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Tribal Colleges were created over the last 30 years in response to the higher education needs of American Indians, and generally serve geographically isolated populations that have no other means of accessing education beyond the high school level. They have become increasingly essential to educational opportunity for American Indian students, a status they have achieved in a relatively brief period of time. Tribal Colleges are unique institutions that combine personal attention with cultural relevance, in such a way as to encourage American Indians—especially those living on reservations—to overcome the barriers in higher education.