American Indian College Fund (Denver, CO)


  • Name:Aaron Smith
  • Title:Development Director

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:American Indian College Fund
  • Address:8333 Greenwood Blvd.
    Denver, CO 80221
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:303-426-8900
  • Main fax:303426-1200

Organization Web

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • Established in 1989 by tribal college presidents, the American Indian College Fund transforms Indian higher education by funding and creating awareness of the unique, community-based accredited tribal colleges and universities, offering students access to knowledge, skills, and cultural values which enhance their communities and the country as a whole.

  • Overview:
  • On behalf of the American Indian College Fund (the Fund) and tribal college students across the country, we would like to request a general operating grant of $5,000 from the Lawrence Foundation designated toward general operating expenses. This generous investment from the Lawrence Foundation is critical to ensuring the Fund can continue to provide the administrative support necessary to effectively pursue our mission to transform American Indian higher education through scholarships and programs designed to increase awareness of the unique, community-based tribal colleges and universities (TCUs). Tribal colleges play an important role in preparing students for local and national employment opportunities and creating unique solutions to some of the country’s most pressing problems. With support from the Lawrence Foundation, American Indian students have the opportunity to become leaders within their communities and for the nation as a whole by helping to revitalize Native communities and create a brighter future for Indian Country. Through your investment, the Fund is able to increase access to higher education and generate more awareness of the TCUs working to create positive change for Native communities. Dr. Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, emphasizes the importance of tribal colleges by stating, “We estimate that every (tribal college) student and graduate success impacts 35 other people. Our students serve as role models for their children, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, neighbors and friends. As a result, every college student changes the literacy and education level not only of the individual themselves, but of entire communities throughout our country.”

    It is the goal of the American Indian College Fund to provide a means for Native people to have access to education, to overcome the debilitating effects of poverty, and to have the chance to give back to their communities. While Native people have made significant socioeconomic advances over the past decades, American Indians are more likely to live in poverty and have lower educational attainment rates than the rest of the American public. Please consider the following statistics:
    • Approximately 28.4 percent of American Indians live below the poverty line on reservations and 22 percent live below the poverty line nationwide, as compared to the national poverty rate of 15.3 percent.
    • Native people are the least educated racial group in America with only one percent of American Indians enrolled in degree-granting institutions from 2000-2009.
    • According to the National Center for Education Statistics Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives report, in 2008, out of all graduates, only 0.7 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives earned bachelor’s degrees, compared to 71.8 percent of Caucasians, 9.8 percent of African Americans, 7.9 percent of Hispanics, and 7 percent of Asians and Pacific Islanders.
    • Through higher education, American Indian students are afforded access to increased job opportunities and higher earning potentials. A recent report released by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found that individuals with a B.A. earn 84 percent more over a lifetime than those with only a high school diploma.

    The average student served by the Fund is a single mother in her mid-to-late twenties with two dependent children who is often the first in her family to attend college. According to a 2012 survey, approximately 48 percent of scholarship recipients had annual incomes in the $2,000-$6,000 range and nearly 62 percent of these students have one or more dependents. With the average cost of attendance at a TCU around $13,621 per year, affording a college education is a distant dream for many American Indians. Less than 5 percent of American Indians can afford to attend college without financial assistance. In 2012, scholarship recipients reported an average financial need of $9,836. The Fund works to fill these gaps with scholarships, but it is still not enough. In spite of awarding a record number of scholarships in the 2012-13 academic year, approximately 65 percent of applicants to the American Indian College Fund were left without financial assistance.

  • History:
  • In 1968, the Navajo Nation created an innovative educational institution – a college controlled by the tribe, located on the reservation and established with the specific mission to provide higher education to American Indian students. The Navajo Nation’s efforts inspired other tribal nations to create their own higher education opportunities. Forty years later, there are 33 tribal colleges and universities located in 12 states and serving students from more than 250 American Indian Nations. The success of the tribal college movement continues to grow by making higher education geographically and culturally accessible to the most educationally underrepresented segment of American society.

    Established in 1989 by tribal college presidents, the American Indian College Fund transforms Indian higher education by funding and creating awareness of the unique, community-based accredited tribal colleges and universities, offering students access to knowledge, skills, and cultural values which enhance their communities and the country as a whole. The Fund is the nation’s largest provider of private scholarships for American Indian students and the core mission of our work supports the 33 member tribal college institutions. In addition to raising money for tribal college scholarships, the Fund garners resources for American Indians attending mainstream institutions, as well as other needs at the TCUs including capital projects, operating support, capacity building efforts, and program initiatives.

    As a public charity, the Fund meets charitable accountability standards set by the Better Business Bureau. We are also proud to have a four star Charity Navigator rating and to have the permission to display the “Best in America Seal of Excellence” from the Independent Charities of America. With support from the Sempra Energy Foundation, we can continue to provide important financial resources for American Indian students pursuing their higher education.

  • Year established:1989
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:20
  • Advisory board size:
  • Staff size:47


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID:52-1573446

Other Organization Web

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:521573446
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Care Of Name:
  • Organization Address:8333 GREENWOOD BLVD
  • Organization City:DENVER
  • Organization State:CO
  • Organization Zip:80221-4488
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):1
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Charitable Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:February, 1989
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):040
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):Scholarships (other)
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:June, 2017
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:June
  • NTEE Code:B110
  • Asset Amount:$77,339,478
  • Asset Code:9 ($50,000,000+)
  • Income Amount:$25,320,550
  • Income Code:8 ($10,000,000 - $49,999,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$22,289,376
  • Last Updated:2/22/2018 7:00:38 am

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.