The Bureau of Indian Affairs Should Do More to Help Educate Indian Students

HRD-77-155: Published: Nov 3, 1977. Publicly Released: Nov 3, 1977.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

In providing grants to Indian students to attend colleges and universities, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) knows little about the students' preparation for and performance in college or about the colleges they attend. The program has grown from 4,300 students receiving about $4 million dollars in 1970 to 16,000 students receiving about $33 million in 1976.

Investigations conducted at seven educational institutions that enrolled about 2,000 Indian students showed that the Indian students, on the whole, had lower assessment test scores and cumulative grade point averages than the general student population. The Indian freshmen particularly need help, as evidenced by the fact that the rate of Indian freshmen not continuing their education at these schools was higher than that for the general student population. The Bureau has neither devoted enough staff to the program nor provided students with needed supportive services.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Interior should direct the Bureau of Indian Affairs to: develop and implement a system for gathering information on Indian students and the colleges they attend to help these students plan their education; encourage Indian counselors to perform duties that enhance the Indians' opportunities to further their education; encourage colleges and universities without Indian counselors to see that Indian students are receiving adequate supportive services; develop regulations based on the higher education program manual and require BIA personnel to follow them; and sufficiently staff the higher education program so that needed services can be provided to Indian students.

    Agency Affected:


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 12, 2016

Aug 8, 2016

Jun 15, 2016

May 19, 2016

May 17, 2016

Apr 11, 2016

Mar 16, 2016

Feb 8, 2016

Dec 14, 2015

Nov 30, 2015

Looking for more? Browse all our products here