Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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Tuition Waiver

One way other colleges have supported Native American students is by covering the cost of their tuition.

The University of Michigan has offered an exemption to all Michigan Aboriginal residents since 1976.

The University of Minnesota announced earlier this month that it would offer free or reduced tuition to tribal members of the state beginning next fall.

In Wisconsin, a tuition waiver policy for tribal members would require both legislative and UW system approval.

Governor Tony Evers included a provision in his 2021-23 state budget proposal to allow students from federally recognized tribes to receive in-state tuition, but it didn’t make it through the legislative process. A similar bipartisan bill failed to gain traction in the 2019 session.

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Evers’ spokeswoman, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Ostberg, did not respond to a question about whether they support tuition waivers for native students of the state.

Some Wisconsin tribal members may already receive support through Bucky’s Tuition Promise, a UW-Madison scholarship that covers tuition and fees for all Wisconsin families earning less than $60,000.

UW-Madison student Giselle Monette, who is a member of a tribe in North Dakota, supports tuition waivers “to fix some of the systemic damage that our families have long experienced.”

— Kelly Meyerhofer

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