American Indian students will be able to save more than 80 percent on tuition at Idaho State University, beginning this fall.
The State Board of Education approved the pilot program Thursday.
Members of the Shoshone-Bannock, Coeur d’Alene, Nez Perce, Shoshone-Paiute and Kootenai tribes will be able to attend classes for $60 per credit.
For a student taking 12 credits, this would cut the cost of tuition from $3,710 to $720.
Other fees will still apply. Students also must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid in order to qualify for the state’s discount.
New ISU president Kevin Satterlee hailed the board’s decision.
“We support the state’s efforts to improve access to higher education and this decision will make a difference for many in our state,” Satterlee said in a news release.
American Indian college graduation rates lag behind Idaho’s overall college graduation rate — which itself is one of the lowest grad rates in the nation.
In 2016, only 20 percent of Idaho American Indian adults held a two- or four-year college degree, according to a study from the Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based think tank focused on state and national college graduation rates.
By comparison, about 39 percent of all Idaho adults have a two- or four-year degree.