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AANAPISI stands for Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution. The AANAPISI program, one of eight federally designated Minority Serving Institution (MSI) programs, was established by Congress in 2007 as part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. It was expanded in 2008 under the Higher Education Opportunity Act.

To qualify for an AANAPISI grant an institution must have, at the time of application, an enrollment of undergraduate students that is at least ten percent Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander students. At least 50% of an applicant institution’s degree-seeking students must receive financial assistance under one or more of the following programs: the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work Study (FWS), or the Federal Perkins Loan. Institutions must first apply for designation of eligibility and be deemed eligible to compete for an AANAPISI grant. Institutions may direct grants toward construction or renovation of instructional facilities, purchase of educational materials, development of faculty and curriculum, and support of student services.

What is NOVA’s AANAPISI Project?

In the Fall of 2021, NOVA was awarded a 1.4 million dollar AANAPISI Grant to develop the program,
APPEAL (Asian Pacific Pedagogy for Equity, Achievement & Learning). APPEAL implements a college-wide
effort to improve retention, enrollment, and graduation rates for AAPI and other high-need students
through a peer mentor program, a selection of faculty workshops on culturally responsive pedagogy, and a dynamic Intercultural Learning & Resource Center focused on education around AAPI communities. Click here to read the NOVA’s AANAPISI Grant Program.

3 Central Goals


A Peer Mentoring Program for AAPI students that focuses on leadership, difference education, and improving college skills for AAPI students in need of support.


An AAPI Intercultural Learning and Resource Center on our largest campus as a meeting space for our AAPI Connect peer mentor program, a hub for student resources and AAPI cultural resources for faculty, and a space for AAPI community outreach and community organizations.


Culturally responsive pedagogy workshops to faculty that educate participants on the importance of AAPI community, concerns within the AAPI community, & techniques to make the classroom more inclusive.

NOVA Serves

Pie chart of AAPI students by campus in Fall 2021
Map of AANAPISI locations near Washington, DC