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University of California system waives tuition, fees for federally recognized Native American tribes

FRESNO, CA (KFSN) – Each year, about 50 members of the Tule River Indian Tribe graduate from high school.

Tribal council member Felix Christman says more than half will continue their education.

But this year, graduates who go to the University of California system will no longer pay tuition or fees.

“Having it on your shoulders, not worrying about it and having this opportunity is huge. You can’t put it into words,” says Christman.

The UC system initiative is called the Native American Opportunity Program.

It is open to residents of the state of California who are members of federally recognized tribes.

“This program is for undergraduate, graduate and professional studies,” says Dustin Noji, Director of Admissions at UC Merced.

1% of UC students are Indigenous – a number of expectations at UC Merced will rise in the face of financial constraints.

“We are not just hiring students at university, we are creating places where they can be successful and where we value their culture,” says Noji.

The Tule River Indian Tribe has almost 2,000 members. The Reservation, located in Tulare County, houses 1,000 of them.

It is rich in culture, but Christman shares that there is always a need for more educational resources.

Their educational center was the only primary school in the Indian refuge of the Tule River. It closed during the pandemic.

Students now have to travel 40 minutes to Porterville on a partly windy road to get to school.

The Native American Opportunity Program means that the tribe can redistribute its college funds to other educational programs.

On the horizon may be teaching, more computers, reopening their school and helping college.

“COVID has brought a lot of kids back. We want to help them get back on track, and that kind of allows us to do that,” says Christman.

Students interested in learning more about the program can contact UC Merced’s Students First Center at 209-228-7178 or studentfirst@ucmerced.edu

You can also visit them Website For more information.

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University of California system waives tuition, fees for federally recognized Native American tribes Source link University of California system waives tuition, fees for federally recognized Native American tribes

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