Portland college offers free tuition to Black and Native American students

By: | January 26, 2021

Wayfinding Academy began the free tuition program last August, as an extension of the institution’s mission to focus on equity and centering students.

Founder Michelle Jones began planning the creation of Wayfinding Academy in late 2014. She had spent 15 years working in higher education and was disappointed and frustrated with the system, before taking the steps to create Wayfinding.

Jones said Wayfinding turned its goals of racial equity and centering students into tangible action last year by starting the Free Tuition Initiative program. The program was a move to “meet the moment,” she said. It began a few months after racial justice protests erupted across the country, after George Floyd, a Black man, was killed by Minneapolis police.

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