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Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives
Indicator 7.2 Tribally Controlled Colleges

Figure 7.2. Enrollment in tribally controlled colleges: Fall 1997 to fall 2002
Enrollment in tribally controlled colleges: Fall 1997 to fall 2002
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, various years, based on Integrated Postsecondary Education System (IPEDS), "Fall Enrollment" surveys, 1997 to 1999, and Spring 2001 through Spring 2003 surveys.

Total enrollment in tribally controlled colleges was nearly 16,000 in fall 2002.

In 2002, there were 32 tribally controlled colleges and universities. They were located in 12 different states, scattered across the West and Midwest. Seven of those colleges and universities were 4-year institutions, and 25 were 2-year institutions.

Tribally controlled colleges and universities share many characteristics that differentiate them from most colleges and universities. Tribally controlled colleges and universities are designed to foster environments focused on American Indian culture in order to preserve, enhance, and promote American Indian languages and traditions (Cahalan et al. 1998). They are intended to create learning opportunities for students with unique needs. For example, students are generally older than 24 years of age and over half of the students are single parents. Also, tribally controlled colleges may function as community resources, providing social services to reservations in isolated areas (American Indian Higher Education Consortium 1999).

The total enrollment in tribally controlled colleges and universities increased by 17 percent, from 13,600 in fall 1997 to 15,800 in fall 2002 (appendix table A-7.2). In 2002, some 13,000 students were American Indian/Alaska Native, representing 82 percent of total enrollment.10 Eight percent of all American Indian/Alaska Native college students were enrolled in tribally controlled colleges. American Indian/Alaska Native enrollment in tribally controlled colleges and universities increased at a faster rate between 1997 and 2002 than American Indian/Alaska Native college and university enrollment generally (32 percent vs. 16 percent; data not shown).

View Table View Table 7.2



10 Although all enrollment data group American Indians and Alaska Natives together, it should be noted that there are no tribally controlled colleges in Alaska.


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