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American Indian College Fund receives gift from MacKenzie Scott Foundation

DENVER —The American Indian College Fund has received an unrestricted gift from the MacKenzie Scott Foundation, headed by the billionaire novelist and philanthropist of the same name and her husband Dan Jewett.

Scott, the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, wrote in a blog post that the foundation’s donations announced June 15 totaled  $2.74 billion in gifts to “286 high-impact organizations in categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked.”

The College Fund is a national non-profit organization that provides Native American and Alaska Native students with greater access to a higher education and the support to succeed in college and in their careers.  

The College Fund, which did not indicate the amount of the gift in a press release, said the gift couldn’t have come at a better time, pointing to declines in college enrollment among first-time entering Native students in the fall of 2020. According to American Indian Higher Education Consortium data, freshman enrollment was down 11% overall at tribal college and universities and 23% nationally at all colleges and universities.

“This gift is timely and pivotal because, in combination with the generosity of our network of current and future supporters, we now have the capacity to grow greater opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native communities and to create lasting change,” Cheryl Crazy Bull, president and CEO of the College Fund said, in a statement.