Authorizing Legislation


Since the early 1900s, Congress has enacted various laws to support the development and growth of TCUs and Tribal sovereignty in higher education. Below are the current laws that authorize the various federal programs and funding for TCUs.

Tribal and TCU Legislation

Carl Perkins Career and Technical Institutions Funding (UTTC and NTU)

Federal funding for tribally controlled postsecondary career and technical institutions.

Equity in Educational Land Grant Status Act

1994 Institutions shall be considered land grant colleges established for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Higher Education Act: Title III Institutional Aid

Grants awarded under this section shall be used by Tribal Colleges or Universities to assist such institutions to plan, develop, undertake, and carry out activities to improve and expand such institutions’ capacity to serve Indian students.

Institute of American Indian Arts Authorization: Higher Education Act Amendments of 1986

American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Culture and Art Development

Navajo Community College Act (Diné College)

Assist the Navajo Nation in providing education to the members of the tribe and other qualified applicants through a community college, established by that tribe, known as Diné College.

Synder Act: Haskell Indian Nations University and Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute Funding Authorization

Postsecondary schools administered by the Secretary of the Interior for Indians shall be eligible to participate in and receive appropriate funds under any program authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities Assistance Act of 1978

Provide grants for the operation and improvement of tribally controlled colleges or universities 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.