Friday, December 9, 2022

Play

Sen. Markey rallies with unions and airport workers in D.C; PA Democrats 'showed up' for rural voters; Canadian mining expansion threatens tribes and watersheds in the Northwest.

Play

The U.S. House of Representatives passes same-sex marriage protections, Brittany Griner comes back to the U.S, while Paul Whelan remains detained in Russia, and a former anti-abortion lobbyist talks politics and the Supreme Court.

Play

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act could help more farmers, the USDA is stepping-up to support tribal nations, and Congress is urged to revive the expanded child tax credit.

Deep Data Dive Finds Cost Biggest Barrier for Native Students

Play

Monday, September 19, 2022   

The biggest obstacle facing Indigenous students completing college degrees is cost, according to a new collaborative study by the National Native Scholarships Providers.

Melvin Monette, president and CEO of Indigenous Educators, said most students take on debt to pay for postsecondary education, which comes at a high cost to tribal communities. Jobs paying enough for graduates to repay their loans and support families are in short supply.

"Having that student loan debt over your head either means that you are continuously looking for those opportunities to pay it off, or you don't get to move home," Monette explained. "You are further away from where you want to be, where the family is, where your culture is, where your traditional practices are."

The report's recommendations include continued investment by governments and the private sector in scholarship organizations such as Indigenous Educators, tuition support, and supportive partnerships. For example, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota now offer tuition-waiver programs to all students from federally recognized tribal nations.

Just 36% of Indigenous students enrolled in four-year colleges in 2014 completed degrees, compared with a 60% graduation rate for all other students. Lifetime earnings are much higher for people with college degrees.

Cheryl Crazy Bull, president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, pointed to one study which found graduates also score better on multiple quality-of-life indicators.

"Their well-being characteristics were excellent," Crazy Bull noted. "I think not only is it about earnings and a career pathway, but it's also about a better quality of life generally."

State officials estimate 75% of Colorado jobs paying a living wage require some form of postsecondary education.

Monette stressed more can be done to help families fill out the federal Financial Aid Form, which is required by many colleges before releasing need-based scholarships and grants, especially for students who are the first in their family to attend college.

"How to navigate those buildings, how to navigate those processes, how to navigate all the paperwork involved," Monette outlined. "Everything that goes along with the regular college experience, we're still learning how to navigate."

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.


get more stories like this via email
A bill approved by Congress repeals the federal Defense of Marriage Act. That law, passed in 1996, prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Congress has signed off on a bill that preserves federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages. A legal expert in Wisconsin says it …


Social Issues

Airport service workers rallied in Washington, D.C., Thursday to demand Congress pass legislation ensuring they receive a livable wage with stronger …

Social Issues

Before the pandemic, one in five people in Los Angeles County lacked consistent access to food - and in 2021, one in four low-income families …


According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Peach State is sixth in the nation for public EV charging stations, at more than 1,500 outlets. (Michael Flippo/Adobe Stock)

Environment

Electric vehicles are an environmentally friendly way to get from one place to another, but the lack of charging stations often limits drivers to …

Social Issues

As Americans make end-of-year donations to their favorite causes, those that help children with cancer and their families say these households need …

The Farm Labor Organizing Committee was founded in 1968 to defend the rights and basic human dignity of farm workers regardless of immigration status. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

A labor union representing agricultural workers in Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia says it isn't waiting around for federal immigration reform to …

Social Issues

West Virginia's prison population has ballooned, and formerly incarcerated people face numerous obstacles when they are released. A Charleston-based …

Environment

As the year comes to a close, the Sierra Club of Connecticut is looking back on some of its accomplishments and challenges. The group focuses on …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021