Sunday, October 07, 2012

HBCU Minority Scholarship updates eligibility policy, chooses to include Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders!

Anyone who's been following our blog knows why the Pacific Islander Access project exists: Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are underrepresented in higher education, but they're excluded from even applying to many scholarships and fellowships for underrepresented minorities.  We want to raise awareness about this problem, and persuade the scholarships and fellowships to change their policies.

In August, we told you about our national study on the rate of inclusion and exclusion among America's academic programs for underrepresented minorities.  Shortly after that, we wrote every one of the scholarships and fellowships in our study.  For those that did not include Pacific Islanders, we shared our data, and asked them to choose to include - not exclude - Pacific Islanders.

We believe in this approach because we believe that these academic programs are run by caring, well-intended people who wouldn't knowingly choose to exclude a deserving underrepresented minority group from being able to apply.

We are pleased to report that one scholarship has already proven us right!  We heard back from the HBCU Minority Scholarship, and they let us know that they looked at the data and have decided to include Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.

In discussing this decision, HBCU Connect CEO Will Moss told us that "It is important that we consider the interest and needs of all minorities that have a desire to pursue their education at one of our country's Historically Black Colleges and Universities. We are honored to have had the request."

The PIA project commends HBCU Connect for making the right decision, and setting an example for other underrepresented minority programs. We hope that other academic programs will follow HBCU Connect's lead. One by one, the scholarships and fellowships themselves can give Pacific Islanders a fair chance to apply alongside other underrepresented groups.


(Are you an academic programs for underrepresented minorities?  If so, thank you for visiting our page!  Please click here to view a special section of our blog with Q&A written specifically for you: LINK

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