The Best Universities for Asian Americans (#19 - #16)
19.) University of Hawaii at Manoa
Percentage of Asian American students: 70% (approximately 8000)
Which university in America has the highest percentage of Asian Americans in its student body? If you guessed Berkeley, UCLA, or UC Irvine, you're close, but no cigar. U of Hawaii is the only university in America that can boast the highest percentage of Asian Americans enrolled in its campus. U of Hawaii, along w/ UC Irvine, are the only two major universities in this country with not just an Asian plurality, but an Asian majority.
About 25% of Hawaii's student body is comprised of Japanese Americans. Chinese, Korean, and Filipino Americans also make up a substantial number of students at U of Hawaii. While U of Hawaii does not distinguish itself in terms of academics, U of Hawaii has some of the most well recognized Asian American alumni nationally. Amongst the alumni U of Hawaii can boast in its ranks include US Senators Daniel Inouye, Daniel Akaka, and Hiram Fong; US Representative Patsy Mink; former Director General of the World Health Organization Jong-wook Lee; comedian Paul Ogata; federal judge Herbert Choy; actress Julie Nickson-Soul; and former NFL QB Timmy Chang. Barack Obama's brother in law, Konrad Ng, is also an alumnus. Wow, check out the prominent Asian American alumni from U of Hawaii!
18.) Boston University
Percentage of Asian American students: 14% (approximately 2100)
While BU has a bit of a shaky academic reputation (seeing as it cannot even crack the Top 50 in the US News and World Report magazine), it still remains one of the most popular private universities for Asian American students. I'm not trying to be snarky or anything, but i'm surprised that BU manages to attract lots of Asians despite the lack of academic prestige. And considering that BU also has some pretty severe competition just in the area alone (including Boston College, Tufts, Brandeis, Amherst, Williams, and of course, MIT and Harvard, all of which arguably have a stronger academic reputation than BU). BU also lacks the prestige of some of the more established private universities w/ similar student bodies including University of Southern California and NYU.
With that said, despite the lack of prestige (something that Asians focus on the most), BU has held its own and does have its academic strengths. It's law and medical school are excellent. BU also has some strong PhD programs. And BU also has a highly regarded journalism and communications program. BU is located in the heart of Boston, a major metropolitan area so there is plenty for people to do.
Students at BU complain about the lack of campus spirit but love the city of Boston. Asian students also have a pretty good support network as well, w/ many Asian American alumni offering mentorship to current Asian American students. BU has some fairly prominent Asian American alumni in its ranks (particularly in the entertainment industry) including actor James Kyson Lee (from Heroes), television producer Ken Mok, actress Yunjin Kim (the star of LOST), actress Linda Park (star of Star Trek Enterprise and Women's Murder Club), fashion designer Dorian Ho, and journalist Sharon Tay.
17.) University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign
Percentage of Asian American students: 13% (approximately 3600)
Despite being at least a couple hours away from any major city (Chicago is somewhere between 2 to 4 hours away from Urbana Champaign according to people I've interviewed), UIUC attracts a rather large Asian American student body from areas such as Chicago, etc. UIUC is a very solid academic university that also offers the campus spirit of a large state school. UIUC combines the best of both worlds: you get a top notch education but also get to enjoy yourself whether it's rooting for the Fighting Illini in Big 10 sports or participating in one of dozens of fraternities and sororities.
UIUC also has many academic strengths. It's accounting program is one of the best in the nation. The school also has one of the best engineering programs in the nation (both in the undergraduate and graduate/PhD level). Perhaps the most well known alumnus to come out of UIUC is Steve Chen, the creator of YouTube. But other distinguished alumni from UIUC include Iris Chang, Alfred Cho (prominent engineer), and comedienne Esther Ku.
Last edited by USCTrojanzNo1; 08-22-2009 at 01:55 PM.
Re: The Best Universities for Asian Americans (#19 - #16)
16.) Rutgers University
Percentage of Asian American students: 25% (approximately 4000)
New Jersey has one of the largest Asian American populations in this country. Next to California, Hawaii, New York, and Washington of course. Rutgers is a solid state university that has a bit of mixed reviews from Asians who attended there. Some note that Rutgers has an outstanding pharmacy program and fairly strong computer science and engineering programs. Others note that most Asians who attend Rutgers do so primarily b/c 1.) They could not get into a more prestigious university, and/or 2.) financial reasons (scholarships).
One Korean I talked to mentioned Rutgers' last of prestige. He notes that the state of New Jersey has a high Asian American concentration. Yet Rutgers University loses too many talented Asian Americans to the likes of NYU, Michigan, the Ivies, Carnegie Mellon, etc. The person I interviewed firmly believes that Rutgers could be a contender for a Top 5 public university (and Top 25 overall university) if it could somehow attract more talented Asians from NJ to stay home. Much like how too many talented athletes are leaving the state of New Jersey for greater glory in the SEC, Big 10, the ACC, and Notre Dame, too many talented Asians are spurning Rutgers in favor of greener pastures in more elite universities.
Those who do attend and graduate from Rutgers do pretty well for themselves. Many Asian American alumni have gone on to success whether as analysts on Wall Street or medical students. A lot of Asian American alumni have gone on to earn their graduate degrees from elite universities including the Ivy League and NYU for their MBAs and PhDs.
Last edited by USCTrojanzNo1; 08-27-2009 at 08:32 PM.
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