August 17th, 2021 Last Updated on: August 17th, 2021
The fall semester of college has just started. Some of you may be in high school or an undergrad program or know someone who is, and you're interested in seeking out scholarships for the next school year. The deadline has passed to begin a program for this fall, but the year will fly by quickly. It is best to start researching scholarship opportunities right now while you have time.
All Native American scholarships have specific eligibility requirements. By looking through some of these amazing grants and scholarships, you can start making a checklist of everything you'll need to meet eligibility requirements. This also gives you time to obtain any documentation you may need, to practice essay-writing, and ensure you apply before the deadline.
Take a look at these 11 grants and scholarships for Native Americans:
1. Native American Political Leadership Program
The Native American Political Leadership Program (NAPLP) at George Washington University aims to elevate the next generation of Indigenous leaders. Through generous funding from AT&T, the program provides full academic scholarships to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students and recent graduates for a semester-long experience in the nation’s capital. NAPLP Scholars study public policy, federal-tribal relations, and political processes while completing a full-time internship uniquely tailored to their interests and career goals.
This is a full-ride scholarship, which includes:
- Tuition and fees for two core classes (up to 6 credits hours total)
- Housing in a GW dormitory
- A stipend for books and living expenses paid in two installments
- Airfare to and from Washington, DC (one round-trip ticket)
NAPLP is open to undergraduate and graduate students, including those who have completed their undergraduate degrees but have not yet enrolled in a graduate program.
This is an amazing opportunity for young Natives to dip their toes into learning how to make a change in America through policy and leadership!
2. American Indian Science and Engineering Society Scholarship
Are you interested in getting a degree in either science or engineering? STEM careers are out there waiting for passionate and innovative graduates to come along.
The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) helps students move forward in their educational journeys by providing a wide range of programs and scholarship opportunities. This particular scholarship is partnered with Google.
The amount offered is up to $10,000, although this will vary depending upon the type of AISES scholarship applicants apply for.
- Applicants must be current AISES members at the time of application.
- Applicants must be an enrolled member or a decedent of an enrolled member of a federal or state-recognized American Indian Tribe or Alaska Native Village; or Native Hawaiian or decedent from a Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander or decedent from Pacific Islander; or Indigenous person of Canada.
- Other eligibility requirements depend upon the specific AISES scholarship the applicant is applying for.
Follow your dream to make waves in a science or engineering field!
3. Daughters of the American Revolution Scholarships
This scholarship is awarded to help Native American students of any age, any tribe and in any state striving to get an education at the undergraduate or graduate levels.
A one-time $4,000 award.
- Applicants must be Native American (proof of American Indian blood is required by letter or proof papers).
- Applicants must also attend or plan to attend an accredited college or university in the United States.
- Grade point average of 3.25 or higher.
$4,000 can go a long way! Check out the application process and see if this is a good fit for you.
4. Indian Health Services Scholarship
Indian Health Services is the federal health program for American Indians and Alaskan Natives and provides comprehensive health services to them. The IHS Scholarship Program provides qualified American Indian and Alaska Native health profession students an opportunity to establish an educational foundation for each stage of their pre-professional careers.
At least $1,500 a month, in addition to a one-time payment for educational expenses:
- School-required books, laboratory expenses, dental/ medical/optometric/podiatric/nursing equipment, and other miscellaneous educational expenses.
- Tutorial services — $400 (full time) or $200 (part-time) to assist with tutorial services or licensure/board certification preparatory classes.
- $300 to offset travel expenses to and from school for the year.
- $35 to offset the expense for a post office box rental.
- Be a high school graduate or the equivalent.
- Have a minimum 2.0 GPA.
- Be capable of completing a health professional degree program.
- Intend to serve Indian people as a health professional in your chosen discipline.
- Recipients must be a member or descendant of a federally recognized, state-recognized, or terminated American Indian Tribe or Alaska Native village.
View a list of eligible degree programs for 2021-2022.
5. Catching the Dream Scholarship
Catching the Dream is a nonprofit chartered in 1986.
They strive to help improve the quality of life in Indian Country through the higher education of indigenous people. They provide scholarship funds for students who demonstrate academic achievement, clearly defined goals, leadership, the determination to succeed, and the desire to return to their communities and help others realize their dreams.
This amount ranges from $500 to $5,000 per year, based on merit.
- Must provide a certificate of Indian Blood (CIB), which is proof of your enrollment with a federally recognized, state-recognized, or terminated American Indian tribe.
- Must submit ACT, SAT, or GRE test scores.
- Must submit three letters of recommendation and provide an essay.
- Have a minimum 2.0 GPA.
March 15th, April 30th, and September 15th
6. American Indian Education Fund
The AIEF program is one of the United States’ largest grantors of scholarships to Native Americans, providing nearly $450,000 to about 225 students each year.
Apply and see if you are eligible!
Up to $2,000 for the full year, split between Fall and Spring semesters
- Native American, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian (student or one parent must be enrolled and have documentation)
- Attending an accredited 2 or 4-year college/university or technical/vocational school
- Must be enrolled as a full-time student
- GPA between 2.0 – 3.5 is desirable, however, ALL current or future undergraduate students are encouraged to apply
- An ACT score of 14 or above is desirable
- Online schools and summer programs are not applicable
7. Full Circle Scholarship
This scholarship is administered by the American Indian College Fund. This specific fund offers various scholarships for American Indians.
Amount varies; $15,000 annually is available for up to 650 applicants.
- U.S. citizen or Canadian eligible to attend college in the U.S.
- Enrolled in a certificate, associate, bachelor's, or graduate program at an accredited tribal, public, or private (non-profit) college or university;
- Full-time enrollment
- Registered as an enrolled member of a federal or state-recognized tribe, or a descendant of at least one grandparent or parent who is an enrolled tribal member. Alaska Natives may use Native Corporation membership. Learn how to prove descent or trace Indian ancestry.
- At least a 2.0 cumulative GPA. Your scholarship may require a higher GPA to maintain eligibility.
If you are an American Indian or Alaskan Native seeking either an undergraduate or graduate degree, look into Full Circle.
8. Bureau of Indian Affairs Grant
The Bureau of Indian Affairs funds 26 institutions and provides numerous scholarships to Native American undergraduates and graduate students seeking assistance.
Awards typically range from $500 to $4,000 per year.
- Students who are more than 1/4 Indian blood should be eligible for Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) scholarships. BIA/OIEP funds may only be awarded to a person who is a member of a federally recognized Native American tribe.
- Check with your local BIA office for applications, eligibility, and deadlines.
Native American students must apply for a BIA/OIEP Indian Education Grant through their tribe, home agency, or area office of Indian Education. Check with your local BIA office for applications, eligibility, and deadlines.
For a list of local offices, visit the Bureau of Indian Education website.
9. Actuarial Diversity Scholarship
The Actuarial Diversity Scholarship promotes diversity within the profession through an annual scholarship program for Black/African American, Latinx, Native North American, and Pacific Islander students. The scholarship award recognizes and encourages the academic achievements of full-time undergraduate students pursuing a degree that may lead to a career in the actuarial profession.
Scholarships range from $1,000-$4,000.
- Must be enrolling as or enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at a U.S. accredited educational institution.
- Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) with an emphasis on math or actuarial courses.
- Must be entering college freshmen with a minimum ACT math score of 28 or SAT math score of 620.
- Each applicant must have at least one birth parent who is; Black/African American, Latinx, Native North American, or Pacific Islander.
If this sounds like a great opportunity for you—get organized to apply next year!
10. Smithsonian Native American Awards Program
The Native American Awards Internship falls within the Native American Awards Program which supports students, who are formally or informally affiliated with a Native American community or tribe, to visit the Institution to learn about research or other museum-related activities using its Native American-related resources.
Up to $6,000 and awarded semi-annually.
- Formally or informally affiliated with a Native American community or tribe.
- Must be interested in pursuing a project related to Native American resources.
- Available full-time for a maximum of 21 days during the summer, fall, or spring.
February 1st and October 1st
Read about past Native American Community Scholar Award recipients and how they contributed to the Smithsonian.
11. All Nations Alliance for Minority Participation Scholarship
The ANAMP’s mission is to increase the number of Native Americans and other underrepresented minorities receiving Baccalaureate degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). ANAMP is designed to serve a geographically diverse alliance of 35 colleges and universities.
ANAMP Scholars that demonstrate financial need receive a performance-based stipend at the end of each term; the amount will vary.
- Applicant should be enrolled in 12 credit hours per term and seeking a Bachelor's (Baccalaureate) of Science Degree.
- Applicant must maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average of at leader 2.5 at their current institution.
- Applicant must be self-identified as an underrepresented minority.
- Applicant must be in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) major based on a CIP code approved by the National Science Foundation.
The website did not specify on their page; interested applicants must create a free account and log in for more details.
Now that you have access to some amazing grant and scholarship opportunities, start diving more into each of these and see if they will be a good fit for you and your future.
You have some time until the next round of deadlines approaches. Start organizing yourself, practice essay-writing, and gather your transcripts and proof of ancestry.
In case you aren’t familiar with the process, the following resources can be used to trace your American Indian ancestry:
- Powwows.com “Am I Native?” page
Family and tribal records
- The Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs
- Tahtonka, a Federally prepared guide to the 562 officially recognized Tribal Nations
- The Dawes Indian Census Rolls
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