Cowlitz Logo with text Cowlitz Indian Tribe, The Forever People


Cowlitz 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.

2022 23 Tuition Assistance Postcard December mailing Draft to include Student Housing Com Edits

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 availability of Tribal funds.

Educational Costs GWE Benefit newGraphic

Beginning in the 2021-22 academic year, this Educational Costs GWE Benefit will be available to all Tuition Assistance Award recipients in the first education term of the student’s academic year.

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.

If you are a high school graduate or have a GED and are enrolled in a certificate or degree program at an accredited vocational school, college, or university and are not receiving Cowlitz Tuition Assistance; you may be eligible for the Educational Costs GWE Benefit.
For more information, contact the Tuition Assistance Office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Carol Burnison at 360-353-9588 or Mersady Smith at 360-353-9497.
General Welfare Exclusion Act Benefit
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.

The Education Committee and hundreds of Cowlitz students who have received this award, thank the Cowlitz Tribal Council and General Council for their support.

Gregg Ford, Chair
Suzanne Donaldson, Vice-Chair
Timi Russin, Secretary 

Education Committee Members: Karissa Lowe, Becky Lowe, David Iyall, Celine Cloquet, Dave Reichel, Dave Littleton, Crystal Leigh and Ellen Harju.

Tuition Assistance Coordinator:  Carol Burnison

Tuition Specialist: Mersady Smith

Education Committee Mission Statement and By-Laws -  April 10, 2021
Cowlitz Tuition Assistance Award Program | Policies and Procedures -  April 10, 2021

2022–23 Academic Year (May 1, 2022 through April 30, 2023)  APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN - Jan 5th

For Student Housing Assistance – Call 360-864-8720 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you have questions, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Carol Burnison, Lead Tuition Assistance Coordinator, at 360-353-9588 or Mersady Smith, Tuition Specialist at 360-353-9497

Students applying for a Cowlitz Tuition Assistance Award are urged to seek other outside sources of funding for their educational costs. Links to scholarship programs and other educational opportunities are provided below.



Looking for Scholarships?

For additional details follow the links to the websites

Adventures in Education (AIE)

Alfie Scholarships

American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association

American Indian Endowed Scholarship (AIES)

American Indian College Fund

American Indian Graduate Center

American Indian Science and Engineering Society

Association on American Indian Affairs (AAIA)

Bosterbio Scholarships for Young Scientists Of Excellence  

Cobell Scholarship

Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation

Evergreen State College

First Nations’ Native Agriculture & Food Systems Scholarship  

Indian Health Service (IHS) Scholarship Program

Intertribal Timber Council

National Academy of American Scholarships (NAAS)

Native American Scholarship

Northwest Archivists

The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition

Udall Undergraduate Scholarship

University of Washington Daniel Iyall Native American Teacher Education Fellowship

Washington Indian Gaming (WIGA) Scholarship

Washington State University Memorandum of Understanding Member Scholarships

WSU MOU Scholarship

Washington State University Scholarships

Washington State Opportunity Scholarship


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