According to a new report released last month by the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education (CARE), in partnership with the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), the AAPI community is an untapped asset that is critical to both achieving the national college completion goal and ensuring the United States’ economic sustainability.
The publication, “The Relevance of Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders in the College Completion Agenda,” focuses on the need to be mindful of equity and diversity in the college completion agenda, particularly in meeting the needs of overlooked AAPI populations.
Data also reveal that AAPIs vary greatly in college participation and degree attainment, meaning some subgroups (out of 48 ethnicities in the AAPI community) are more likely to attend community colleges and less selective institutions — resulting in significant differences in degree attainment rates within the AAPI student population.
While more than four out of five East Asians (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) and South Asians (Asian Indian and Pakistani) who enrolled in college earned at least a bachelor’s degree, large proportions of other AAPI subgroups are attending college, but not earning a degree.
Among Southeast Asians, 33.7 percent of Vietnamese, 42.9 percent of Cambodians, 46.5 percent of Laotians, and 47.5 percent of Hmong adults (25 years or older) reported having attended college, but not earning a degree.
Similar to Southeast Asians, Pacific Islanders have a very high rate of attrition during college. Among Pacific Islanders, 47.0 percent of Guamanians, 50.0 percent of Native Hawaiians, 54.0 percent of Tongans, and 58.1 percent of Samoans entered college, but left without earning a degree.
Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders also had a higher proportion of college attendees who earned an associate’s degree as their highest level of education, while East Asians and South Asians were more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree. (end)