University of Oregon Grants Free Tuition to Tribal Students

The University of Oregon made an announcement in October that will make a significant impact in many Tribal members’ lives. Currently enrolled students who are a member of any of the 574 federally recognized Tribes are eligible to receive free tuition at the university.

The announcement launched the new Home Flight Scholars Program at the school, a major advancement in education opportunities for Tribal students.

According to the University of Oregon, the program was designed to overcome three issues that typically prevent Tribal students from attending college: financial hardships, academic difficulties, and a lack of cultural connectedness.

In addition to tuition and fee waivers, the program offers direct support services and mentorships to help Tribal students succeed in their academic careers.

“The Home Flight Scholars Program tackles the unique challenges [American Indian and Alaska Native] students face and prepares them to graduate with an education and the experience that empowers them to return home and make a positive impact in their communities and for their families,” said University of Oregon Interim President Patrick Phillips.

There are currently around 150 self-identified American Indian Alaska Native students enrolled at the University of Oregon who would be immediately eligible to benefit from the program. The Cow Creek Umpqua Education Department will be reaching out to all Tribal members who are enrolled at the U of O to take advantage of this program.

This year, a number of universities across the country, including Oregon State University, Portland State University, and Southern Oregon University, announced that out of state Tribal students would receive in-state tuition to attend their schools, a significant financial benefit.

“This is another example of Oregon’s higher education institutions removing barriers for Native American students and seeing the value that having the Native perspective brings to education, the workplace, and the world in general,” said Cow Creek Umpqua Education Director Sandy Henry.