The American Indian College Fund will receive $4 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support college students impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The fund, which invests in native students and their college education, said it will distribute the money to its network of tribal colleges so they can provide resources to support new and returning students in the summer and fall of 2020 and beyond. Members of the public who want to contribute to the fund can do so through its website.
“Tribal Colleges and Universities are central to our nation’s fabric and critical to its future,” said Mellon Foundation president Elizabeth Alexander in a statement. “The COVID-19 pandemic is compounding the societal and structural challenges that many of these institutions have long confronted, and we are committed to doing all that we can to support them and the students they serve.”
A Tribal Colleges and Universities #RealCollege Survey report published this March, and cited on the fund’s website, showed that 29% of tribal college student respondents were homeless at some point in the prior 12 months, almost 62% were food insecure in the prior 30 days, and 69% faced housing insecurity in the prior 12 months.