Native American students who are members of federally recognized tribes will have their tuitions and fees waived to attend University of California schools.
The university system will cover Native American students’ full tuition starting in Fall 2022, the system’s president, Michael V. Drake, wrote last week in a letter to UC chancellors and shared with KTLA.
It’s part of the UC Native American Opportunity Plan, a new program meant to expand student diversity and make the UC schools more affordable for the state’s Native American students.
Tuition will be waived for California residents who are members of federally recognized Native American, American Indian, and Alaska Native tribes, according to Drake.
“The University of California is committed to recognizing and acknowledging historical wrongs endured by Native Americans,” Drake wrote in the letter. “I am proud of the efforts the University has made to support the Native American community, including the creation of the UC Native American Opportunity Plan, and appreciate our conversations to date on all the ways in which we can better support Native American students.”
This plan will be funded through a combination of existing State and University financial aid programs, in addition to other resources, Drake said.
For residents from California’s non-federally recognized tribes, there may be tuition scholarships available through external organizations, according to Drake.
“I am hopeful that this new program will benefit our students and continue to position the University of California as the institution of choice for Native American students,” Drake told chancellors.
In California, there are about 110 federally-recognized tribes, including several with lands that cross state boundaries, according to a bulletin from the California Judicial Branch.
Statewide, U.S. census data shows that 1.6% of residents identify as American Indian and Alaska Native.