Mellon Foundation Awards $2.4 Million to American Indian College Fund

The American Indian College Fund has announced a $2.4 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of its efforts to improve access to college for Native American students.

The grant will fund the Native Pathways to College Project, a three-year initiative with three components — College Admissions Pathways, which will work to boost the number of Native high school students who consider college by improving their financial readiness, assisting them through the admissions process, and easing their transition to college; Transfer Pathways, which will support the transfer of students from two-year tribal colleges to four-year institutions; and the Pathways Bridge Programs, which will work to bolster admissions testing and college readiness strategies delivered by  tribal colleges.

AICF will work with reservation-based high schools and tribal colleges on the design and implementation of programs for students and their families, while also identifying mainstream institutions seeking to increase the diversity of their student body.

"We are so honored...to partner with our tribal colleges and with Native high schools to build a college-going climate for our Native students," said College Fund president and CEO Cheryl Crazy Bull. "Our commitment to Native students achieving postsecondary education is strengthened by our focus on responding to students and families where they are at in their educational journey. We deeply appreciate and are pleased that the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation shares our vision of college attainment for Native students."