Colleges and universities that serve American Indian students will receive nearly $53 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Education to strengthen academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says the grants from the American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities Program can be used for a variety of improvements, including purchase, rental, or lease of scientific or laboratory equipment; construction, maintenance, renovation and improvement in classrooms, libraries, laboratories and other instructional facilities; and the acquisition of property on which to construct such facilities.

"These grants will provide funding to help tribal colleges and universities offer high quality educational opportunities for American Indian students," says Duncan.