MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The University of Minnesota announced Monday an expansion of Native American student tuition support, part of what they are calling the nation’s most comprehensive free and reduced tuition programs for Native American students.

Beginning in fall 2022, the university will provide free or reduced tuition on any of its five campuses statewide to first-year undergrad students and Tribal college transfer students, who are also enrolled citizens, in one of the state’s 11 federally recognized Tribal Nations.

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“We have been very honest from my first days as president that we need to better serve citizens of our Tribal Nations and their communities,” said University President Joan Gabel. “This program is a meaningful step to increasing access and continuing to improve retention and graduation rates while closing opportunity gaps.”

According to the release, “the program will provide a scholarship covering full tuition cost at the the Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester or Twin Cities campus for first-year or Tribal college transfer undergraduate students with an annual family income under $75,000.”

Students from higher-earning families will also be eligible to receive discounted tuition through the program.

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To qualify, students must come to the university straight from high school or transfer from a Minnesota-based Tribal college, in addition to being citizens of one of the 11 Tribal Nations.

Karen Diver, the university’s senior advisor to the president for Native American affairs said the program will provide Native American students more accessibility to the university than ever before.

“Educational attainment is critical to sustaining healthy and prosperous communities, as well as self-determined citizens. This is a significant step toward more equitably offering the access and opportunities that our students and communities need,” said Diver.

For more information about the program, please visit the Native American Promise Tuition Program webpage.

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