for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders
Pacific Islander Access project
The Pacific Islander Access project focuses on increasing higher education opportunities
for Native Hawaiians and all other Pacific Islanders.
Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are one of the fastest growing populations in
the United States. However, this population lags behind other minorities in terms of many
socio-economic indicators, including income, health, and education. The Pacific Islander
Access project focuses on the educational disparities. Pacific Islanders are approximately
50% less likely to have a 4-year degree and 60% less likely to hold an advanced degree
compared to the general population. Financial concerns are known to be a major factor in
whether or not students graduate from college.
The Pacific Islander Access project started off as a micro nonprofit. We found that
although many nonprofits did amazing work, many spent a significant portion of their
energy sustaining themselves instead of accomplishing their mission. We felt that the
micro-nonprofit model – all volunteer or small groups that use their expertise and
technology as leverage could affect change by narrowing its focusing on a specific
Our goal is to convince institutions of higher education and scholarships that support
minorities to open their eligibility to include native Hawaiians and other Pacific
Islanders. Within the first three years we were able to convince 13 institutions and
scholarship to include Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders and we opened up
$1.1 million in potential scholarship funding for these groups. We hope to continue this
advocacy until all scholarships for underrepresented minorities include all Pacific
It is our hope that one day we will no longer need initiatives like the Pacific Islander Access
project. Our goal is to open up all scholarships that target underrepresented minorities to
Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. However, as this scholarship book shows
there are still quite a few that exclude Native Hawaiians and/or other Pacific Islanders.
The Pacific Islander Access project believes that scholarships targeting underrepresented
minorities are benevolent and that any exclusion has been done due to a lack of
understanding of the issue. We have communicated with all scholarships listed in this book
and many have changed their stance when provided with additional information.
However, some have still not changed their position. Of those that have not, the reason has
varied from that they do not believe that Pacific Islanders should be categorized separate
from Asians to that they still do not believe this community is underrepresented and in
need of assistance. In each of these cases, we encourage you to use our template letter and
share your story about how you have been negatively impacted by their decision not to
include Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
By working together and using our collective voice we can open up the few scholarships
that are lagging in changing their policy of excluding Native Hawaiians and other Pacific
Islanders. We believe that these scholarships do not intend to exclude groups that meet
their mission, but rather need to see the implications of their decision. Therefore, they
need to hear from you, those Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders who are
adversely affected by their policy. Please consider contacting each of those organizations
that do not include all Pacific Islanders. Appendix A and B has a listing of contact
information for you to utilize.
Point of Contact
City, State Zipcode]
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to you to express my concern with a specific provision in your policy. Your
underrepresented minority scholarship states that Native Hawaiians and/or other Pacific
Islanders are not eligible to apply. This policy negatively impacts me and my community. I
urge you to change this policy immediately.
[Include a paragraph on who you are and what you hope to accomplish.]
Although Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are one of the fastest growing
populations in the United States, we lag behind other minorities in many socio-economic
indicators, including income, health, and education. Pacific Islanders are roughly half as
likely to graduate from college. Financial reasons are known to be a major factor in
whether or not students graduate from college.
Federal policy dictates that federal data be classified in either Asian or Native
Hawaiian/Pacific Islander categories. OMB Directive 15 states “by creating separate
categories, the data on the Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islander groups will no
longer be overwhelmed by the aggregate data of the much larger Asian groups.” Thus, our
government recognizes that combining Asian and Pacific Islanders into one category has
obscured valuable information about the Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders group.
The current data highlights that Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are
underrepresented in higher education. We encourage your scholarship to come in line
with federal policy, current educational data, and solid moral actions and change your
policy to allow Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders to apply. Our community is
clearly deserving of the same chances provided to other minority groups facing similar
Further we support the efforts of the Pacific Islander Access project and encourage you to
work in coordination with this nonprofit organization to change your policy and promote
your scholarship in our community. Again, please allow us the same opportunities that
your organization has opened for so many other minority groups.
Open to All Pacific Islanders
Actuarial Scholarships for Minority Students
To promote diversity within the profession through an annual scholarship
program for Black/African American, Hispanic, Native North American and Pacific Islander
Intent on pursuing a career in the actuarial profession
Must have at least one birth parent who is a member of one of the following
minority groups: Black/African American, Hispanic, Native North American, Pacific
Will be a full-time undergraduate student at a U.S. accredited educational institution
Minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), emphasis on math or actuarial courses
Entering college freshmen must have a minimum ACT math score of 28 or SAT math
score of 600
$1,000 – high school senior applying for freshman year;
$2,000 – college freshman applying for sophomore year;
$3,000* – college sophomore applying for junior year; and
$4,000* – college junior applying for senior year
*Actuarial exams are an important factor in evaluating scholarship qualifications for applicants entering their
junior year and beyond. Additionally, exams passed will be considered for renewal.
AIChE Minority Scholarship Award
To encourage the education and training of disadvantaged minorities in
engineering and related disciplines; fosters the employment of minorities at all levels of
skills within the engineering field; encourages minority entrepreneurship; and directs the
expertise of engineers to the solution of special social and economic problems faced by the
Undergraduates in chemical engineering
African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Alaskan Native, and Pacific Islander
AICPA- Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students
To increase the representation of ethnically diverse CPA professionals.
Enrolled in undergraduate or graduate accounting-related major
An underrepresented minority in the accounting profession (e.g., Black or African
American; Hispanic or Latino; Native American; or Asian American
Maintain a 3.0 GPA
Demonstrate some financial need (e.g. not receiving scholarships that exceed
American Educational Research Association- Minority Fellowship Program
To advance education research by outstanding minority graduate students and to
improve the quality and diversity of university faculties.
U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are members of racial and ethnic groups
historically underrepresented in higher education (e.g., African Americans, Alaskan
Natives, American Indians, Asian Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, and Native
Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders).
At the writing stage of their dissertation by the beginning of the fellowship.
Dissertation study should focus on an education research topic such as high stakes
testing; ethnic studies/curriculum; tracking; STEM development; measurement of
achievement and opportunity gaps; English language learners; or bullying and
up to a $19,000 stipend to study education, teaching, learning, or other education
$1,000 in Travel Support to Attend the AERA Annual Meeting