Act passes supporting tribal colleges and universities


Last updated 4/8/2020 at 2:29pm

Dine College

Diné College was established in 1968 as the first of more than 40 tribally controlled and accredited collegiate institution in the United States.

WASHINGTON, D.C.-In early December, in a 316-92 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Senate-amended version of the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act. On the same day, the Senate passed the FUTURE Act by a voice vote.

"Tribal Colleges and Universities fulfill a fundamental role in supporting American Indian and Alaska Native higher education and maintaining, preserving, and revitalizing irreplaceable American Indian and Alaska Native languages and cultural traditions," said Kevin J. Allis, Chief Executive Officer of the National Congress of American Indians. "We are thrilled to see the House pass the FUTURE Act, which provides Tribal Colleges and Universities funding for student support services, faculty development, academic curriculum, classroom construction and modernization, courses to strengthen our tribal nations, and many other important educational activities."

The FUTURE Act permanently extends mandatory funding at current levels for the following types of higher education institutions: Tribal Colleges and Universities at $30 million, Alaska Native-Serving Institutions and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions at $15 million, and Native American-Serving Non-tribal Institutions at $5 million. In addition, the FUTURE Act streamlines the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) verification process.

Presently, there are more than 40 fully accredited Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) in the United States. The Tribal College movement grew out of the American Indian "self-determination" movement of the 1960s.[2] Tribal colleges are located on or near Indian reservations and provide access to post-secondary education, accredited degrees, and vocational training for both Indian and non-Indian students. 

The FUTURE Act (H.R. 5363) now heads to the President for his signature. To view NCAI's resolution supporting this legislation, please click


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