Fewer Native American and Alaska Native students are going to college. Data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics show national enrollment numbers for Native Americans and Alaska Natives have dropped 30.8% from 2009-10 to 2017-18 (12-month enrollment). Haskell Indian Nations University (HINU) 2009-2019 fall enrollment numbers follow the national trend mirroring the 30.8% drop.
Indian Country has 34 Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) which have collectively seen a 17.8% drop in 10-year total enrollment numbers. Many of these TCUs have a combination of Native and Non-Native students. HINU and Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, overseen by the BIE, however require tribal verification for enrollment, and together have seen a 34.9% drop in 10-year enrollment.
Out of the 34 TCUs, 74% have seen decreases in enrollment. The College of Menominee Nation has seen the largest decrease in fall enrollment, down 62.6% from 2009; on the other hand, Navajo Technical University has seen an increase of 113% for its fall enrollment.
Ten-year trends show three TCUs had decreases in enrollment by over 50%, and four had increases in enrollment by over 50%. HINU ends up at number 12 for the largest decrease in fall enrollment.
COVID-19 pandemic responses may further impact fall enrollment rates for TCUs. HINU has yet to make a decision on online or in-person courses for the fall 2020 semester. Currently, HINU has 539 pre-enrolled students.