Native Village Youth and Education News
February 1, 2009 Issue 194 Volume 2

On way out, Bush cuts Native scholarships
By Karen Francis
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Arizona: The Navajo Nation is seeking to restore funding for its scholarship program to the fiscal year 2008 level.

For FY 2009, the Bush administration had recommended a 20% cut to the Bureau of Indian Affairs line item that provides funding for Navajo Nation scholarships. While the FY 2008 funding was $25,000,000, the FY 2009 funding was $20,000,000.

Funding to the Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship and Financial Assistance from the BIA will be cut $2,100,000 according to the Navajo Nation Department of Education.

The funding cut translates to approximately 1,090 awards at $2,000 per term per student, the Department of Education public information officer Hondo Louis said.

Despite the cut, ONNSFA director Rose Graham is urging Navajo students to stay in school.

“Navajo Nation scholarships are in many cases the sole source of college funding for many of our students. During this time of economic hardship, I urge our Navajo students to stay in school, to remain hopeful and to rely more than ever on other sources of funding,” Graham said.

She is also encouraging families and friends of college students to do everything they can to assist their students.

Graham said that many students have been calling the office asking about the future of their scholarships.

“Unfortunately we do not have good news to share with them,” she said. “During this recession — however long it lasts — all federally-funded programs, including the bulk of our scholarship funding, are being impacted.


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