Since MEI's founding our organization has worked to raise educational attainment levels of Marshallese residents and have worked with Marshallese youth on college enrollment. We also have hosted empowerment projects, including promoting Marshallese traditional arts and culture, Marshallese music, Marshallese awareness of history and culture, and the twin existential threats of nuclear testing and climate change. MEI also facilitates Marshallese elders' sharing knowledge with Marshallese youth through projects like Songs of Our Atolls. MEI offers a Marshallese Youth Academy and anticipates opening a Marshallese Academic Center in 2022.
Youth gather for the Our Shared Nuclear Legacy Youth Day on June 30th, supported by the Walmart Foundation. NNC's Ariana Tibon speaks from Majuro. MARK Harmony and MEI staff pose with elder Shine Benkim during the Songs of Our Atolls project supported by CACHE and the Walton Foundation.
Need $$ for college? Watch this video about applying for FAFSA for US federal financial aid.
Pell grants do NOT have to be paid back; student loans do!
the FAFSA Application is FREE!
Contact Marcina or Benetick for assistance!
The Marshall Islands flag with other nations in the NWACC Student Center (above). Benetick Maddison speaks during the NWACC Spring Arts and Culture Festival, March 2022.
Scholarship Deadlines for Seniors
University of Arkansas scholarships for Fall 2024 - Nov. 15
Enrollment Information for local colleges/universities:
2-year college that provides associates degrees; offers workforce development training and certificates, and training in health professions; also offers adult education, GED prep, classes for English Language Learners, and services for SNAP and TANF eligible clients
Main campus in Bentonville, AR and the new Washington Co. Center (behind Arvest Ballpark), Springdale, AR
4-year university that offers bachelor's degrees and graduate level degrees in various fields
Main campus in Fayetteville, AR
a private, Christian 4-year university that offers bachelor's degrees and graduate level degrees
Main campus in Siloam Springs, AR
an adult education and workforce training center offering high school equivalency diplomas and certificates
Benetick and Marcina share Marshallese history to a class at Har-Ber HS
TIP: Be cautious of for-profit educational institutions. Many of these have the resources to put more time into customer service because they make money off of you; most will encourage you to take student loans to complete their programs that you must pay back. Public institutions may not be as customer driven (some do a better job than others), but they are usually more affordable and are accredited (meaning they are recognized as legit and your degree is more valuable to an employer).
Dennis Melong works with students at Hellstern Middle School. Carlnis Jerry leads a Marshallese History and Culture class. (MEI Photos)
MEI Director Carlnis Jerry works with students on jewelry-making, Paul Lokebol Swington and middle school students learn handicraft-making from elder Shine Benkim at an event at the Walton Arts Center. (MEI Photos)
Since our founding in 2013, Marshallese enrollment in higher education climbed from 14 Marshallese college students enrolled at NorthWest Arkansas Community College and only 1 student enrolled at the University of Arkansas in 2013, to roughly 40 Marshallese students at NWACC and 6-8 at the University of Arkansas by 2022. Still, with an estimated population of 12,000+ in the NWA region, the number of Marshallese enrolled in higher education is disproportionately low.