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Top Scholarships for Native Americans

The Top Scholarships for Native Americans
The Top Scholarships for Native Americans

Cobell Scholarships

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
  • Leadership

AISES Scholarship

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.

ALA Spectrum Scholarship

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
  • Asians
  • Black/Africans
  • Hispanic/Latinos
  • 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.

Native Vision Scholarship

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
  • Transcript
  • Copy of School Acceptance Letter
  • Proof of Tribal Membership

American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarship Program

American Indian College Fund also provides support and tools to help Native American students once they are enrolled in college.

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.

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.

Also, see: Top Scholarship Available for the Blind

American Chemical Society Scholars Program

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:

  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • 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
  • African-American/Black – (more than one of the above racial categories)

American Indian Services Scholarship program

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. 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 Nurse Scholarship Awards

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.

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Cheyenne and Arapaho Higher Education Grants

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).

Bureau of Indian Education Higher Education Grant Program

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. *

Udall Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship

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

Association on American Indian Affairs Scholarship

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
  • Transcript
  • 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.

American Indian Endowed Scholarship (AIES)

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

Catching The Dream Scholarships

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
  • Essay
  • Transcripts
  • Proof of Native American Ancestry
  • Photograph
  • 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.

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