US University Offers Free Tuition Based On Race

REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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The University of Arizona will offer free tuition to new and returning full-time degree-seeking students who qualify based on race.

Members of one of Arizona’s 22 recognized Native American tribes enrolled as full-time students will be eligible to receive the Arizona Native Scholars Grant (ANS) at the University of Arizona’s main campus in Tuscon, according to the University of Arizona’s Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

“The Arizona Native Scholars Grant (ANS) is an institutional grant program that ensures the in-state tuition and mandatory fees are fully covered for Native, Arizona Resident, Undergraduate students,” the university stated. “ANS will fill in the difference between a student’s tuition and mandatory fees and all other gift aid the student receives (Pell Grant, merit scholarships, etc.). This can be awarded up to four years (eight consecutive semesters).”

The University of Arizona said it found over 400 students enrolled in 2021 who would qualify for the grant, reported KGUN. Interested applicants must prove their valid membership in one of the 22 recognized tribes and fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the report stated.

University of Arizona senior vice president for Native America advancement and tribal engagement, Levi Esquerra said the university’s new grant program represented its “commitment and continued drive to be the leading institution serving Native Americans,” reported KGUN.

“Serving Arizona’s Native American tribes and tribal students is a crucial part of the University of Arizona’s land-grant mission, and the Arizona Native Scholars Grant program is another important step among many to do that,” Robert C. Robbins, University of Arizona President, said, according to KGUN. “I am so proud that that (sic) this university has found a way to help hundreds of students more easily access and complete a college education, and I look forward to finding ways to take these efforts even further.”

The university plans to divert money from its financial aid fund to pay for the new grant program, KGUN reported. (RELATED: How A Small Border Town Is Dealing With Huge Consequences Of Biden’s Border Policies)

The university also published a “Land Acknowledgment” apologizing for being located on “the land and territories of indigenous peoples” and promised the university is “committed to diversity and inclusion” and building “sustainable relationships with sovereign Native Nations and Indigenous communities.”