College Fund Research

Native American student success: The effect of Tribal Colleges and Universities on Native American Student Retention

November 1, 2018

Native Americans have the lowest educational attainment of any racial or ethnic group (Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute, n.d.). Fortunately, by attending a Tribal College or University (TCU) before attending a mainstream four-year institution, Native American students are four times more likely to receive their bachelor’s degree than their peers that attend a mainstream four-year institution immediately after high school (Boyer, 1997a). This statistic poses the following questions: (1) How are mainstream institutions failing their Native American students? (2) How are TCUs supporting their Native American student population and preparing them to continue pursuing their education, should they choose to do so?

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The Tribal Colleges and Universities #RealCollege Survey

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Native American students studying at tribal colleges and universities located in remote, rural, reservation communities experienced food and housing insecurity and homelessness at much greater rates than other college students, according to the Tribal Colleges and Universities #RealCollege Survey report.

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