Oklahoma Colleges Receive $4 Million to Help Low-Income and Native Transfer Students

The federal grant will allow Northeastern State University and Tulsa Community College to improve the transfer process for Native and low-income students.
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Published on February 1, 2024
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  • The U.S. Department of Education granted $4 million to the institutions through the Native American Serving Nontribal Institutions program.
  • The grant will help Native and low-income students transfer from Tulsa Community College to Northeastern State University more seamlessly.
  • In June, Oklahoma's Mid-America Christian University partnered with the Chickasaw Nation to offer Chickasaw Nation students reduced tuition and no fees.
  • Four colleges and the University of California system offer free tuition to Native American students.

Northeastern State University (NSU) in Oklahoma is strengthening its ties to Tulsa Community College (TCC) through a federal grant to help low-income and Native students transfer to the four-year institution.

The partnership, announced Jan. 30, is fueled by a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Native American Serving Nontribal Institutions program.

The grant will allow NSU and TCC to improve the transfer and orientation process. It also offers funding for:

  • Community events
  • Rentable laptops
  • Renovations to study spaces
  • Two full-time positions that will help students with the transfer process

Kendra Haggard, NSU director of student engagement, said in the school's press release that transfer students make up 54% of the student population.

We are grateful for our partnership with NSU in securing this transformative grant. Together, we are committed to breaking down barriers and creating pathways for Native students, TCC CEO and President Leigh Goodson said in the press release. This grant enables us to better serve our students, providing them with the resources and support needed to achieve their educational goals.

Nationwide Efforts to Remove Barriers for Native American Students

Colleges nationwide are removing barriers to higher education for Native American students.

Last June, Oklahoma's Mid-America Christian University began a partnership with the Chickasaw Nation Department of Education to waive 30% of tuition and all fees for on-campus and online Chickasaw Nation students.

In October, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services granted the University of Oklahoma (OU) $16 million over four years to reach and train medical students from tribal and rural communities.

OU plans to grow partnerships with the Muscogee Creek Nation, Chickasaw Nation, healthcare systems, and other universities to provide students with experiences in primary care, social determinants of health, vulnerable populations, and trauma-informed care.

We look forward to expanding our tribal and health system partnerships as we continue to bring talented new medical students, physician assistant students, and resident physicians in numerous specialties from many communities in Oklahoma and beyond to our school, OU-Tulsa School of Community Medicine Dean James M. Herman said in a press release.

Nationwide, colleges in Arizona, Kansas, Oregon, Utah, and the University of California system offer free tuition for students from federally recognized tribes.