National Native Tuition Waiver Study

A report on tuition waiver and tuition assistance programs for Native students nationwide

The Need

There is limited scholarship and research on financial aid for Native students. 

Researchers Robin Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn and Natalie Rose Youngbull found that the research was even more limited when the role of Native American tuition waivers was tied to Tribal sovereignty and Nation building. Exploring waiver examples and their impacts on Indigenous student enrollment, retention, and graduation rates could help states and universities implement policies that improve access to higher education. 

The Resource

National Native Tuition Waiver Study: A Report to the Region 16 Comprehensive Center highlights varied approaches to administering tuition waivers for Native American students. The researchers analyze how tuition waiver initiatives impact Native American student success at mainstream institutions of higher education.

This report provides an overview of the researchers’ findings and recommendations for future policy, practice, and research based on
survey responses from long-standing and newly implemented tuition waiver and tuition assistance programs.

They have also identified limitations and opportunities in seven areas:

  • Legislatively mandated
  • Funding mechanisms used
  • Funding covered
  • Length of implementation
  • Who it serves
  • Impact on enrollment
  • Impact on retention and graduation
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