Press Releases

Return to news listing

NIEA Calls for Comprehensive Reform of Higher Education Finance to Increase Native Student Access


For Immediate Release
Media and Policy Alert
May 7, 2012

Contact NIEA Communications
T: 202.544.7290



Education finance to increase native student


SUPPORTS president obama’s initiative to keep student loans affordable, DEMANDS expansion of Pell Grant program, seeks state higher education funding reform, and advocates for increases In in-school tuition aid

Washington, DC –  National Indian Education Association calls for the Congress to take steps to reform the nation’s system of higher education finance in order to help more American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children obtain access to  a post high school education that can help them bring prosperity to themselves, their families, and their communities.

This position is part of NIEA’s ongoing effort to keep Native students on the path to college and career by eliminating barriers that stand in their way. NIEA supports President Barack Obama’s effort to prevent interest rates from increasing on loans provided to 7.4 million American students (including those from Native communities) through the federal Stafford Loan Program. Rates are likely to increase by a two-fold on July 1 if Congress cannot reach agreement on an interest rate reduction plan. A Senate vote on at least one plan to stave off interest rate increases may be held on Tuesday, May 8. NIEA supports action by the Congress to fix this problem and to keep these loans affordable.  

Says NIEA President Quinton Roman Nose: “Education equals jobs for our students and greater quality-of-life for our communities. We must eliminate barriers for Native students desiring to pursue an education after high school.”

NIEA also recognizes that addressing access and affordability also involves reforming the entire system of financing higher education. This includes an increase in funding for Pell Grants, which help low-income Native students pay for college without shouldering high levels of debt; addressing how states fund public community and four-year institutions directly through appropriations and indirectly through student aid; and encouraging universities to increase campus-based student aid to low-income students. 

More information on NIEA policy positions are available at Reporters can contact NIEA Communications at or at (202) 544-7290 for more information.


WHO: NIEA’s 3,000 members and advocates.  

WHAT: Call on congressional, White House, and institutional leaders for comprehensive reform of higher education finance.

WHY: Addressing college affordability and access will help more Native students get on the path to lifelong success.

MEDIA CONTACT: NIEA Communications ( or 202.544.7290) 


About National Indian Education Association: The premiere organization advocating for educational excellence, opportunity, and equity for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students, the mission of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) is to support traditional Native cultures and values; to enable Native learners to become contributing members of their communities; to promote Native control of educational institutions; and to improve educational opportunities and resources for American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians throughout the United States. Learn more at