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Oregon Tribal Student Grant launches for fall's Native class

Graduates in cap and gown.
Joshua Hoehne
Graduates in cap and gown.

A new financial aid program for Oregon’s Native American students has launched this year, to help cover most if not all public college expenses.

The state Legislature approved $19 million to establish the Oregon Tribal Student Grant for the 2022-2023 school year. Enrolled students with the nine federally recognized tribes located within Oregon are eligible. The money can be used for undergrad or graduate study at state colleges and universities, and eligible private, non-profit institutions.

Brent Spencer is the Indian Education Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Education.

“With tribes working with limited funding sources, families working with limited funding sources, this amazing legislation provides an opportunity to allow our students to -for once- not worry about funding. And choose the school that they qualify for, that they’re entitled to attend.”

The Higher Education Coordination Commission will administer the Grant. Tribal students are encouraged to apply by August 1st, which is the priority deadline.

Spencer adds this will help address equity gaps across the state.

“Having issues of funding are often what brings our students home after Christmas break, or after Spring Break. They may have been able to do well academically, but in some cases, the financial burden was just a bit too much. And our students return home and often took work at lower-paying positions within the tribes and pushed off their academics until later on in life.”

Copyright @2022, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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