Established in 1989, the American Indian College Fund (collegefund.org) is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to providing college scholarships to American Indians. Less than one in 20 American Indians living on reservations can afford to attend college without financial aid. In the last academic year, the Fund distributed $5.6 million in scholarships to more than 4,000 such students, selected on the basis of academic success, financial need, and community involvement. The AICF also helps to fund the nation’s 33 accredited tribal colleges, which integrate Native languages and culture into their curricula. Tribal colleges receive little or no tax support, so the charity’s assistance is crucial to the preservation of Native culture.
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