ERIC Number: ED438148
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Postsecondary Financial Aid for American Indians and Alaska Natives. ERIC Digest.
Almeida, Deirdre A.
This digest summarizes challenges that American Indian and Alaska Native students face in obtaining adequate postsecondary financial aid and describes general sources of aid for Native students. The number of Native college students is growing rapidly, but obtaining adequate financial aid is the most serious obstacle to completing postsecondary education. Difficulties and barriers related to financial aid include: (1) extreme, sometimes complete, lack of family resources; (2) bureaucratic and paperwork hurdles; (3) unrealistic requirements for student earnings, given the high unemployment in Native communities; (4) unacknowledged costs, such as moving expenses, medical and child care costs, and necessary trips home; and (5) Native distrust of non-Native institutional officials. General categories of student financial aid include grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and loans. The federal Office of Postsecondary Education is the most common source of aid for Native undergraduates, with 34 percent receiving some type of federal aid. Some federal programs are designed specifically for Native students but may stipulate specific fields of study. Most aid given by college financial offices is based on need. Merit scholarships make up less than 5 percent of all aid, but some colleges earmark merit scholarships for minority students. Suggestions are offered on how Native communities can assist students in the financial aid process. Five publications and 10 Internet sites on financial aid are listed. (Contains 13 references.) (SV)
Descriptors: Alaska Natives, American Indian Education, American Indians, College Students, Federal Aid, Higher Education, Paying for College, Student Financial Aid
ERIC/CRESS, P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325-1348. For full text: http://www.ael.org/eric/publicat.htm#digests.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.