Native American graduate with mortarboard

Important Updates

  • The 2024-25 FAFSA and CADAA are now open. The priority filing date for both applications has been extended to April 2, 2024. Visit Apply for Financial Aid for details.
  • The Department of Education has announced they will send information from the 2024-25 FAFSA to schools in mid-March. This may result in a delay in financial aid packaging and offers for the 2024-25 academic year.

UC Native American Opportunity Plan

What is the UC Native American Opportunity Plan?

The UC Native American Opportunity Plan (UCNAOP) ensures that in-state systemwide Tuition and Student Services Fees are fully covered for California undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled in federally recognized Native American, American Indian, and/or Alaska Native tribes. 

Financial aid sources that satisfy, in part or in full, the promise under the Native American Opportunity Plan include the following:  

  • Tuition‐specific aid (e.g., Cal Grant, veteran’s tuition benefits, tribal benefits)
  • Institutional aid and UC scholarships
  • Federal Pell Grant and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Tuition and fee remissions

If a student's total aid from these sources equals or exceeds the UC systemwide tuition and fees, then the Native American Opportunity Plan promise has been satisfied.

If a student's aid from these sources does not fully cover the UC systemwide tuition and fees, the Native American Opportunity Plan will make up the difference with UC grant funding.

What are the eligibility requirements?

To be eligible for the UC Native American Opportunity Plan, students must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Must be a current or newly admitted University of California undergraduate, graduate, or professional school student.
  2. Must be a California Resident.
  3. Must be an enrolled member in a federally recognized Native American, American Indian, and/or Alaska Native tribe.
  4. Must be enrolled in a state-supported UC degree program (i.e., students in self-supporting and certificate programs do not qualify*).
  5. Undergraduate students and professional degree graduate students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA). 

*Other resources may be available to support these programs. For more information, contact your program.

How Do I Affirm and Provide Proof of Tribal Enrollment?

Documentation of tribal enrollment may include any of the following:

  • Certification of tribal enrollment on tribal letterhead.
  • Enrollment/membership card that contains the tribal seal and/or official signature of a tribal leader.
  • Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) if the CDIB includes tribal enrollment information.
  • Tribal identification card with an enrollment number. You must also submit tribal contact information (address, phone, and email) if it is not evident in the submitted documentation.

Please allow 5-10 business days for the documents to be reviewed.  

What kind of support will be available to Native American students from non-federally recognized tribes? 

The University of California consulted with tribal leaders to develop the UC Native American Opportunity Plan. This consultation included discussions on how to benefit all Native American students, including those from non-federally recognized tribes. California’s Native American tribes and other external organizations may provide scholarships to Native American students who are not members of a federally recognized tribe.

The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria recently announced a scholarship fund that will cover UC tuition and mandatory fees for eligible California Native American students. Learn more about the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria Scholarship Fund. Scholarship applications for the 2023-24 academic year are due by August 1.

Additional Information and FAQs

Visit University of California's Native American Opportunity Plan.

Have Questions?

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