Interior funds Am Samoa’s membership fees in higher ed commission
Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs announced $174,900 in Technical Assistance Program grant funding to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) for and on behalf of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.
WICHE membership opens opportunities for the insular areas to participate in ongoing initiatives related to higher education, workforce development, and behavioral health. This new collaboration also guarantees in-state tuition rates for students from the territories and the freely associated states at hundreds of institutes of higher education across the Western region of the United States.
“We are pleased to support this opportunity for the insular areas to leverage resources and expertise in capacity development and higher education,” said Nikolao Pula, Acting Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs. “We encourage insular areas students who are underrepresented across institutes of higher education in the United States and to take advantage of this opportunity for growth and development.”
The Technical Assistance Program (TAP) grant funding will cover the cost of membership dues for the three U.S. Pacific territories and the three freely associated states, in effect expanding membership in the Pacific region from only Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to include American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.
WICHE’s Student Access Programs provide opportunities for students residing in any WICHE member state, territory, or country to pursue undergraduate and master’s degrees in other WICHE locations at substantially reduced non-resident tuition costs and to participate in other professional school programs.
All TAP funds provided through the Office of Insular Affairs are made available each year by Congress to support priorities in the U.S. territories and the freely associated states. More information about the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs can be found at www.doi.gov/oia.