Western Equity

NAT-WOU Initiative is a trailblazing act set on reforming equality

Written by Entertainment Editor Gretchen Sims

Monmouth, along with Western Oregon University, is located on the traditional homelands of the Luckiamute Band of Kalapuya. The Kalapuya people were forcibly removed from their lands to the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation after the Willamette Valley Treaty in 1855 (1). Western has, for a long time, recognized this devastating travesty.

In part, recognizing its past has pushed Western to adopt a new program known as the NAT-WOU initiative.

The NAT-WOU Initiative (Native American Tuition Initiative) makes it possible for all Native American and Indigenous persons to qualify for in-state tuition. Instead of paying an approximate $28,000 a year, Native American and Indigenous students are now eligible for a tuition reduction of almost $20,000.

Interim Vice President/Dean of Students, Tina Fuchs, states why this initiative can have a lasting positive impact,

“We adopted the NAT-WOU initiative to assist Native American students with enrollment and graduation. Nationwide, approximately 24% of Native American students are enrolled in college (National Center of Education Statistics). In Oregon, that number is 48%, about 15% less than the rate for all high school graduates in the state. Financial barriers significantly limit access to college. The NAT-WOU initiative allows for out-of-state members from federally recognized tribes to attend WOU at a more affordable rate. Furthermore, we are supporting and encouraging our students from Oregon-based tribes to apply for the HECC’s Oregon Tribal Student grant which will offset the cost of attendance at WOU.”

Any person with documentation confirming their position in a federally recognized tribe is eligible for NAT-WOU benefits. Western does not accept ancestry documents and requires the applicant to be currently enrolled in a recognized tribal nation. Western accepts Tribal Identification Cards or a letter issued by a Tribe’s Enrollment Office as verification of membership.

For more information, contact Western Oregon’s Office of Admissions at admissions@wou.edu. Or call 503-838-8211 or this toll free number 1-877-877-1593.

Contact the author at howlentertainment@wou.edu

https://libraryguides.lanecc.edu/kalapuya (1)