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Tribal Colleges Endowment Fund


The Tribal Colleges Endowment Fund benefits the 1994 land-grant institutions by promoting capacity development in teaching programs in the food and agricultural sciences. The Tribal Colleges Endowment Fund, as a teaching capacity development program, is a companion program of the Tribal Colleges Equity Grants Program. It differs primarily from the Equity Grants Program in two respects, namely:

  • Endowment funds may be escrowed indefinitely and used for major obligations relating to the allowable activities.
  • As of October 1, 2001 , Endowment funds also may be used for facility renovation, repair, construction. and maintenance in support of and in addition to the targeted areas of support listed below.


Only 1994 land-grant institutions are eligible to receive funds under this program.

Targeted Areas of Support

  • Curricula design and instructional materials development
  • Faculty development and preparation for teaching
  • Instruction delivery systems
  • Student experiential learning
  • Equipment and instrumentation for teaching
  • Student recruitment and retention


On the termination of each fiscal year, the Secretary of Agriculture withdraws the earned interest from the Endowment fund and distributes it to the 1994s on a pro rata basis. The pro rata basis formula is as follows: 60 percent is based on the Indian student count for each institution; 40 percent is distributed in equal shares.

Upon notification of their annual distribution, 1994s are required to submit a Planning Document (subject to approval) on how their Endowment funds will be spent.


The funding for Fiscal Year 2006 is estimated at $11,904,000.

Results and Impacts

All of the 1994 land-grant institutions have experienced growth in their education programs since the implementation of the Endowment Fund. Especially noteworthy are the uses of their Endowment moneys by Turtle Mountain Community College and Haskell Indian Nations University. Turtle Mountain Community College has developed a hands-on alternative energy and energy conservation curriculum, and Haskell Indian Nations University has developed its Institute of Distance Education for delivering its curriculum to the Kansas-based Tribal Nations to promote rural development.


Tim Grosser, National Program Leader, Tribal Colleges Education Equity Grants Program


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