American popular culture is full of claims that Asian American and Pacific Islander students are overrunning college campuses with high enrollment. Asian American and Pacific Islander students are perceived to be so ubiquitous in higher education that regrettable quips like “UCLA really stands for ‘United Caucasians Lost Among Asians’” and “MIT means ‘Made in Taiwan’” are all-too familiar in higher education circles, slighting both the institutions and the students that attend them. Others characterize Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as the “alien student invaders,” as suggested by the title of an article in UC Berkeley’s alumni association magazine, California, “Facing the Asian Invasion.” Indeed, the “Too Many? Not Enough?” graphic was the feature of a 2007 New York Times “Education Life”supplement titled: “The Asian Campus: At 41 percent Asian, Berkeley could be the new face of merit-based admissions. The problem for everybody else: lots less room at elite
Such impressions exaggerate the presence of Asian American and Pacific Islander participation in U.S. higher education.
In addition to addressing myths about AAPI students "taking over" higher education, the report debunks the myth that AAPI students only pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math. While there are a number of AAPIs who do pursue these fields, trends also show that a large proportion of AAPI students obtain degrees in the social sciences and the humanities.