APIA Scholars released the following statement in response to the Build Back Better Framework:
Today, President Joe Biden announced the framework for the Build Back Better Act. APIA Scholars welcomes this progress towards needed investments, which includes important elements that will help promote Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) student success in higher education.
By increasing the maximum Pell Grant and expanding Pell eligibility to include Dreamers this framework underscores one of our core beliefs: that college opportunity should not be contingent on financial means. The Build Back Better Framework also includes important investments in the nation’s colleges and universities that serve students historically excluded from higher education, particularly the nation’s Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) and all other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). More than quadrupling the investment in AANAPISIs to $23.5 million annually is an important acknowledgement of the work these institutions do to serve first-generation and low-income AANHPI students.
“AANHPI students have a great deal to offer our country and we applaud these investments in their success, including through institutions that play a critical role in educating the nation’s AANHPI students–the nation’s fastest growing demographic–many of whom are the first to go to college in their families and come from low-income households,” said APIA Scholars Senior Vice President, Dr. Julie Ajinkya. APIA Scholars partners with many AANAPISI campuses to administer an annual scholarship to students and applauds further investment in these institutions’ ability to meet the needs of underserved AANHPI students.
APIA Scholars commends the Biden-Harris Administration for proposing investments in our nation’s students and their families and looks forward to reviewing the details of the legislation when it is released.
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.