August 24th, 2021 Last Updated on: September 7th, 2021
As another school year approaches, many Native American students find themselves struggling to pay for school. To help ease the burden, Powwows.com recently partnered with the American Indian College Fund, pledging $5,000 a year to create a Powwows.com scholarship fund.
To help fund the scholarship, Powwows.com is creating a special line of merchandise—the proceeds of which will go toward the Powwows.com scholarship fund.
The first item, the “Strong, Resilient, Educated, Indigenous” shirt, is on sale now.
Indigenous Graduation Cap
While there are some Native American scholarships and grants available, Native students still face an uphill battle. According to the Postsecondary National Policy Institute (PNPI), just 16 percent of Native Americans in the U.S. currently hold a Bachelor's degree — that's less than half the rate of the general population.
Read on for more stats on the education gap faced by Native American students.
- 19% of indigenous students between the age of 18–24 are enrolled in college, compared to 41% of the overall US population.
- 79% of indigenous students attend public institutions as oppose to private schools.
- 89.5% of TCU (Tribal Colleges) students were indigenous.
- 41% of indigenous students complete a degree, compared to 62% of overall students within a four-year span.
- Lack of accessible retention programs geared to indigenous youth.
- Lack of assistance in some high schools in and out of reservations geared to help students reach their scholastic goals.
- Indigenous students are less likely to take out loans and rely on grants or scholarships.
- Between 2015–2016, 90% of indigenous students received some type of grant or scholarship.
- Inadequate access to Advanced Placement or college prep courses.
- Only 21% of indigenous households have a parent who is college-educated, compared to 52% of white households.
How can you make a difference to change the odds?
There are different ways you can make an impact to change the odds for indigenous students.
One, you can purchase the aforementioned Powwows.com merch. Remember, $5,000 will be donated each year to the American Indian College Fund's Powwows.com scholarship, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to students in need.
You can also bequest a gift or specific amount directly to the American Indian College Fund. Some popular ways to give are IRA Charitable Rollover gifts, beneficiary designation gifts or property.
Sadly, the number of indigenous students attending college is dropping. The cycle of poverty and lack of opportunities in reservations greatly impact outcomes, but we still have many indigenous students who want to attend. There are many tribal nations that have set up scholarships to assist incoming freshmen with their dreams.
High School students should reach out to their College Resource Center or school counselor for assistance.
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