The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has awarded nearly $1.5 million to UMass Lowell as part of the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) Grant Program to “enable such institutions to improve and expand their capacity to serve Asian American and Native American Pacific Islanders and low-income individuals” (DOE website). This grant is a five-year capacity building Title III grant under the Higher Education Opportunity Act. 
The grant and the university's 2020 designation as a minority serving institution or “MSI” help to support new programs and initiatives for students. In addition to the AANAPISI designation, institutions of higher education can be designated as six other types, including but not limited to: 
  • Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) 
  • Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and 
  • Tribal Colleges or Universities (TCUs). 
Each MSI designation and subsequent funding is based on specific eligibility requirements, as determined by the federal government and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). 

What does this mean for students?

This grant has allowed UMass Lowell to establish the Asian American Center for Excellence and Engagement (AACEE), which launched in Fall 2022. The office is dedicated to serving the growing Asian American population and offering a wide range of resources to address these students unique needs. AACEE is offers programs and workshops throughout the semester and is open to students of all backgrounds. Please check the AACEE website for the most up to date event information. 

What does this mean for faculty and staff?

The MSI designation opens many opportunities for faculty who are interested in receiving federal and private grant opportunities. A quick search for grant funding specifically designated for MSIs covers a wide range of foundations and organizations like the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). 
Rutgers University – Center for Minority Serving Institutions hosts a number of resources for both students and staff:


If you have any questions about or would like to get involved with the AANAPISI Grant (faculty, students and staff), you are welcome to email Cherry Lim, AACEE Program Director. 
If you would like support to apply to grants, you can reach out to the Office of Sponsored Programs based on your department and assigned liaison.

MSI Grants

Because UMass Lowell (UML) has been recognized as a minority-serving institution, faculty and staff have received grants to this end.