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Dina Horwedel, Director of Public Education, American Indian College Fund
303-426-8900, dhorwedel@collegefund.org

Colleen R. Billiot, Public Education Coordinator, American Indian College Fund
720-214-2569, cbilliot@collegefund.org

Feb 5, 2024 | Featured Post, Press Releases

American Indian College Fund Celebrates National Tribal College and University Week in Washington, D.C.

February 5, 2024, Denver, Colo.— The American Indian College Fund (the College Fund) joins the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) and its member tribal colleges and universities to celebrate National Tribal College Week beginning February 5. Native students, tribal college presidents, and American Indian College Fund staff will pay visits to U.S. legislative leaders who have tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) in their states.

Each year member TCUs of AIHEC travel to Washington, D.C. to visit Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers to share their colleges’ successes, challenges, and needs. In support of these efforts, Congress declared the week of February 5th, 2024, as National Tribal College Week.

TCU students and representatives will address the pending 2024 federal budget cuts that would stress their already underfunded institutions, affecting the institutions’ ability to provide services to students; equity in federal funding and resources in the land-grant system; appropriation requests; Farm Bill reauthorization priorities; and Higher Education Act reauthorization priorities. They will also meet with representatives from the Biden Administration, attend a listening session with the Bureau of Indian Education on their strategic plan, and meet with U.S. Department of Agriculture leadership.

“Our nation’s accredited TCUs strive to meet their students where they are and have made tremendous headway in the last 50 years,” stated AIHEC Interim President and CEO John Phillips. “These place-based, community institutions serve in some of the most remote and impoverished locations in the country and are a beacon of hope for many of their students. We want lawmakers to know that when our students succeed, our communities, states, and our nation succeed.”

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About the American Indian College Fund The American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 34 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided $17.4 million in scholarships and other direct student support to American Indian students in 2022-23. Since its founding in 1989 the College Fund has provided more than $319 million in scholarships, programs, community, and tribal college support. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit www.collegefund.org.

About the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC)The American Indian Higher Education Consortium provides a support network to the nation’s accredited Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and developing institutions and works to influence public policy on American Indian and Alaska Native higher education issues through advocacy, research, and programmatic initiatives; promotes and strengthens Indigenous languages, cultures, communities, lands, and tribal nations; and through its unique position, serves member institutions and emerging TCUs.

Journalists— The American Indian College Fund does not use the acronym AICF. On second reference, please use the College Fund.

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