Native American and Alaska Native students are in a college-going and completion crisis. Research shows the national rate of all students going to college within six months of graduation after high school is 70%. For Native American and Alaska Native students, those numbers are closer to 20%.
The #CollegeBoundNative Campaign encourages high school seniors to apply for college. Native Americans are the least likely of any group to go to college. But college is essential to many careers, which require a certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree. The American Indian College Fund is setting out to change that statistic—and the future of Native students—through a campaign to get more Native high school seniors to apply for college.
Three Native college students attending Leech Lake Tribal College (LLTC) in Cass Lake, Minnesota traveled to Durango, Colorado to visit the Fort Lewis College campus, a private four-year college that offers a tuition-waiver program to American Indian students.
Sunny is a student at Leech Lake Tribal College in Red Lake, Minnesota. Through the help of the American Indian College Fund’s Native Pathways to College Transfer Program, she was able to travel to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota for a campus visit.
Recently we were asked about the factors that make for a top college for Native Americans students. It is a great question and it really depends on individual student needs and goals; however, that does not make for a great blog. So I will answer this with a top ten list of things that Native American students should consider when choosing a college.
Our Native Pathways team embarked on a trip to Alaska to visit Ilisagvik College and Barrow High School. I thought my five hour plane trip to college every semester was a major journey. Barrow is situated on the northernmost part of the United States, in other words, the “top of the world.”