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APIA Scholars released the following statement in response to the House passage of the Build Back Better Act:

APIA Scholars applauds the House of Representatives for passing the Build Back Better Act, which includes investments critical to supporting student success in higher education. Within this historic $1.75 trillion package, APIA Scholars commends the inclusion of elements that support and empower underserved Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) students.

By increasing the maximum Pell Grant, expanding Pell eligibility to include Dreamers, and creating a college completion fund that scales evidence-based retention and completion initiatives, this bill provides students with greater opportunities to access college and strive for success. Furthermore, the quadrupled investment in Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) to $23.5 million annually represents a key investment in supporting these institutions’ ability to serve first-generation and low-income AANHPI students.

While more remains to be done to ensure inclusive college access and success for the nation’s most underserved students, the Build Back Better Act is an important step forward in opening up meaningful postsecondary opportunities for communities that have been traditionally excluded from higher education. Given that AANHPIs are the nation’s fastest growing demographic, it will be critical to meet the needs of students in these communities and support their success. As the Build Back Better Act advances, we urge the Senate to consider the importance of these investments in higher education, and to swiftly pass this legislation.

Based in Washington, D.C. and founded in 2003, Asian & Pacific Islander American (APIA) Scholars is the nation’s largest non-profit organization devoted to creating opportunities that provide access to higher education and resources that cultivate the academic, personal and professional success of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIAs). These efforts aim to advance the conversation around access to education, elevate the voice of the APIA community, and empower APIA leaders to drive systemic change. APIA Scholars has impacted the lives of more than 1 million APIA students, involved more than 250 corporate funders to elevate and amplify its message, and mobilized thousands of congressional members, policy makers and researchers to take action in support of APIA community advancement.