OR Tribal Student Grant Gets Permanent Funding
Wednesday, July 5, 2023
A college grant program for tribal students in Oregon received an extension in this year's budget.
The Oregon Tribal Student Grant was funded with $24 million. It covers costs for members of the state's nine federally recognized tribes to attend college in Oregon.
Sandy Henry, education director for the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, said students in her tribe who received the grant last year felt a financial burden was lifted.
"This program has opened doors for them, has relieved some of the stress of trying to be a full-time student and a full-time employee and balancing that," Henry observed. "This is helping alleviate that."
The program was started last year with $19 million but became a program with continuous funding in this year's budget. According to the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission, only 45% of Native American students complete a bachelor's degree within six years, compared to 68% of all students.
Henry pointed out the grant is not just for the state's major universities.
"We do have a tremendous amount of folks that go into trade technical and we have a fabulous local community college that is emphasizing a lot of the trade technical programs," Henry explained. "So the Oregon Tribal Student Grant program can help with that, help make that happen for our tribal young adults."
Gov. Tina Kotek and the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission originally asked for $40 million in funding for the program.
Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.
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