Higher Education Act (HEA)

The Higher Education Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Johnson as part of the President’s Great Society domestic agenda to eliminate poverty and racial injustice. Titles III and V of the Higher Education Act, known as Aid for Institutional Development programs, support institutions with a large proportion of financially disadvantaged students and low cost-per-student expenditures – including Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs).  The nation’s 37 TCUs serve Native and non-Native students in some of the most impoverished areas in the nation. Congress recognized the TCUs as emergent institutions, and as such, authorized a separate section of Title III (Part A, Sec. 316) specifically to address their needs. Additionally, a separate section (Sec. 317) was created to address similar needs of Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian institutions.

NIEA is working to ensure any reauthorization of the HEA, particularly Title III – Institutional Aid – supports and strengthens institutions that serve Native students. NIEA is also encouraging tribal and state partnerships for Native education which include priorities for Native-serving, nontribal institutions to collaborate on education issues, and workforce needs.