While every student has the opportunity to apply to university, Native American students have additional options to them. They have the option of attending a tribal college or university. These minority-run schools are specifically designed to meet the needs of Native American students.
If you’re thinking about attending a Native tribal college, there are a number of things you’ll want to consider. Ask yourself these questions before you decide on a school.
Will I Have To Travel?
There aren’t tribal colleges in every state. There are only 32 tribal schools that have full accreditation, and several states have more than one school.
For the most part, these schools are located in the Midwest and the Southwest. These schools tend to be located near reservations, which makes them ideal for students in the area. There is even one in Alaska!
If you’re close to a great tribal college, then attending school there may seem like an obvious choice. With that said, if you’ll have to travel far from home in order to attend one of these schools, you’ll have to decide whether or not the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
Does This School Have The Program I’m Looking For?
A lot of the tribal colleges out there are either technical schools or community colleges. Not every school offers a bachelor’s degree program, and only two tribal colleges have master’s degree programs.
If you have a clear plan for your future, you’ll want to find a school that will help you to attain your goals. With that said, you may want to consider spending time at a tribal school even if it doesn’t have the degree program you’re looking for.
Some students opt to attend a smaller tribal school for two years, and then transfer to a bigger school later on. This allows the student to spend time at a tribal school while still getting the degree they desire. If you’re planning a path like this, you should confirm that your credits will transfer.
Are Scholarships Available?
There are a number of scholarships that exist purely for native tribal schools. For example, there is a scholarship program set up to help Native American journalism students. There’s also the American Indian College Fund, which specifically provides students with money that they can use to attend tribal colleges and university.
Schooling can be a huge expense. If you have the ability to escape student loans, you should take full advantage of that. See if you would be able to get a scholarship at a Native tribal college. If money for school is a possibility, you should definitely take advantage of it.
Tribal colleges have come a long way in recent years. These schools have boosted their enrollment levels considerably, and are offering all kinds of programs that weren’t available in the past.
With that said, different students have different needs. Before you apply to college, make sure you find a school that will provide you with everything you need. The school you select can have a big impact on your future.