American Indian Higher Education Consortium

Key information

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    • The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) was established in 1972, in order to represent the interests of the newly developed tribal colleges, which are controlled and operated by American Indian nations. One of the most significant achievements of AIHEC was to work with the United States Congress to authorize in 1994 land-grant status to 29 tribal colleges, achieved in October 1994 under the Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act.

      As a result, AIHEC is eligible to have a representative participate in the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges' Council of Presidents. With administrative headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia near Washington, DC, this organization has member universities located from Michigan west to Alaska and Arizona. AIHEC's membership consists of 36 tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) in the United States and one in Canada, whose first tribal college achieved independent status in 1995. AIHEC is jointly governed by the presidents from the member institutions. The organization offers technical assistance to its member colleges, as well as to developing institutions, and leads efforts to promote the Tribal College Movement.

      In 1989, AIHEC established the American Indian College Fund (AICF) to raise scholarship funds for American Indian students at qualified tribal colleges and universities.