McDonald’s is Offering $500,000 in Scholarships for Asian and Pacific Islander American Students


McDonald’s is reportedly committing half a million dollars to establish a scholarship program for Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) students.

On Wednesday, the fast-food giant announced its plans of providing $500,000 to create the first-ever McDonald’s/APIA Scholarship program. The program, created in partnership with APIA Scholars, will initially award 15 four-year scholarships and 40 one-year scholarships to rising college freshmen. 

According to the announcement, the 55 scholarships will be awarded in Spring 2020.

“McDonald’s is very excited to launch the McDonald’s APIA Scholarship program to give a platform for APIA students to achieve their higher education dreams,” Seattle McDonald’s Owner/Operator William Cho was quoted as saying. 

“We believe everyone deserves the chance to go to college, regardless of finances, and McDonald’s is committed to making that happen.”

APIA Scholars noted that while half of all APIAs do have a college degree, economical and educational disparities within the APIA community are significant. 

Based on APIA figures, only 25% of Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and Southeast Asian Americans have college degrees. It also noted that the top 10% of APIAs earn more than 10 times the bottom 10% of APIAs.

These numbers are the reason why scholarship programs are so crucial to the community, according to APIA Scholars.

For the McDonald’s/APIA Scholarship program, students who are first-generation college attendees and demonstrate high financial need will be prioritized.

The application for the McDonald’s/APIA Scholarship will be available for the 2020-2021 academic year until January 22, 2020 at 5 p.m. EST. Applications can now be accessed at

In order to qualify, applicants must meet the requirements below:

  1. Be of Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity as defined by the U.S. Census
  2. Be a citizen, national or legal permanent resident of the United States. Citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau are also eligible to apply
  3. Will be enrolling as an undergraduate student in a U.S. accredited college or university in the Fall 2020
  4. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale (unweighted) or have earned a GED
  5. Must apply for federal financial aid for the 2020-2021 academic year using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) by early April 2020
  6. Submit one letter of recommendation online

In addition to the APIA Scholarship, McDonald’s also offers the HACER® National Scholarship for Hispanic students and the McDonald’s Black and Positively Golden Scholarships to students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities. 

Feature Image via Sasin Tipchai

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