Monday, September 30, 2013

Two Missouri underrepresented minority scholarships now open to Pacific Islanders

This month we've announced great news regarding two underrepresented minority scholarships, both of which are now open to Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. At the close of the month, we are pleased to announce two more: after hearing from the Pacific Islander Access project, the University of Missouri is opening up two of its underrepresented minority scholarships to Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders!

Starting next year, Pacific Islander students who meet the other criteria can apply for the George C Brooks Scholarships and the Diversity Award. This change in policy was made after the university reviewed data on Pacific Islander underrepresentation among college graduates, both across the United States and in the State of Missouri.

The Pacific Islander Access project commends the University of Missouri for its commitment to underrepresented minorities, and for choosing to include Pacific Islanders. They join a growing group of underrepresented minority programs, and we hope that others will follow their lead. We strongly encourage Pacific Islander students and parents to look into these new opportunities.

Once again, mahalo to the University of Missoori! Please learn more about them by visiting their webpage here:

For more info on the George C Brooks Scholarship, click here: LINK

And for the Diversity Award, click here: LINK


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pacific Islanders now eligible for accounting scholarship

We've been the bearers of good news lately at the Pacific Islander Access project, thanks to several underrepresented minority programs that have decided to open their doors to Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. (You can read our recent posts to learn more about the two most recent announcements, regarding the Diversifying Faculty in Illinois program, and the Abraham Lincoln Graduate Fellowship.)

Fortunately for America's growing Pacific Islander community, the good news keeps coming!  We heard back from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), which is the world's largest membership organization representing the accounting profession. AICPA administers the AICPA Scholarship for Minority Students, for undergraduate or graduate accounting students who are underrepresented.

We are pleased to share that this program is open to Pacific Islanders!  

We heard about this directly from AICPA, after contacting them following our national study on Pacific Islander eligibility for underrepresented minority scholarships and fellowships.  While their online information indicated that their programs did not include Pacific Islanders, they shared that their undergraduate scholarship accepted a Pacific Islander student as recently as last year.  They are reviewing information we have been sharing with them, and are working to revise the official eligibility criteria. 

We commend AICPA for supporting Pacific Islanders who aspire to become CPAs and/or teach accounting at the university level!  We also look forward to the results of their official eligibility policy change, which should clearly state that Pacific Islanders are an eligible group.

You can learn more about AICPA's scholarship programs by following this link here: link

Mahalo for reading!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Australian Broadcasting Corporation: "Voice of Pacific Islanders in U.S. not being heard"

Nudged perhaps by the story from New America Media that we blogged about earlier this month, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (the top news outlet in Australia) recently did a story on challenges being faced by America's growing Pacific Islander population.  They zeroed in on the same area of California as New America Media, and interviewed one of the same sources.

There were several things about the story that we greatly appreciate, especially ABC's effort to raise awareness about the struggles of Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders in the U.S. In particular, we were pleased with the focus on education issues, including the underrepresentation of Pacific Islanders in American universities.

We also noted one issue in need of correction: the description of Pacific Islanders as an "immigrant group."  New America Media made the same mistake.

As we've mentioned before, America's Pacific Islander community consists primarily of people who are indigenous to land that is now the United States.  Native Hawaiians (indigenous to Hawaii, the 50th State), Chamorros (indigenous to Guam) and American Samoans (indigenous to American Samoa) make up the vast majority of Pacific Islander Americans. We recognize that this diverse community does also include immigrant groups, such as Fijians, Tongans, Tahitians and others, but simply labeling Pacific Islanders as an immigrant group is inaccurate.

Click here to read the story from ABC: LINK


Saturday, September 07, 2013

Abraham Lincoln Graduate Fellowship revises eligibility policy, Pacific Islanders assured of eligibility

In our last post, I got to tell you that a program which provides over $1 million in annual financial aid is adding Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders as an eligible group.  In this post, we get to share very similar news, after hearing back from the Abraham Lincoln Graduate Fellowship.  This underrepresented minority program has also revised its eligibility policy, and has assured the Pacific Islander Access project that Pacific Islanders are recognized as an eligible group!

While the previous policy limited eligibility to specifically mentioned underrepresented minority groups (of which Pacific Islanders were not one), the new criteria requires that applicants:

...come from groups that have been historically underrepresented in graduate programs

(You can find U.S. Census years of data confirming Pacific Islander underrepresentation in graduate programs right here: link)

We heard this news directly from the University of Illinois at Chicago, which administers the Abraham Lincoln Graduate Fellowship, after contacting them following our national study on Pacific Islander eligibility for underrepresented minority scholarships and fellowships. We are very pleased with this decision to include Pacific Islanders, and commend the university for making the right decision.

The Abraham Lincoln Graduate Fellowship is an exciting and generous financial aid program for underrepresented minorities interested in attending the University of Illinois at Chicago. In the first year, recipients of their recruitment award receive $25,000 per academic year plus a full tuition and fee waiver.  Together, this can easily amount to over $30,000 in annual financial support.  We encourage you to learn more by visiting UIC's webpage on the program, which you can find here: link

Mahalo once again to the Abraham Lincoln Graduate Fellowship for opening its doors to Pacific Islanders!

And mahalo to you for reading.