National Relief Charities
National Relief Charities

AIEF Collaborates with NSPA in Support of Students

American Indian Education Foundation (AIEF) helps National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA) ensure student access and success.

AIEF Collaborates with NSPA in Support of Students
Denver, CO, October 26, 2010 --( Today kicks off the first day of the annual conference hosted by the National Scholarship Providers Association. The NSPA was founded to “advance the collective impact of scholarship providers, and the scholarships they award, through exchanging best practices, offering professional development opportunities, and promoting student access and success in higher education.” This coincides with the goal of AIEF, helping Native American students achieve their dreams through education and build a brighter future.

The NSPA conference runs from Tuesday, October 26, through Friday, October 29. And on Friday’s agenda is a special panel called “Access and Success for Diverse Student Groups: Challenges and Achievements.” Sitting on this panel will be three education professionals: Lyn Tysdal (American Indian Education Foundation), Steve Green (Kauffman Scholars), and Cathy Makunga (Hispanic Scholarship Fund).

Each panelist brings to the table strong knowledge of how cultural competency, diversity, and access conspire to impact a student’s ability to achieve success. With dozens of years of combined experience, these professionals are sure to deliver strong guidance for other scholarship providers, including public and private charities that are looking for best practices and best achievements related to scholarship selection and student success.

Lyn Tysdal, Program Manager of AIEF and author of a white paper titled “Native Student Success and Innate Potential” says: “Creating more opportunities for Native American students, and any students with low access, is key.” Only 11% of Native Americans hold a college degree. “Scholarships alone are not enough," Tysdal adds. "Supporting students from early childhood through graduate school is warranted, and retention has to be a strong focus. We do this through AIEF and other programs of National Relief Charities.”

This realization comes through decades of experience and it results in over 95% of AIEF’s scholarship students completing their first year – and any year – of college for which they are awarded AIEF scholarships. Comparatively, the completion rate for first year of college among all Native American students who attend college is only 21.6%. Tysdal believes that AIEF’s selection process and student mentoring help support retention of Native American students and will add to the overall graduation rate for Native students as a whole.

AIEF is a program of National Relief Charities, which has been serving Native Americans for 20 years. For more information, visit

For a free copy of the AIEF white paper, “Native Student Success and Innate Potential,” email

National Relief Charities
Helen Oliff