Assistance to Tribally Controlled Community Colleges and Universities

To provide grants for the operation and improvement of tribally controlled community colleges to insure continued and expanded educational opportunities for Indian students, and to allow for the improvement and expansion of the physical resources of such institutions.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Twenty-five Tribally Controlled Community Colleges received financial assistance.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Office - See Education Line Officers' addresses in Catalog Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Program Accomplishments

Annually, over 20,000 Indian students receive an education above the secondary level, and approximately 1,000 Indian students receive an associate, bachelors or masters degree or a vocational certificate.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds must not be used in connection with religious worship or sectarian instruction.

Funds may be used for the general operating costs of the Tribally Controlled Community College to defray, at the determination of the College, expenditures for academic, educational and administrative purposes and for the operation and maintenance of the College.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Colleges sponsored by Federally Recognized Indian Tribes or tribal organizations which are governed by a board of directors, are in operation more than one year, admit students with a certificate of graduation from a secondary institution or equivalent, provide certificates, associate, baccalaureate and graduate degrees, are nonprofit and nonsectarian.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Indian students who are a member of or are at least a one-fourth degree Indian blood descendant of a member of an Indian tribe which is eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States through the Bureau of Indian Affairs to Indians because of their status as Indians.


Written evidence of approval of the application by the governing body of one or more Indian tribes of the students served by or to be served by the college. "Tribal governing body" means the tribal governing body or tribal governing bodies that represent at least 90 percent of the students served by such school.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

An applicant should consult the Branch Chief of Post-Secondary Education.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

The organization should submit written evidence of approval of the application by the governing body of one or more Indian tribes of the students served by or to be served by the college to the Director, Office of Indian Education.

Award Procedures

After receiving approval of the application by the governing body or governing bodies, the Director will designate a study team to determine whether there is justification to encourage maintaining a college.


Colleges must submit the tribe's approval of the application by March 1 of the fiscal year preceding the year in which they wish to be eligible for funding. Evidence that all administrative systems are in place such as accounting, personnel and property must be submitted by July 1 of the preceding year in which they wish to be eligible for funding.


Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act, Public Law 95-471, 25 U.S.C. 640c - 1(c); 25 U.S.C. 1815.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

The study team will be designated within 30 days. Within 60 days the team must complete its eligibility study. The tribe will be notified of approval within 60 days of completion of the study.


A negative determination may be appealed to the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs. Within 30 days of receiving a notice of appeal the Assistant Secretary must conduct a hearing at which the applicant may present evidence and offer arguments in support of the appeal. Within 30 days after the hearing the Assistant Secretary must issue a written ruling on the appeal. Specifics relative to the appeals process are found in 25 CFR 41.7.


Colleges must file an annual application to receive continued funding.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Awards are made on an annual basis and the funds remain available without fiscal year limitation until expended by the contractor/grantee.

Post Assistance Requirements


OMB 1076-0105, Annual Report.


For awards made under this program, grantees/contractors are responsible for obtaining audits. All nonfederal entities that expend $500,000 or more of Federal awards in a year ($300,000 for fiscal year ending on or before December 30, 2003) are required to obtain an annual audit in accordance with the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 7501 et. seq.) and OMB Circular A-133 Compliance Supplement and Government Auditing Standards. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 (for fiscal years ending after December 1, 2003) a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in OMB Circular A-133.


Financial records must be retained for 3 years from the date of submission of the single audit report. Procurement records must be retained for 3 years from the date of final payment. Property records must be retained for 3 years from the date of disposition, replacement, or transfer. Records pertaining to any litigation, audit exceptions or claims must be retained until the dispute has been resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants)FY 07 $54,612,000; FY 08 est. $56,713,000; and FY 09 est. $56,712,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$213,000 to $11,118,000; $2,080,000. The amount of the award is determined by the number of eligible Indian students enrolled in the college. Indian Tribes may choose to supplement the funding provided by the grant program by identifying additional amounts in the Tribal Priority Allocations portion of the Bureau of Indian Affairs budget.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

25 CFR, Part 41; 25 CFR, Part 276.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Education Line Officers' addresses in Catalog Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Keith Neves, Office of Indian Education Programs, Bureau of Indian Affairs, MS 3609 MIB, 1849 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20240. Telephone: (202)208-3601. (Use the same 7-digit number for FTS.).

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Applicants which the study team determines as eligible will be funded.

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