Articles/Information, Personal Experiences

Native Students – Financial Impact on Education. (Part 1)

Students are filing in to their first semester classes these past few weeks all over the country. However what many college students attending class don’t know is the underwhelming amount of indigenous students attend the colleges that have been built on the land they so freely roamed.
Native American or American Indian student enrollment in college is the lowest in the nation, with close to 17% of college entrances and an 82% college drop out rate, the expectancy of Native college graduates is hardly regarded. Many reports have tried to delve out why these numbers are so low, coming up with results including that many indigenous students feel unsupported by their peers to attend higher-level education.
While many native youth attend Tribal Colleges due to financial reasons, other natives find the colleges as a much more comfortable environment because they are surrounded by people from similar backgrounds.
The highest reasons for Native students to either not attend college or maintain their attendance is financial status. Without university or organization supported scholarships most hardly see schooling as an option. Those who get the opportunity, feel that their community support is what drives their ambition.
As a native student on scholarship at my own university I can say from experience that without my scholarship I would have a very different college experience. Although this particular college was not my number one choice it has in fact become my home and a place that will hold some of my happiest memories and biggest turning points.
Without my current funding for my education through some scholarships I would most probably be attending a community or local college with less opportunities academically, as well as lacking what most call “a true college experience” by being away from home.
I can also say that without avid support from my family, friends and some teachers my ambition within school would have constantly diminished unlike its current situation where it has in fact grown. My desire to continue my education so I can encourage so many others like myself to get as much education as possible regardless of the situation is a driving force in my life’s journey.
My hope is to be an example for others that no matter where you end up in life education and learning is the most important thing. It doesn’t matter the kind as long as you are happy and are fulfilling the human desire to learn and create experiences.


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