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Tuition Assistance

Cowlitz Indian Tribe

Tuition Assistance Award Program

The Cowlitz Tribe views vocational certificates and college or university degrees as an investment in both the Tribal member and the future of our Tribal community. To encourage Cowlitz students in their pursuit of a vocational certificate or college or university degree the Cowlitz Tribe offers a Tuition Assistance Award Benefit and an Educational Costs GWE Benefit.

Tuition Assistance Award Benefit

Tuition and tuition related fees are awarded to enrolled Cowlitz tribal members attending an accredited vocational school, college, or university. Cowlitz Tribal funding will support one of each of the following certificates or degrees:

  • Vocational Certificate
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree
  • Master Degree
  • Doctorate Degree

Funding for the program is approved by the Tribal Council each academic year and is dependent on the availability of Tribal funds.

Educational Costs GWE Benefit 

This annual benefit for educational costs may be used for, but is not limited to, books, computers, calculators, musical instruments, sports equipment, supplies for studies, tutors, clothing, room and board, and transportation to and from school.

Available to all Tuition Assistance Award recipients in the first education term of the student’s academic year. Others who are High school graduate or have a GED that are enrolled in a certificate or degree program at an accredited vocational school, college, or university may be eligible.
Frequently asked questions

About Program?

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On August 3, 2019, the Cowlitz Tribal Council approved the inclusion of the Cowlitz Tuition Assistance Award Program as a tribal benefit under the General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014 (Act). This approval acknowledges the tuition and tuition-related fees provided by the Cowlitz Tuition Assistance Award Program meet the requirements of the Act, are not taxable, and are not subject to IRS information reporting requirements. Select the link below for Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014 IRS instructions.

Cowlitz Indian Tribe Education Committee Mission Statement and By-Laws Mission Statement The mission of the Education Committee is to steward and distribute Tuition Assistance Awards and the Educational Costs GWE Benefit to Cowlitz Tribal members.

By-Laws

  1. Membership

    The Education Committee will have 11 members.

    Membership is open to all tribal members and immediate family subject to approval by the Education Committee. Notice of Education Committee openings will be posted on the Cowlitz website and published in the Cowlitz Tribal newspaper.

    Individuals interested in joining the Education Committee must submit a written request to the committee chair noting their background and relevant experience, as well as a statement on why they are interested in joining the committee.

    Requests for membership will be evaluated based on the statement provided and the work of the Education Committee. The request will be voted on by current committee members at the next regularly scheduled meeting following receipt of the request. If approved, the new member will be invited to join future committee meetings.

  2. Officers and Duties

    Education Committee members will be eligible to pursue elected committee leadership roles (chair, vice-chair, secretary) after one full year of membership and active involvement.

    1. Chair—calls meetings, runs the meetings per Robert’s Rules of Order. The chair only votes to break a tie.
    2. Vice-Chair—assumes duties in the absence of the Chair.
    3. Secretary—records and distributes the minutes of the meetings.

  3. Term of Office — June 1 through May 31

  4. Paid Staff

    Paid staff will be hired and work in accordance with the Cowlitz Tribe’s established policies and procedures.

  5. Conflict of Interest Statement
    Education Committee members and staff will recuse themselves from evaluating a family member’s Tuition Assistance Award application. Family member will be defined as parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, and nephews.


    Approved by Education Committee: March 24, 2021
    Approved without name change by Cowlitz Tribal Council: April 10, 2021

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1003 Fir Street, Longview, WA 98632
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About

The legacy of an ancient people in southwest Washington is rich with descendants who manage a growing portfolio of health, education, scientific research, housing, transportation, development, elder care, conservation and legal issues. The Cowlitz Tribe is a growing force in community building in what are now Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis and parts of Pierce, Skamania and Wahkiakum Counties, a vast territory occupied by numerous Cowlitz villages prior to non-Cowlitz exploration and seizure. Today, an elected Tribal Council is composed of professionals adept at managing multiple programs and projects.