Native Friendly College Ranks Top for Value


The Princeton Review released its 2012 Best Value Colleges list Monday and a school with a number of programs for Native American students topped the list.

The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill secured the No. 1 spot for public colleges. "Carolina meets 100 percent of students’ need, regardless of whether they are North Carolinians or out-of-state residents. Aid packages generally contain at least 65 percent in grant and scholarship assistance, with the remaining 35 percent in work study and loans," The Princeton Review says in its description of UNC-Chapel Hill. In-state tuition for the school is $5,128 and out-of-state tuition is $24,954. The Review also says that 71 percent of freshman receive some sort of financial aid.

The university has been serving its Native population with an American Indian Center that started as a Provost’s Committee on Native American Issues in January 2001. It has grown to a campus-wide center that serves as “the front door of the university for Native students and communities in the state of North Carolina and for Native people from across the country,” says Clara Sue Kidwell on the center website. Kidwell, Choctaw, served as the director of the center for four years before stepping down in June 2011.

Her permanent replacement, Amy Locklear Hertel, will take the reins from interim director Marcus Collins May 1. Locklear Hertel, of the Lumbee and Coharie tribes of North Carolina, is a 1997 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill.

“During my practice and training, I have acquired an interdisciplinary mix of knowledge and skills that I look forward to bringing back to North Carolina to serve UNC and Native communities,” she said in a press release.

The center offers a number of programs meant to connect the university to Native communities including the Elder in Residence program and an annual powwow.

This year’s Elder in Residence is Ada Deer, a Menominee activist and political leader. She will be on campus from March 14-19, giving students the chance to learn from her experiences.

UNC-Chapel Hill will host the 25th Annual California Indian Circle Powwow on March 17 in Fetzer Gym.

According to the Princeton Review, 0.6 percent of the university’s 18,430 enrolled students are Native American.

USA Today reports that data was drawn from 650 colleges and selections were based on academics, cost of attendance and gift aid. To view the full list of Best Value Colleges visit The Princeton Review website.