The Native American Higher Education Problem
The Choctaw Scholarship Advisement Program (SAP) was created in late 2006 to help overcome consistently high Native American college dropout rates. SAP has two primary goals:
- Prepare students for college
- Once enrolled, keep students on track for a college degree.
A recent (2008) report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) underscores the drop-out rate problem for Native American students. NCES’ report, Status and Trends in Education of American Indians, lists both good news and bad news for Native Americans seeking college degrees.
The good news is that 44 percent of American Indians age 25 or older had attended some college in 2007. Further, an encouraging trend has emerged: American Indian enrollment in college has been increasing over time. In fact, Native American higher education enrollment has more than doubled in the past 30 years, according to the study.
But the bad news lies in the report’s second finding. Even though 44 percent had attempted college, only nine percent of American Indians age 25 or older had earned a bachelor’s degree as their highest level of educational attainment.
The Choctaw Scholarship Advisement Program’s services include college selection counseling, admission test preparation, helping students find scholarships, grants, internships and fellowships, summer program advisement, and peer advisement and mentoring.
Since its founding in 2006 more than 3,000 Choctaw students and parents have either enrolled in SAP or follow the program closely via its online newsletter, SAP News. SAP's online newsletter reaches more than 5,000 total recipients and the program's Web site receives approximately 2,000 unique visits per month.
READ MORE Seven Reasons to Join SAP