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American Indian College FundAmerican Indian College Fund

History and Mission

The American Indian College Fund's History

  • The American Indian College Fund traces its roots to the civil rights and American Indian self-determination movements of the 1960s. Tribal leaders took control of higher education to reverse centuries of misguided and failed federal education policies geared for Native Americans.
  • In 1968, the Navajo Nation created a first-of-its-kind educational institution—a college controlled by the tribe, located on the reservation—to educate tribal members.
  • In 1989, tribal college presidents established the American Indian College Fund (the College Fund) to raise private-sector funds for the tribal colleges and scholarships for students in New York City. The College Fund relocated to Denver, Colorado in 2002.
  • Today only 5% or less of American Indian College Fund scholars can afford to attend college without financial assistance.
  • Tribal colleges help fight poverty and bring about social and economic change in their communities.
  • Tribal colleges preserve Native language and culture by integrating them into their curriculum.
  • Tribal colleges receive little or no local or state tax support, making your support crucial.

The American Indian College Fund's Mission

The American Indian College Fund transforms Indian higher education by funding and creating awareness of the unique, community-based accredited tribal colleges and universities, offering students access to knowledge, skills, and cultural values which enhance their communities and the country as a whole.




Tribal college students typically have extreme financial need and are the first in their families to attend college. 


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