholarships

Since 1999, the Gold Mountain Scholarships have supported first-generation AAPI high school graduates and college students in their pursuit of higher education.

Every year, 15 first-gen AAPI high school seniors will be awarded $2,000 each. On the other hand, four first-gen undergraduate students who will be starting their senior year during the upcoming fall term will be awarded $2,500 each. The good news is that there is no minimum grade point average (GPA) to be eligible to apply.

Click here to learn more about the Gold Mountain Scholarships for high school graduates and rising college seniors.

2. The S.Y. & S.F. Fung Public Service Scholarship Fund

The S.Y. & S.F. Fung Public Service Scholarship Fund aims to award financial aid to students pursuing a master’s degree in Public Administration and who intend to pursue a career in public service. One scholar will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship annually.

This scholarship is sponsored by Anthony Fung, a Deputy Secretary of Technology for the Commonwealth of Virginia. The S.Y. & S.F. Fung Public Service Scholarship Fund is in honor of Anthony Fung’s mother and father, who worked as a nurse at a public hospital and a high school teacher, respectively.

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Click here to learn more about the Public Service Scholarship Fund.

3. Against the Grain Artistic Scholarship

The Against the Grain (ATG) Artistic Scholarship provides financial assistance and promotion of Asian American college students pursuing a major in the performing, visual arts, journalism and/or mass communications. The recipients will be rewarded with a $1,000 scholarship to cover their tuition fees.

Selection is based on a rating system judged in five major categories. The candidate with the highest combined cumulative points will receive the scholarship. These categories are:

  • Quality of content submission (essay, artistic portfolio)
  • Academic performance
  • Leadership/community service experience and contribution

Click here to learn more about the Artistic Scholarship.

4. Against the Grain Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship

AGT also provides scholarships to Asian American college seniors who demonstrate exceptional leadership, vision, and passion in changing the lives of Asian American communities for the better. A financial package of $1,500 will be awarded to selected students.

All scholarship candidates must submit a video presentation showcasing their work and qualifications. Videos will be judged on content, creativity, and execution.

Click here to learn more about the Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship.

5. Against the Grain Lily Pabilona Emerging Entrepreneur Scholarship

The Lily Pabilona Emerging Entrepreneur Scholarship by ATG recognizes Asian American high school, graduate and post-graduate students pursuing a career in entrepreneurship.

This scholarship, started in 2016 and generously funded by entrepreneurs Grace and Ranier Pabilona, will provide an amount ranging between $1,000 to $5,000 award to be applied toward school tuition and fees.

To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must have demonstrated leadership abilities through participation in community service, extracurricular, or other activities.

Click here to learn more about the Lily Pabilona Emerging Entrepreneur Scholarship.

6. Against the Grain #LiveLikeLyly Memorial Scholarship

In honor of Lyly Koenig Mendez, a breast cancer survivor, the #LiveLikeLyly Memorial Scholarship provides financial assistance and promotion of Asian American college students pursuing a major in fashion and/or graphic design.

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This memorial artistic scholarship was created in Lyly’s name specifically to support talented emerging graphic/fashion design students like her and dedicated with love as a reminder of her unique spirit and legacy to #LiveLikeLyly. Scholarships worth $1,000 are available to selected students each year.

Click here to learn more about the #LiveLikeLyly Memorial Scholarship.

7. Asian American Architects and Engineers (AAa/e) Scholarship

The Asian American Architects and Engineers (AAa/e) Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing scholarships for students pursuing a career in architecture, engineering, or construction.

You have to be a member of the AAa/e Association in order to apply. Student membership is only $8 per year. Scholarships in the amount of up to $5,000 will be awarded to qualifying applicants. Best of all, you don’t have to be of Asian descent to apply; the opportunity is open to everyone of any descent.

Click here to learn more about the AAa/e Scholarship.

8. Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) Scholarship

The APALA Scholarship is an annual $2,000 award that provides financial assistance to a student of Asian or Pacific background who is enrolled in, or has been accepted into, a master’s or doctoral degree program in library and/or information science at a school accredited by the American Library Association (ALA).

To be eligible for this scholarship, you must be an APALA member in good standing by the application by application deadline. Also, you must be willing to serve on the scholarship committee the following year if the award is received. Your applications will be evaluated on three main components:

  1. Evidence of leadership potential
  2. Strength of essay
  3. Overall merit of application package

Click here to learn more about the APALA Scholarship.

9. Chin-Shui Kuen and Allen Chin Scholarship

As suggested by its name, this scholarship was established in honor of Shui Kuen and Allen Chin. Annually, two selected students will be awarded a scholarship of $1,000 each. Students or those with parents who are or have been working in an Asian or Asian-owned cuisine restaurant are eligible to apply.

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There are no restrictions on the heritage of applicants. However, applicants must be able to demonstrate their financial capability.

Click here to learn more about the Chin-Shui Kuen and Allen Chin Scholarship.

10. Hsiao Memorial Social Sciences Scholarship

These AAPI scholarships are awarded in memory of Liang-Lin Hsiao who was an economics professor at Indiana State University. A $1,000 scholarship is available for one qualified student each year. To be eligible to apply, applicants must be graduate students with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

In addition, they must be majoring in social sciences; preference will be given to students studying economics although this is not a primary requirement. Students of Asian descent will be given priority. Financial need is required to qualify.

Click here to learn more about the Hsiao Memorial Social Sciences Scholarship.

11. Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) Scholarship

The APIA Scholarship is open to Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) undergraduate students attending any U.S. accredited university or college. Scholarship amounts range from $2,500 one-year awards to $20,000 multi-year awards.

Preferences will be given to AANHPI students who live at or below the poverty line, are in the first generation of their family to attend college, and are representative of the APIA community’s diversity. Strong applicants would also have an emphasis on community service and leadership.

Click here to learn more about the APIA Scholarship.

What’s Next?

Besides these AAPI scholarships, there are many other great opportunities for Asian American and Pacific Islander students. Check out our list of the best APIA scholarships to help you graduate debt-free. Minority students can check out our guide to IO scholarships for more financial resources.

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