Native Americans are one of the most underrepresented groups in colleges nationwide. And they face a unique set of obstacles to overcome in pursuing a college degree. According to the Census Bureau, more than one-third of Native Americans live on a reservation. And the outlook for advanced education among Native Americans is very limited. Native American scholarships are more important than ever before.
In addition, Native Americans face an overall poverty rate that is exceedingly higher than the average for the rest of the U.S. population. Despite a strong desire to achieve a degree, many Native Americans are held back by the growing price tag for a college education. Thankfully, there are some exceptional scholarship opportunities available for Native Americans. The following 25 scholarships are for Native American students who want to pursue higher education.
NATIVE AMERICAN SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS 2022
Deadline: first come, first serve, open until filled
AISES is short for the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. This organization provides $2,000 scholarships to qualified Native American students pursuing STEM degrees. The awards are available only to undergraduate Native Americans. The organization also typically sends some winners to the AISES National Conference.
To qualify for the Native American scholarships, candidates must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. And they must be full time undergraduate students. In addition, the school they attend must be a two or four-year accredited college in the United States. Students must also be members of the AISES and demonstrate strong leadership qualities. Membership is free and open to all high school and college Native American students. Applicants must be citizens or descendants of a state or federally recognized:
- Native American or American Indian Tribe
- Native Alaskan Students
- Native Hawaiian
- Pacific Islander
- Indigenous Person of Canada
Students must provide a copy of their birth certificate with the completed application. They should also be prepared to offer other supporting documents to prove their tribal affiliation and Native American ancestry.
2305 Renard SE Suite 200
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Cobell Scholarships are offered through Indigenous Education, Inc. They are annual, non-renewable, merit-based Native American scholarships. And there are several funding opportunities. They are available to Native American students who are enrolled members of a Federally-recognized Tribe. Applicants must be pursuing school full-time at an accredited non-profit, public or private institution.
Applications are carefully screened. And qualified Native Indian education specialists review all completed applications. So following instructions carefully is vital. There is no minimum GPA requirement. However, IEI does consider GPAs when selecting the best candidates. Awards typically range from $5000 to $12,500.
Candidates selected as finalists will complete a post-acceptance and verification process. These Native American scholarships are competitive, with around 30 percent of applicants chosen to receive funding. Scores are based on several factors, including:
- Overall Academic Strength
- Academic Rigor
- References Responses
- Language, Grammar, and Writing Skills
- Community Engagement
Indigenous Education, Inc.
The Cobell Scholarship
2155 Louisiana Blvd NE Suite 10100
Albuquerque NM 87110
(505) 313-0032 or (844) 551-0650
Deadline: February 1st, April 1st, July 1st, and November 1st
AIS offers an excellent scholarship program for undergraduate Native American and Native Alaskan students. The awards are based on up to one-half of a student’s tuition and financial need for the term. Financial assistance is allocated directly to the college or university on the student’s behalf. Requirements for these Native American scholarships include:
- Must be enrolled at or planning to enroll at an accredited U.S. college or technical school
- Must be a member of a Federally-recognized Alaska Native or American Indian Tribe
- Must be an undergraduate student with no more than 150 semester credits
- Must be either a full or part-time student taking a minimum of six credits
- Must establish and maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.25
- Must apply for financial aid by filling out the FAFSA form
All Native American students must submit the online application, a recent photo, proof of heritage, and an essay. A tuition billing statement and official transcripts are also required. If a candidate is approved, they must submit a thank you letter to the specific donor.
The scholarships are typically between $500 to $2,000, depending on merit and the available funds. Native Americans can receive financial assistance for multiple terms provided they meet ongoing requirements. AIS also awards trade school scholarships.
American Indian Services Scholarships
170 South Interstate Plaza Drive, Suite 200
Lehi, Utah 84043
Deadline: March 1st
This next scholarship for Native Americans is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA). The Spectrum Scholarship is designed to join the workforce of librarians and library leaders. It is for students from unrepresented groups, including:
- Indian/Alaska Natives
- Middle Easterners
- North Africans
- Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders
Eligible candidates receive up to $5,000, and the scholarship is non-renewable. Around 60 students are chosen each year. You must be a permanent resident of the United States or Canada. And you need to be in attendance at an ALA-accredited graduate program for library studies. Students must be able to maintain a minimum of two courses per semester. Additionally, recipients are granted a complementary one-year student membership to ALA. Plus, they get free admission to the ALA Annual Conference and formal mentoring opportunities.
ALA Spectrum Scholarship
50 East Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Deadline: May 28th
The Native Vision scholarship is a one-time $5,000 award given to two to four Native American applicants yearly. It is merit-based, and applicants are chosen based on education, leadership, and athletic abilities. The Native American scholarships are offered through the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA and a record of varying extracurricular activities. In addition, they should be heavily involved in their own indigenous communities. The award is for undergraduate Native American students attending an accredited university or community college. Candidates must complete the application and submit documentation that includes the following:
- Two Letters of Recommendation
- Brief Personal Essay
- Copy of School Acceptance Letter
- Proof of Tribal Membership
Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health
415 N. Washington Street, 4th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21231
Marlena Hammen (email@example.com.)
Deadline: March 1st
The American Chemical Society (ACS) Scholars Program offers renewable Native American scholarships of up to $5,000 annually. The scholarships aim to assist undergraduate Native American students pursuing chemistry-related careers. So to qualify, students must be pursuing an undergraduate degree in one of the following areas:
- Chemical Engineering
- Chemical Technology
- Other Chemistry-related Sciences
Candidates must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher. All applicants must be United States citizens enrolled full-time at an accredited university. Native American students also need to demonstrate the need for financial aid according to the FAFSA form. Candidates must be:
- Hispanic or Latino
- American Indian or Alaska Native
- Native Hawaiian or Native Pacific Islander
- More than one race – (more than one of the above racial categories)
American Chemistry Society Scholars Program
1155 16th St. NW
Washington, DC 20036
Deadline: May 31st
The next scholarship for Native Americans is the American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarship Porgram. These awards are eligible to any member of a state or federal government-recognized tribe or Alaska Native village. The American Indian College Fund was established in 1989. And it is the country’s largest charity supporting Native American students’ educational goals. The American Indian College Fund also provides support and tools to help Native American students once they are enrolled in college.
To receive the need-based Native American scholarships, applicants must be Native Americans, U.S. citizens, and enrolled full-time in an accredited U.S. university. American Indian College Fund applicants must be members of a recognized tribe or descendants of an enrolled tribal member. Additionally, candidates need to have a minimum GPA of 2.0 or better. Native American students can submit a new application for the American Indian College Fund scholarship for each academic year they attend.
American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarship Program
8333 Greenwood Blvd.
Denver, CO 80221
Deadline: June 1st and December 1st
NSCDA stands for The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. Established in 1894, it is a historical preservation society. Each year, the NSCDA offers financial aid through the American Indian Nurse Scholarship Awards. These scholarships for American Indians are intended for Native American students pursuing a nursing or healthcare career. The program continues to award $1,500 each semester if recipients maintain good overall academic standing.
The award is designed to cover tuition and educational expenses for each year the student is enrolled in an accredited nursing program. Participants are expected to work with their population to improve health care after graduation. Many Native American students pursue roles in healthcare organizations populated by American Indians. Others end up working directly on reservations. The program is not only for nursing but for most other healthcare occupations as well.
Eligible candidates must be at least one-fourth American Indian. And they are expected to graduate in four years with a BSN degree. Students also need a recommendation from a school official to qualify for these Native American scholarships.
National Society of the Colonial Dames of America
American Indian Scholarship Awards
NSCDA-Dumbarton House Attn: Indian Nurse Scholarship
2715 Q Street N.W. Washington, D.C. 20007-3071
Deadline: March 1st
The Bois Forte Band of Chippewa offers Native American scholarships through its Higher Education Program. This program is designed to assist enrolled members of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Indians. And it is for those attending pursuing an undergraduate degree at an accredited U.S. college or university.
The maximum award is $5,000 per academic year for undergraduates. And the maximum for graduate students is $6,250 per academic year. Native American students must be U.S. citizens and high school students accepted into a university. And they must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 or greater. Additionally, candidates will need to demonstrate the need for financial aid.
Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Scholarship Program
5344 Lakeshore Dr.
P.O. Box 16
Nett Lake, MN 55772
Leanne Hoffman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Deadline: June 1st
The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) provides supplemental grants for eligible college students. Candidates must be American Indian or Alaskan Native scholars seeking an associate or bachelor’s degree. And they must be accepted for admission at a nationally accredited institution.
BIE Grant program applications are available from the education officer of the tribe you are affiliated with. Students can obtain a list of tribal leaders in the program packet. Applicants must be current members of a federally recognized Native American tribe. Alternatively, they must prove they are a Native American descendant with at least one-fourth Indian blood. All students must demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the grants. The American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) also has a similar program for graduate students. *
*Please note that the American Indian Graduate Center has been renamed to the Native Forward Scholars Fund.
Bureau of Indian Education Higher Education Grant Program
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240
Cheyenne and Arapaho Higher Education Grants
Deadline: June 1st, November 1st, and April 1st
The DOE and Bureau of Indian Affairs offer the next scholarship program for Native Americans. The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes Grants are for enrolled tribal members. Applicants must be certified by the Concho Agency to be at least one-fourth degree Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian. Along with an application, applicants must submit the following:
- A detailed degree plan
- Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB)
- Official high school or college transcript
- Letter of acceptance to an accredited U.S. university
- Official class schedule on school letterhead
Amounts are based on a student’s financial need and the available funds. Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. To be eligible for these Native American scholarships, students must also apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes Higher Education Scholarship Program
P.O. Box 167
Concho, OK 73022
(405) 422-7646 or (405) 422-7439
Each year, the Chickasaw Nation offers several Native American scholarships and grants to eligible native students. The financial assistance is available to full and part-time Native American students pursuing a degree at an accredited U.S. University. American Indian students pursuing undergraduate, and graduate degrees can apply. Additionally, doctoral students are eligible. There are no blood restrictions or geographical boundaries. However, all applicants must be Chickasaw and have a valid Chickasaw Nation citizenship card. Awards vary depending on the program you apply to. Some of the grant and scholarship financial aid programs include:
Higher Education Grants: Native American student scholarships for undergraduate or graduate Native American students who maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher.
General Scholarship: For Native American students who take three or more credit hours each term and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA
Governor’s, Lt. Governor’s, and Legislator’s Scholarship: For graduating high school students who have a GPA of 3.85 or higher. You must have been selected as class valedictorian or salutatorian to be eligible.
Holisso Pisachi Education Scholarship, East Central University: For Chickasaw native students seeking an education degree at ECU. The award covers the full cost of tuition, fees, and housing. Employment participation with the Chickasaw Nation Department of Education is required.
Abeka Apisachi Nursing Scholarship, East Central University: For Chickasaw native students seeking a bachelor’s degree in nursing at ECU. The award covers the full cost of tuition, fees, and housing. Employment participation with the Chickasaw Nation Department of Health is required.
Textbook Grant: Textbook reimbursement for Native American students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral programs. Applicants must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA to qualify for this financial aid.
Native American Business Scholars Academy, Oklahoma City University: For Chickasaw students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business at OCU Meinders School of Business. Recipients are awarded full-time tuition funding for eight consecutive semesters. Native students must attend full-time and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher while enrolled to stay eligible for these scholarship programs.
Chickasaw Nation Education Division
300 Rosedale Rd.
Ada, OK 74820
Association on American Indian Affairs Scholarship
Deadline: May 31st
The AAIF awards twice-yearly scholarships for Native American students. Candidates must be full-time students and maintain a 2.5 out of 4.0 GPA. The Association focuses on Native American and Native Alaskan students who aim to work within their tribal communities.
To qualify for this scholarship for Native American students, applicants must be enrolled with their respective U.S. or Alaskan Tribe. However, the tribe does not need to be a federally recognized Native American tribe. It can also be an unofficial Native American tribe. And there is no minimum blood quantum requirement. Other requirements include the following:
- Completed application
- Current class schedule
- Tribal I.D. card or official letter from your tribe
- Essay describing your connection to your Tribal Nation
Students seeking an Associate’s Degree or higher are eligible. You must be attending an accredited U.S. college or university.
Association on American Indian Affairs
6030 Daybreak Circle
Clarksville, MD 21029
Deadline: March 31st
The Chahta Foundation connects Choctaw students with scholarships to help with college expenses. Funding comes from the Choctaw Nation, Chahta Foundation, and third-party donors. The foundation has a universal application process. Native students fill out one online form that automatically matches them with the scholarships they qualify for. Students must be willing to participate in specific service requirements to be eligible. The awards range between $500 to $100,000, depending on the scholarship. Some of them include the following:
The Oklahoma State University Alikchi Scholarship–$100,000: Financial aid for Native students attending OSU Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
Virginia Leflore Marshall Scholarship–up to $30,000 a year: Financial aid for Choctaw students pursuing specific professional medical degrees
Kaneubbe Scholarship–$5,000: Financial aid for students pursuing master’s or doctorate programs at an accredited college
Batton Scholarship–$1,000: Financial aid for Native students accepted into or attending Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Janie Hampton Dillard Scholarship–$2,500: Financial aid for students attending a two or four-year accredited program in Oklahoma.
Pink Warrior Scholarship–$1,000: Financial aid for students affected by breast cancer. This can be either themselves or immediate family members.
Second Chance Scholarship–$500: Financial aid for non-traditional students going back to college after five years
There are many other Native American scholarships available on the Chahta Foundation site. In general, eligible applicants must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 or higher. However, the requirements do vary. In addition, all students must be enrolled at an accredited U.S.university.
Chahta Foundation Scholarships
P.O. Box 1210
Durant, OK 74702
(580) 924-8280 ext. 2993
Deadline: March 1st
The American Indian Endowed Scholarship (AIES) awards scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000 annually to Native American students. This scholarship is for students with close cultural and social ties to an American Indian community in Washington. Graduate-level students are prioritized. However, all applicants are considered. Eligible applicants may get funding for up to five years. But they will need to reapply each year for the scholarship.
Around 15 recipients are chosen each year for the awards. All of them have returned (or plan to return) to work within their tribal communities on behalf of Native American people. Students can use the scholarship to attend many independent and public colleges in the state of Washington. Students in the program may not be pursuing a degree in theology.
Eligibility Requirements Include:
- Must demonstrate financial need based on a completed FAFSA
- Meet State residency requirements to receive financial aid
- Be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student at a participating college in Washington
- Intend to use their degree and training to benefit the Native American community in Washington State
American Indian Endowed Scholarship (AIES) Program
Washington Student Achievement Council
917 Lakeridge Way, Olympia, WA 98502
Ann Voyles, Program Associate
Deadline: April 30th, March 15th, and September 30th
Catching The Dream Native American scholarships are awarded through the CTD foundation and range from $500 to $5,000. They are merit-based and for Native American students who are members of any U.S. tribe. The awards are limited to students who can prove they are at least ¼ Native American. In addition, applicants must be attending or planning to attend an accredited U.S. college full-time.
There are several requirements to qualify for this scholarship. However, over 95 percent of students who apply are awarded funding, so it’s well worth trying. Some of the requirements include the following:
- Completed Application
- Letters of Recommendation
- Proof of Native American Ancestry
- Financial Needs Analysis Form
Applicants are also required to apply for at least ten other funding sources. And they must provide a record of application from those sources.
Catching the Dream
8200 Mountain Rd. NE, Suite 203
Albuquerque, NM 87110
Deadline: April 1st
This next scholarship program for Native Americans is awarded annually by the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL). It is in honor of George A. Strait. And it’s designed to assist minority students with earning a degree to fulfill needed roles in law libraries. This scholarship is for law students and is a lump-sum award that can vary. For the Fellowships, Native American students will attend a paid fellowship in a law library. Within the application packet, candidates are required to include the following:
- Official Letter of Acceptance
- Two Letters of Recommendation
- A Personal Statement
- Completed Application
In the personal statement, students should discuss their individual interests within law librarianship.
George A. Strait Minority Scholarships
105 W. Adams St., Suite 3300
Chicago, IL 60603
Kimberly Rundle at email@example.com
Deadline: March 2nd
The Udall Foundation honors the Udall brothers, who served in Congress during the 1960s. These scholarships for Native American college students are intended for sophomores and juniors only. Applicants must be committed to working on environmental and Native American Nation issues. And all candidates should be involved in working on positive solutions for problems impacting Indian country. This may include public policy, environmental, health care issues, and more. The $7,000 awards are for applicants who identify as one of the following:
- Member of Tribe, Nation, or Band
- Descendant in First or Second Degree of Tribal Member
- Eskimo, Aleut or Alaska Native
- Member of First Nations of Canada and Permanent U.S. Resident
The foundation chooses around 55 Native Americans (and other minority students) each year for the scholarships. Grades are less crucial than active involvement in leadership and community service. The scholarships can be used to cover tuition, fees, books, room and board, and other expenses related to a student’s education. Some examples of the type of public service the foundation likes to see include:
- Government work at all levels, including military, park service, law enforcement, etc.
- Work or volunteering in an educational institution
- Working for a public interest group or nonprofit
- Working towards restoration and preservation of cultural and natural resources
- Health care services
- Volunteering within the campus community
Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation
130 South Scott Avenue, Tucson, Arizona 85701
1301 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20004
The next scholarship program is offered through the University of Illinois. It is intended to enrich and diversify the student body at U of I. And it is for students admitted to one of the U of I campuses. Students must be residents of Illinois who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in high school. The President’s Award Program (PAP) is for members of historically underrepresented groups, including:
- Native American students
- African American students
- Alaska Native students
- Latino students (origins from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba, South America, or Central America)
The award is $5,000 per year for a maximum of four years. Renewal is subject to maintaining program requirements. Candidates must maintain continuous full-time enrollment to qualify. And they must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 each year they are in the program.
Office of Student Financial Aid
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Student Service Arcade
620 E. John Street, MC-303
Champaign, IL 61820
Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs
The Hopi Tribe Grants & Scholarships Program offers several annual Native American scholarships. These opportunities are for enrolled members of The Hopi Tribe. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED. And they must be attending or planning to attend a regionally accredited U.S. college. The GPA requirements depend on the individual scholarship the student is applying for. All applicants must also fill out the FAFSA form and actively search for other funding sources. Some of the scholarship opportunities include:
BIA Higher Education Grant/Hopi Education Award: Financial aid for Hopi students pursuing post-secondary and professional degrees
Diane Humetewa Scholarship: Merit-based scholarship related to the field of Social Justice
Peabody Navajo Generating Station Scholarship: Merit-based scholarship to recognize high academic achievement.
Hopi Academic Achievement Award: Merit-Based award to provide financial support to eligible graduating high school seniors
Education Enrichment Award: Financial aid to provide financial support for future educational and career goals
Tuition and Books Grants: Financial support for part-time students or those not eligible for any other program awards
Standardized Testing Fee Award: For covering fees required for school entrance or career certification exams
Native Americans interested in applying for one of these funding opportunities will need to submit several documents. They include:
- Completed HTGSP Application
- Hopi Tribe Enrollment Verification Form
- Official Transcripts or Test Scores
- Official Transcripts From Post-secondary School(s)
- Completed Financial Needs Analysis Form
- Endorsed Program of study/degree
Hopi Education Endowment Fund
P.O. Box 605
Kykotsmovi, AZ 86039
Deadline: January 15th
The Indian Health Service (IHS) is a federal health program for Native Alaskan students and American Indians. IHS Native American scholarships are designed to encourage minority students to earn a health-related degree. The help is it will help to fulfill Indian health program staffing needs. All applicants are required to submit a copy of an approved BIA certification for membership within a U.S. tribe. Candidates must be high school graduates capable of completing a health profession degree. Scholarships for native Americans include:
Preparatory Scholarship: Financial aid for students enrolled in preparatory courses toward a health professions degree program
Pre-Graduate Scholarship: Financial aid for students enrolled in bachelor’s programs toward specific health-related degrees
Health Professions Scholarship: Financial aid for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in eligible health profession degree programs. In exchange, recipients agree to fulfill a service commitment upon completion of their training.
These Native American scholarships have citizenship, academic, and tribal membership requirements. Participants also need to sign a program agreement/contract for the scholarship programs.
Indian Health Service Scholarships
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857
Destiny Khalil: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: July 1st
The Indian Scholarship Program assists eligible Minnesota residents who are more than one-fourth American Indian ancestry. The Minnesota Office of Higher Education funds the program. And it grants $4,000 scholarships for undergraduate students and $6,000 scholarships for graduate students. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited college in Minnesota. Recipients can renew the scholarship funding for a maximum of ten years if they maintain the requirements.
Applicants must also complete the FAFSA or MN Dream Act application. Plus, they should complete an application for tribal education funds. Additionally, students must apply for financial aid and qualify for a Pell or State Grant. Candidates for all scholarship programs must demonstrate financial need. Finally, to be eligible, you must enroll at least ¾ time as an undergraduate or ½ time as a graduate student.
Minnesota Indian Scholarship Program
Minnesota Office of Higher Education
1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55108
(651) 642-0567 or (800) 657-3866
Lara Gerhardson, Outreach Liaison
Tel: (651) 259-3989
Deadline: March 31st
Next on our list is the Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program. It is designed for Illinois minority students, including:
- African American/Black
- Hispanic American
- Asian American
- Native American
- Qualified Bilingual Minority
Depending on the funding from the Illinois General Revenue Fund (GRF), scholarships are generally $7,500 each. Recipients are required to sign a Teaching Promissory Note. It states that they will provide service at an Illinois school with more than a 30 percent minority student population. If the commitment is not honored, the scholarship will no longer be considered financial aid. Instead, it reverts to a loan that needs to be repaid.
Eligible minority students must be enrolled or accepted as undergraduate students or graduate students at an Illinois college. They must be pursuing a specific education degree that will lead to licensing. They will also need a GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale and maintain satisfactory academic progress.
Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship
1755 Lake Cook Rd.
Deerfield, IL 60015
Deadline: June 15th
The Osage Nation Higher Education Scholarship is for Osage Indians attending an accredited U.S. college or university. Applicants may be associate, bachelor, master, or doctoral students. To remain eligible, they must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 and be in good academic standing. Applicants for these Native American scholarships will need to submit the following documentation to be considered:
- Application Form Through Scholarship America
- Current and Complete Transcript
- Completed Financial Aid Package Form or Financial Statement
- Copy of Class Schedule
- Proof of Osage Nation Membership
- Verification of Enrollment
ON Higher Education Scholarship Program
One Scholarship Way
Saint Peter, MN 56082
Deadline: June 1st
The Accenture Native American Scholarship Fund helps eligible Native American students pursue a degree. Students must be incoming college freshmen attending an accredited institution full-time. Candidates must be pursuing a degree in one of the following areas:
- Computer Science
- Operations Management
- Other Business-related Fields
These merit-based scholarship programs award five Native American scholarships in varying amounts each year. Students who are chosen will receive up to four additional academic years of funding. Students must be an enrolled member or descendant of a Federally-recognized American Indian Tribe. Additionally, they can be Native Alaskan students. And they must be able to provide tribal eligibility certification. All students will need to have a cumulative high school GPA of 3.25 or higher to qualify for the scholarship programs.
Native Forward Scholars Fund
3701 San Mateo NE #200
Albuquerque NM 87110
(505)-881-4584 or (800)-628-1920
Deadline: June 27th and November 25th
The Navajo Nation has several of its own Native American scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and enrolled members of the Navajo Nation. Offered through the Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship and Financial Assistance, awards and deadlines vary. Some of the Native American scholarships include:
No Need-Based Award–$1,000 per term: A no-need-based scholarship for students awarded on merit
Financial Need-Based Award–$2,500 per term: For students who demonstrate financial need. It is based on the Financial Need Analysis (FNA) form submitted by their school
Chief Manuelito Scholarship–$3,500 per term: A merit-based scholarship based on high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores
Part-Time Undergraduate Award–amounts vary: Native American scholarships for part-time undergraduate students
Graduate Award–$2,500 to $5,000 per term For Navajo students seeking graduate-level degrees
Part-Time Graduate Award–amounts vary: Native American scholarships for part-time graduate students
Candidates will need to show they have also applied for Federal financial aid by completing the FAFSA form. Students can apply online through the ONNSFA Portal. The required documentation includes the following:
- Official Transcripts
- Certificate of Indian Blood
- Financial Need Analysis Form
- Letter of Admission
- Class Schedule
ONNSFA Central Office
PO Box 1870
Window Rock, Arizona 86515
- Chinle Agency email@example.com
- Crownpoint Agency firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fort Defiance Agency email@example.com
- Shiprock Agency firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tuba City Agency email@example.com
Deadline: May 31st
The White Earth Nation grants annual Native American scholarships to enrolled members of the White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians. Students must have been accepted into an accredited institution in Minnesota. Although the priority deadline is May 31st, students must apply for the program at least eight to 12 weeks before classes begin. They must also apply for federal financial aid as well.
Regardless of income status, candidates must submit a completed FAFSA form. They will also need to prove they are not in default on any prior student loans. The program is available for undergraduate and graduate students. Out-of-state Native Americans who plan to attend college in Minnesota are also eligible. To apply, students will need the following:
- WESP Application
- Certificate of Agreement
- Education/Program Plan
- Copy of High School Diploma/Transcript or Ged
- All Previous Academic Transcripts
- Course Registration for Upcoming Term of Attendance
- Minnesota Indian Scholarship Program Application Completed
White Earth Scholarship Program
P.O. Box 418
White Earth, MN 56591
(218) 983-3285 ext. 5304 or 5302
The next Native American scholarships are through the State of Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board. The Wisconsin Indian Student Assistance Grants range from $250 to $1,000. They are available to undergraduate or graduate students enrolled at:
- University of Wisconsin Schools
- Wisconsin Technical Colleges
- Specific Independent Colleges and Universities Based in Wisconsin
- Tribal Colleges Based in Wisconsin
- Proprietary Institutions Based in Wisconsin
Awards are based on financial need. Native Americans are eligible to receive financial aid for up to ten semesters. Applicants must include certification they are of at least one-quarter Native American ancestry. They also need proof of enrollment in a recognized tribe.
Wisconsin Indian Student Assistance Grants (WIG Program)
P.O. Box 7885
Madison, WI 53707
Contact: Cassie Weisensel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Deadline: September 15th
The Gates Scholarship Program was established by Bill and Melinda Gates in 1999. It is not exclusively for Native American applicants. However, it is explicitly offered for those who are members of a racial minority. This includes minority students who are:
- African American students
- American Indian students
- Native Alaskan students
- Asian Pacific Islander American students
- Hispanic American students
The program is specifically for high-school seniors going directly to college after graduation. It is renewable each year, depending on satisfactory academic progress. Candidates must be attending an accredited four-year, non-profit private or public school.
Minority students receive funds for the full cost of tuition. But it is only for costs not already covered by other financial aid and the expected family contribution. However, they must also be eligible for the Pell Grant. Additionally, applicants must have a cumulative weighted GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale. The program is highly selective, and ideal candidates will have
- Demonstrate exceptional leadership ability
- Strong record of participation in community services and extracurricular activities
- Be in the top 10 percent of their graduating class
- Have excellent personal skills such as perseverance, motivation, maturity, etc.
To apply, students must create a profile on the Gates Scholarship application page.
Other Resources For Native American Students
Overall, there are a wide variety of resources to encourage native american students in pursuing a college education. If you are a Native American student who is seeking assistance to achieve your dreams of academic and career success, there are many resources available. We’ve included a few of those here:
Native Forward Scholar’s Fund
Native Forward was formerly known as the American Indian Graduate Center. This is an excellent place to begin when searching for Native American student resources. It’s a BBB accredited Charity and one of the top-rated nonprofits in the country. The site has a searchable database of scholarship programs and grants for Native American students. Additionally, the site offers a wealth of helpful information concerning:
Preparing for College: Steps Native Americans can take to get into the college of their choice.
Affording College: How Native American students can find the financial resources they need to afford a college education.
College Life: How Native American students can create a successful college career away from home. It includes advice on studying, gaining useful experience, exploring majors, living on campus, and more.
Guide to Graduate School: A guide to encourage native american students on how to make a solid plan for graduate school.
American Indian College Fund’s High School Pathways Program
AICF has an excellent guide for high school seniors about preparing for college. It includes checklists for each grade, including steps to take for a smooth transition to college:
High school students can sign up for the High School Pathways Program and take advantage of resources like:
- Help With the Admissions Process
- Social Media Interaction
- One-on-One Coaching
- Opportunities for Campus Visits
- Participation in College Fairs
- College Readiness for High School Seniors and Juniors
- Academic Planning
- Scholarship Searching
- Career Planning
- Time Management
The American Indian Education Fund (AIEF)
The American Indian Education Fund has an excellent downloadable Tools for Success guide:
It’s the Scholarship Directory & Guidelines for Getting Into College. It is a “guide for high school seniors, families, counselors and others focused on Native American education.” The AIEF website also has many other excellent tools and resources, including the following free downloads:
- Undergraduate Scholarship Application
- Graduate Scholarship Application
- High School Seniors Year At-a-Glance Checklist
- High School Seniors Timeline & Planner Tool for Students
- AIEF Brochure
- AIEF Scholarship Flyer
- AIEF Scholarship FAQs
U.S. Department of the Interior Indian Affairs
Many of the Native American scholarships offered on our list require proof of Native American ancestry. If you’re trying to prove your heritage when applying for scholarships for Native American descendants, there are several ways to trace your ancestral information. The U.S. DOI Indian Affairs has a wide range of helpful information to help Native American and Alaska Native students prove their heritage. The site contains links to the following:
- How To Prove Native American or Alaska Native Ancestry
- Bia Tribal Leaders Directory
- Resources for Genealogists
- Certificate Degree of Indian Blood Form
- Native American Heritage Dawes Rolls
- Enrollment in a Federally Recognized Native American Tribe
Other Minority Scholarships
Native Americans looking for scholarship programs should also not overlook scholarships for minority students. In general, Native Americans will also qualify for most of these scholarship programs.
Sallie Mae maintains an excellent database of scholarships. Students can create an account and search for the scholarship programs that they are most likely to qualify for. For example, they can look for specific Native American scholarship opportunities or search only for minority scholarships.
Related: 25 Great Scholarships for Minorities
This concludes our article on the best Native American scholarship opportunities 2022