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American Indian College Fund picked to administer Cobell settlement scholarship program

Federal officials say the American Indian College Fund will administer a scholarship program that is part of a $3.4 billion government settlement with Native American landowners.

The settlement led by the late Elouise Cobell of Browning, Mont., was finalized last fall. Besides paying hundreds of thousands of landowners for mismanaged royalties and consolidating fractionated, individually owned land parcels, the settlement sets aside up to $60 million for scholarships for Native American students.

The Interior Department named the Denver-based fund as the scholarship administrator Tuesday based on the plaintiffs' recommendation and a panel's evaluation.

The money the fund receives is to be spent on scholarships for vocational certifications and bachelor degrees from four-year colleges and universities.

Twenty percent of the scholarships will be earmarked for professional and doctoral degrees.

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