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Pacific Islanders in Higher Education, U.S.

Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (NHPIs; referred to interchangeably here as Pacific Islanders) are one of the fastest growing populations in the United States, yet they are also one of the least visible groups in higher education scholarship. This entry reviews the Pacific Islander population in the United States including its historical change in categorization, the educational attainment of Pacific Islanders, and themes from the higher education research and scholarship on Pacific Islanders with an emphasis on student experiences in postsecondary institutions.

The Pacific Islander Population in the United States

The 2000 Census defined NHPIs as persons “having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.” Pacific Islanders have historically been inappropriately conflated with Asian Americans under umbrella terms such as Asian ...

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