KEEP UP with
the latest news
Apply for

The Community We Serve

Rural South Dakota
One in five tribal college students must travel more than 50 miles to attend classes.

The American Indian College Fund Serves Impoverished Native American Communities

We don't believe leaving people and their potential behind because they are unable to afford a higher education is acceptable.

Our goal is simple: We want to educate 60% of American Indian and Alaska Native people served by our tribal colleges by 2025. With an educated Native citizenry, we can transform Indian Country from a place of poverty to one of hope.

The need is great:

  • Unemployment rates on reservations can be as high as 95%
  • Twenty-eight percent of Native Americans on reservations live below the poverty line (U.S. Census Bureau).
  • Nationwide, Native youth face some of the lowest high school graduation rates. With few or no financial resources, it is no surprise that educational attainment rates are the lowest of all ethnic and racial groups.
    • On average, less than 50% of Native American students graduate from high school each year in the seven states with the highest percentage of American Indian and Alaska Native students (The Civil Rights Project).
    • Less than 13% of American Indian and Alaska Native students earned a college degree as compared to 28% of other racial groups (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics).
  • The average cost of attendance at a tribal college (including tuition, room, board, books and supplies) was $14,566 for 2012-13.
  • Only one in 20 (or 5%) of American Indian College Fund scholarship applicants can afford to go to college without financial assistance. College is simply out of reach for most Native students.
  • The desire for an education is strong, but the financial resources are lacking:The number of Native Americans enrolled in colleges and universities more than doubled in the past 30 years. And 73% percent of Native American graduates surveyed attended college to make a better life for their families; 64% percent want to use their education to help their communities.




Only 5% of American Indian student scholars can afford to attend college without financial assistance.

→Download our brochure about how you can help the American Indian College Fund support Native students.