State Grants Available for Tribal Students
The Oregon Tribal Student Grant program (OTSGP) came one step closer to becoming state law when the Oregon Legislation passed House Bill 3536 before the session closed in June. Governor Tina Kotek’s budget asked for $40 million to fund this program for the upcoming two years. The legislation asked for a significant budget decrease, but indicated that there could be more funding if the dollars ran out before the end of 2025.
The Oregon Tribal Student Grant program creates a clearer path toward earning a degree for citizens of Oregon’s nine federally recognized Tribes. The OTSGP fills in the gap between the average cost of attendance and any Pell grant or scholarship that a Tribal student might receive. Part-time students are also eligible for this benefit on a prorated basis. All public and private colleges that are Title 4E eligible (Pell grant eligible) are part of this program, which includes Oregon’s robust community colleges.
Originally funded in spring of 2022 with funds from the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, the OTSGP helped over 500 Oregon Tribal students with college expenses including food, rent and transportation in the 2022-2023 academic year.
Hannah Lowell, a college senior majoring in Elementary Education at Southern Oregon University, gives this fund a big thumbs up in helping her get over the finish line for her degree.
“This program was such a big help to me this year,” said Hannah.
Hannah is currently working with the Expanding Horizon Youth Center as a Summer Program aide, and will return to Southern Oregon University in Ashland to finish her degree this fall.
The higher education benefits that Cow Creek Tribal students are eligible for do not count as a grant or scholarship, and so are not part of the cost of attendance calculation that the OTSGP uses. The OTSG program is only for Tribal students attending Oregon colleges and universities. Out-of-state Cow Creek students should receive in-state tuition from the Oregon public colleges and universities, so coming to Oregon to college has never been easier financially.
Tribal members can apply for the Oregon Tribal Student Grant program at the Oregon Student Aid website under “grants”. www.oregonstudentaid.gov