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New project at UW will connect Native students with financial support for postsecondary education


A growing number of state systems, public and private colleges and universities currently offer in-state tuition or tuition waivers to Native students based on their tribal affiliations. However, there is no one place where college-going students can access up-to-date and complete information. With that in mind, the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Student Success Through Applied Research Lab (SSTAR Lab) is launching a new project to connect Native students with financial support for postsecondary education.

The SSTAR Lab, which conducts original research and evaluation on issues related to college opportunity and student success, will conduct a policy scan of federal, state and institutional policies and programs to develop a comprehensive, publicly available dataset and web-based tool identifying programs that provide financial relief to Indigenous students, according to a press release from UW News.

Prof. Nicholas Hillman, SSTAR Lab’s director, and his team will collaborate on the two-year project with co-lead Gresham Collom of St. Cloud State University.

“As a public institution guided by the Wisconsin Idea, it’s our responsibility to be part of the solution when it comes to reducing disparities in higher education, especially among Indigenous students,” Hillman, a professor with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, said in the press release “We are proud to be part of this work that will open doors for Native college-going students across the country.”

Besides producing a searchable database that identifies funding programs specifically supporting Indigenous students based on Tribal affiliation(s), the project will also produce a comprehensive, downloadable dataset for policymakers and researchers interested in developing and studying these types of programs.