UC Davis Welcomes Native American Opportunity Program for Students

Program Effective Fall 2022

Students riding bikes and walking around a busy UC Davis campus.
(Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

In a continuing effort to make college more affordable and accessible to California Native American students, University of California, Davis, is working now to implement the UC Native American Opportunity Plan, announced by University of California. The plan provides for in-state tuition and fees to be fully covered for admitted students who are California residents and members of federally registered tribes.

UC Davis announced today they will, under the program, provide assistance to outside agencies seeking to award scholarships to California students from non-federally recognized tribes.

It is part of UC’s and UC Davis’ effort to advance student diversity, equity and inclusion.

“This program will provide opportunities and support for Native American, American Indian and Alaska Native students — a community that contributes to the academic and student achievements of our campus,” said UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May. “At UC Davis, we recognize this program as another step on a path of atonement and respect to the Native community and Native Nations. This program will help us remove barriers for Native students and reaffirms UC Davis is within reach.”

The University of California plan, effective fall 2022, applies to California residents, admitted to a UC campus, who are members of federally recognized Native American, American Indian and Alaska Native tribes. This includes undergraduates (freshmen and transfers) and graduate/professional students, both incoming and continuing students. Because of the legal status of these tribes, UC is able to directly administer scholarships and grants to their members.

UC and UC Davis are working with external organizations, such as the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, to find scholarship resources that would be comparable to the tuition and fees funding that students from federally recognized tribes can receive.  

“UC Davis is committed to serving Native American students through this outstanding new program,” said Deborah Agee, interim associate vice chancellor of Enrollment Management. “Our Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will work closely with new and continuing students to establish eligibility for funding this fall.”

UC Davis is in the process of reaching out to qualified admitted and continuing students who may be eligible now. Both graduate and undergraduate students are eligible.

The UC President’s Native American Advisory Council, made up of California tribal leaders, UC faculty, and subject-matter experts, provided feedback and advice on the program.

The program is being funded by a combination of existing and new financial aid funds.

The Native American Opportunity Plan is a developing plan and is an important step forward for the University of California to reconcile and make amends to all Native Americans in California,” said Michelle Villegas-Frazier (Pomo Pinoleville), director of the UC Davis Native American Retention Initiative and the Native American Academic Student Success Center. “This plan provides access and makes college affordable by breaking down the financial barriers. Once students arrive at Davis, the Native American Academic Student Success Center provides a home away from home and connects them to the campus and resources to make them successful scholars.

Documentation of tribal enrollment may include any of the following:

  • Certification of tribal enrollment on tribal letterhead.
  • Enrollment or a membership card that contains the tribal seal and/or official signature of a tribal leader.
  • Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood, or CDIB if the CDIB includes tribal enrollment information.
  • Tribal identification card with an enrollment number.

Students seeking more information about the plan and/or additional scholarships are encouraged to contact their Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, its outside scholarships page, the Native American Academic Student Success Center or their graduate division.

Media Resources

Media Contact:

  • Karen Nikos-Rose, UC Davis News and Media Relations, 530-219-5472, kmnikos@ucdavis.edu

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