DP2017/7 Getting In: College Choice for Pacific Islander High School Football Players

SSGM Discussion Paper

Author/s (editor/s):

Keali'l Kukahiko

Publication year:


Publication type:

Discussion paper

Pacific Islander (PI) communities are underrepresented in US higher education, and hold bachelor’s degrees at rates lower than the national rate (US Census 2012). Empowering Pacific Island Communities (EPIC and Asian Americans Advancing Justice 2014) reported that Guamanians (13%), Samoans (11%), Tongans (11%), Fijians (10%), and Micronesians (4%) all hold bachelor’s degrees at less than half the rate of the national population of the United States (28%). As college tuitions continue to rise (Mumper and Freeman 2005; Schoen 2015), and meritocratic aid (Perna and Titus 2004) replaces need-based aid, there is the possibility that PI participation in higher education may be hampered even further. This research on ‘college choice’ for PIs entering college athletics is an attempt to study alternative pathways to higher education. This research should inform policymakers, staff, faculty and administrators about the goals and expectations that PI student-athletes bring with them to college, in order to better serve and support this population.

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