CollegeBound Journey Insights

6 Native American Tuition Waiver Programs to Consider

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Native American tuition waiver program is an exclusive offering that can help Native American students eliminate tuition costs at colleges and universities. Although many internet searches reveal two to three common Native American tuition waiver programs, there are several lesser-known opportunities. These programs may be more accessible in terms of admissions than the more widely-known programs.  Let’s review six tuition waiver programs for Native American youth to consider regardless of state residency or specific Tribal affiliation.

Six Native American Tuition Waiver Programs to Consider

Texas Christian University's Four Directions Scholars Program

Native American tuition waiver at Texas Christian

The Four Directions Scholars Program is an initiative aimed at supporting students who are members of federally recognized Native American Nations. This Native American tuition waiver recognizes those who have shown an active interest in their respective communities and are committed to contributing to Native American-related events and programs at TCU and in the local communities. The program is specifically designed to provide support to Native American students as they pursue their goals.

TCU offers 117 undergraduate, 62 master’s level and 37 doctoral programs.  Native American students make up less than 1% of the students body; however, graduation rates for Native American students is 82% (2023 statistic).

 

Tribal or Descendancy Requirement the Tuition Waiver: 

  • Citizen/enrolled member of a federally recognized Tribe

Award:

  • Cost of attending TCU, including an award for full – tuition (currently estimated at $72,820/year)

 

Would you like to know more?  Check out the Four Directions Scholars Programs’ page.  Learn more about Texas Christian University by watching the video below.

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) Tuition Waiver

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) campus offers a native american tuition waiver with Native American College students talking

SIPI and the BIE have established a cooperative agreement to provide a Native American tuition waiver to eligible students.  The college offers a variety of certificate through Associate Degrees, including Environmental Science, Natural Resources Management, Business-Tribal Emphasis, Early Childhood Education, and Business.  As of 2023, 100% of the student body identifies as Native American with a 13% Native American graduation rate.

Tribal or Descendancy Requirement the Tuition Waiver: 

  • Citizen/enrolled member of a federally recognized Tribe
  • Documented 1/4 blood quantum

Award:

  • Native American tuition waiver provided by the BIE
  • Room & board, and books to students at minimal charge (currently estimated at $590/year)
  • Allowance for on-campus room, meal plan and books

 

Would you like to know more?  Check out the SIPI Fees page.  Learn more about SIPI by watching the video below.

Fort Lewis Native American Tuition Waiver

Fort Lewis Native American offers a native american tuition waiver

In recognition of the complex and damaging history between Native Americans and the United States, a 1911 mandate ensured that tuition would be waived for Native American students. The college offers a range of majors that are centered around indigenous culture, including Environmental Conservation & Management, Heritage Preservation & Museum Management, Plant Identification & Assessment, Regenerative Food Systems, Language Revitalization, and Native American & Indigenous Studies.  As of 2023, Native American students comprise 34% of the student body and have a 23% graduation rate.

Tribal or Descendancy Requirement the the Native American Tuition Waiver: 

  • Citizen/enrolled member of a federally recognized Tribe
  • Descendant from an enrolled Tribal citizen

Award:

  • Full tuition (currently $7,500/year for in-state tuition and $18,600/year for out of state tuition)

 

Would you like to know more?  Check out more information on the Fort Lewis Native American Tuition Waiver page.  Learn more about Fort Lewis College by watching the video below.

 

United Tribes Technical College Tuition Waiver for Native Americans

United Tribes Technical College supports with a native american tuition waiver

For Native youth seeking a technical or trades education, the United Tribes Technical College may be a great option. Their academic programs include apprenticeships, technical education, two-year degrees, and transfer programs. Examples include automotive technology, heavy equipment operations, sustainable agriculture and food systems, and welding. Currently, 84% of their student body identify as Native American.

Tribal or Descendancy Requirement the the Native American Tuition Waiver:

  • Citizen/enrolled member of a federally recognized Tribe.

Award:

  • Full tuition

 

Would you like to know more?  Check out more information on the United Tribes Technical College Native American Tuition Waiver page.  Learn more about United Tribes Technical College by watching the video below.

Iḷisaġvik College's Alaska Native/American Indian Off-Slope Tuition Waiver

Iḷisaġvik College native american tuition waiver program

Iḷisaġvik College is located in Utqiagvik, Alaska (formerly Barrow), which has a population of less than 5,000 residents.  According to the college’s website, “Iḷisaġvik College provides quality post-secondary academic, career and technical education in a learning environment that perpetuates and strengthens Iñupiat culture, language, values, and traditions.”   A few Native American-specific programs include Iñupiaq language, Iñupiaq Studies, and Iñupiaq Fine Arts.  Additionally, students can also take a variety of technical education programs.  

Tribal or Descendancy Requirement the Tuition Waiver:

  • Alaska Native/American Indian students who do not reside on the North Slope.

Award:

  • Full tuition

 

Would you like to know more?  Check out more information on the Alaska Native/American Indian Off-Slope Tuition Waiver page.  Learn more about Iḷisaġvik College by watching the video below.

Haskell Indian Nations University Tuition Waiver Program

Haskell Indian Nations University

Located in Lawrence, Kansas, Haskell Indian Nations University is a Tribal college, which serves around 1000 students each semester.  The University offers a several Associate and Bachelors degrees, including Indigenous and American Indian Studies, Environmental Science, Elementary Teacher Education Program, Para-Professional Education, Community Health, Recreation & Fitness Management, Social Work, Natural Science, and Business with emphasis on Tribal Management.  Currently, the University has a 100% Native American student body, and a 45% Native American graduation rate.

Tribal or Descendancy Requirement the Tuition Waiver:

  • Citizen/enrolled member of a federally recognized Tribe

Award:

  • Full tuition (approximately $20,000/yr)

 

Would you like to know more?  Check out the Haskell Indian Nations University Tuition Waiver page  Learn more about Haskell Indian Nations University by watching the video below.

Exploring More Native American Tuition Waiver Opportunities

Although the following five options described in this post are worth considering, CollegeBound Journey offers an extensive range of Native American tuition waiver opportunities and scholarships that may also be of interest. Our CollegeBound Journey Native American Scholarship Search tool provides valuable insights and support to Native American students, school counselors, college counselors, and other support systems. With our user-friendly database search, you can filter scholarships by categories based on enrollment status, Tribal affiliation, majors, or institution types, making the search process more efficient and effective for Native American students.

 

 

What are your thoughts about these options for Native American students?  Share your thoughts in our comment section below.

As an experienced, Licensed School Counselor and Educational Consultant, Kerrie has a passion for creating programming and resources for Native youth success.  She is especially interested in developing and sharing resources that support Native American students towards college matriculation.

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Cover photo for Finding Scholarships for Native Americans

Finding Scholarships for Native Americans

Native American Status Overview When researching Native American scholarships, four primary categories of eligibility arise.  These categories include: Enrolled Member/Tribal Citizen Direct

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