Tribal Education Departments National Assembly Releases Statement on Sharing Student Information

Leslie Harper announces the good news about sharing information with tirbes at TEDNA conference.

Published April 12, 2018

NEW BUFFALO, MICHIGAN – At its conference in at the Pokagon Potawatomi’s Four Winds Casino and Resort, the Tribal Education Departments National AssemblyD(TEDNA) released the following statement regarding the FY 2018 Omnibus Bill that authorizes institutions to share Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data with American Indian tribes:

FY 2018 Omnibus Bill Authorizes Institutions to Share FAFSA Data with Tribes and Tribal Organizations

March 23, 2018 passage of the FY2018 omnibus bill includes a provision that clarifies that an institution may share FAFSA information with tribes and tribal organizations to assist in applying for and receiving financial assistance. TEDNA has learned from a recent announcement by NASFAA (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators).

TEDNA has advocated on behalf of tribes and tribal education departments to ensure access to student data for student financial aid administration and to support tribal education sovereignty and capacity-building.

TEDNA Executive Director Quinton Roman Nose

Previously, tribes and tribal organizations were prohibited from accessing student data to award scholarship financial aid, and this has resulted in patchwork fixes or work-arounds that require tribal students, tribes, and tribal education departments to take extra steps in order to award financial aid to students. US Education Department’s Privacy and Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) previously gave verbal guidance that prohibited a student from providing permission to an Institution to share their FAFSA data with tribes and tribal Organizations. The current legislative language overrides this prohibition and authorizes institutions to share FAFSA information with tribes and tribal organizations

The new language in the omnibus spending bill grants permission to institutions to disclose student aid information to tribes and tribal organizations, as well as private scholarship-granting institutions.

US Education Department has stated that there will be no new guidance issued on this provision. Thus, tribes and tribal organizations may immediately begin to work with institutions on information sharing for purposes of student financial aid.




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