American Indian College Fund President Cheryl Crazy Bull Details How to Ensure College Access for Native Students in New Brief

“Ensuring College Access and Success for American Indian/Alaska Native Students” published by The Campaign for College Opportunity

Denver, Colo., June 13, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Campaign for College Opportunity published “Ensuring College Access and Success for American Indian/Alaska Native Students,” authored by Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, as part of its national initiative, “Affirming Equity, Ensuring Inclusion, and Empowering Action,” to elevate best practices supporting the college preparation, admission, affordability, and success of minoritized students. The initiative is in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to curtail the use of race in college and universities admissions and seeks to ensure America does not return to an era of exclusion in higher education.

Despite centuries of trauma connected with education as an assimilation tool, American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) peoples have remained resilient and advocated tirelessly to achieve equal opportunity in higher education. The result was a movement to restore Native culture and community life through the creation of tribally controlled colleges and universities (TCUs). Yet the percentage of AIAN people in higher education remains low, with 16% of AIAN people ages 25-64 earning a bachelor’s degree compared to 32% of the rest of the U.S. population, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The number of Native youths enrolled in higher education institutions is also significantly less than the rest of the U.S. population and has substantially decreased over the last 10-15 years. 

President Crazy Bull’s brief urges colleges and universities to strive for ensuring equal opportunity, inclusion and creating a strong sense of belonging on campus, and for learning from TCUs how to build education institutions that honor Native identity while empowering Native students to succeed. The brief also presents the current state of higher education access and completion for American Indian/Alaska Native Students (AIAN) and details a series of best practices and recommendations that ensure AIAN students can succeed in higher education without abandoning their cultures. She also explores how leaders at the federal, state, and institutional level can ensure access to higher education for AIAN students in ways that affirm their cultures and the unique sovereign political status of American Indian and Alaska Natives.   

About the American Indian College Fund — The American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 34 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided $17.4 million in scholarships and other direct student support to American Indian students in 2022-23. Since its founding in 1989 the College Fund has provided more than $319 million in scholarships, programs, community, and tribal college support. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 34 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit

JournalistsThe American Indian College Fund does not use the acronym AICF. On second reference, please use the College Fund.




CONTACT: Dina Horwedel
American Indian College Fund