Tuition Waiver Makes Higher Education More Accessible for Utah’s Native American Students

Published: February 23, 2023 | Author: Kenzie Lundberg | Read Time: 2 minutes

Tuition waiver for Utah's Native American studentsAs of spring 2023, the Utah Native American Tuition Gap Award will give undergraduate students that are members of Utah’s eight federally recognized tribes the opportunity to obtain a tuition waiver at Southern Utah University.

“We are thrilled to offer this tuition waiver to current and future Native American students,” said SUU President Mindy Benson. “We want our students to experience the transformative power of higher education and pursue their degrees at SUU without financial barriers. I appreciate the collaboration with SUU’s current indigenous students and dedicated staff who assisted in the development of this opportunity and continue to create meaningful relationships and partnerships with Native communities.”

As of October 2022, 450 Native American students had been admitted to SUU, but only 84 were currently enrolled. The program seeks to help students with financial barriers to access, attend and complete their higher education. Once awarded, the waiver is renewable for up to eight semesters, ensuring students receive support to complete their degrees at SUU.

“This award is an important way to put investment behind our goal of serving our local and surrounding indigenous community who we know face barriers to start and to finish their education,” said Daneka Souberbielle, chief diversity officer at SUU. “Even though this may not address all of the financial barriers our Native American students face, it’s a critical starting point for us to be intentional about our commitment to support current and potential indigenous students. ”

To be eligible to receive the Native American Student Award, students must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Must be an admitted SUU student.
  • Must be a Utah resident or a non-resident student who qualifies for resident tuition.
  • Must be enrolled full-time (12+ units) in a degree-seeking program.
  • Must be an enrolled member of one of the federally recognized Utah tribes or any federal tribe and a graduate from a Utah high school and eligible for in-state tuition.
  • Must have a current completed FAFSA on file at SUU by the first day of classes each semester receiving the award. If a student is selected for verification, verification must be completed before funds are disbursed onto the student's account.
  • This award will be renewable for up to eight semesters. In order to renew, students must continue to make satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion.

Students that are interested in applying for the tuition waiver should visit SUU’s Financial Aid and Scholarships Office or contact their financial aid counselor.

Tags: Financial Aid Office of Equity and Inclusion

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