Native Americans are among the most underrepresented groups among degree holders and college students. Extreme poverty and other obstacles prevent many of these bright and promising students from realizing their dreams of higher education. Luckily, there are many Native American scholarships to help these aspiring students attend college and meet their goals. If you are a Native American who wishes to go to college, look into these scholarships as well as those offered through the college of your choice, those for low-income and first-generation students, and others for which you may apply. With the right scholarships, paying for college can be easier than you ever imagined. Here are some of the best Native American Scholarships available.
AAAE Foundation Scholarships
The American Association of Airport Executives offers several Native American students with $1,000 each year. These Native American scholarships are available to students who are at least at the junior level in an accredited college or university, and who have at least a 3.0 GPA in an aviation program. Recipients are chosen based on race, financial need, academic performance, community and school participation, personal statement, and work experience. In addition, each applicant must have a recommendation from his or her school as only one application may participate from each institution. Applications are available through the school financial aid or scholarship offices each January. For more information, see the official scholarship site at AAAE.org.
AAAS Minority Science Writers Internship
The American Association for the Advancement of Science provides Native American Scholarships in the form of summer internships for students who are pursuing a career in journalism and who wish to learn more about science writing. The Internship is with Science magazine at Washington, D.C. and includes 10 weeks of paid experience. Opportunities are open to all undergraduate minority students who are seriously interested in science writing with preference given to journalism majors. Applications must be submitted by March 1. Applications and full information can be found at the scholarship site at AAAS.org.
ALA Spectrum Scholarship
The ALA established the Spectrum Scholarship Program in 1997 to address the issue of underrepresented minority librarians as a way of promoting diversity in a larger way. To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and must be African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic, or Pacific Islander ethnicity. In addition, applicants must attend a graduate library or information studies that is accredited by the ALA or is a recognized NCATE School Library Media program. Recipients will receive a one-time award of $5,000 along with other benefits. Applicants must be submitted from mid October to March 1 and can be done through the scholarship site at ALA.org.
American Indian College Fund
Native American undergraduate students who are enrolled in tribal universities or colleges can apply for Native American scholarships through both the American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarship and the American Indian College Fund Tribal College and University Scholarship. In order to be eligible, students must be U.S. citizens who are registered as a member of a state or federal recognized tribe or must be a descendant of at least one parent or grandparent who is enrolled in a tribe. Students must have a 2.0 GPA or higher and must fill out the application found at Civicore.com. Award amounts range from $1,000 to $8,0000.
American Indian Education Foundation
The AIEF Native American Scholarships provide two scholarships that are worth $2,000 a year for four years to eligible applicants. To be eligible, students must be enrolled members of a federally recognized tribe, involved in Native American affairs and activities, have strong leadership skills, plan to attend a four-year college, and have at least a 3.25 high school GPA. Winners will be eligible for Accenture summer internships during the junior undergraduate year or the first year of graduate studies. Applications can be found at AIGCS.org and are due by June 1.
Association on American Indian Affairs
The Association on American Indian Affairs offers several Native American scholarships including the Emilie Hesemeyer Memorial Scholarship and the Florence Young Memorial Fellowship. To be eligible for these awards, applicants must have ¼ or higher blood quantum and be enrolled in a federally recognized tribe. In addition, students must be planning to enroll full time in a two- or four-year college or university and meet merit or financial need requirements. Awards are $1,500 each year and recipients must reapply annually. Applications are available through Indian-Affairs.org at the end of February.
Catching the Dream Scholarships
These Native American Scholarships are available to those who are ¼ or more Native American and are enrolled members in a federally recognized tribe. Preference is given to students with a high GPA and ACT or SAT score as well as those with work and leadership experience. Recipients must be enrolled full-time in a bachelor’s or higher program in math, science, engineering, education, business, computers, finance, management, hotel management, banking, or economics and must plan to work for the economic development of the tribes. Awards range from $500 to $5,000. Applications must be submitted by March 15 for summer semester or April 15 for fall and can be found at http://www.catchingthedream.org.
Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes
The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes organization offers numerous Native American Scholarships to help students cover the costs of higher education. Application deadlines and award amounts vary. To apply for assistance, students must complete the Higher Education Grant Application, Statement of Privacy Form, and Financial Needs Analysis Form. In addition, students must submit a personal letter, a degree plan, a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood, GED test scores and certificate or high school transcript, college admission letter, FAFSA, and class schedule. Other documents may be required depending upon individual circumstances. All forms and requirements are available at C-A-Tribes.org
Gates Millennium Scholars Program
Each year, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program offers Native American scholarships and other minority scholarships to 1,000 students across the country. The awards vary based on cost of attendance and financial need and are good through graduation. Gates scholarships are available to African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Hispanic, or American Indian students who are citizens, nationals, or permanent legal residents of the U.S. and who have at least a GED or a 3.3 high school GPA. Applicants must be enrolling for the first time at an accredited U.S. college or university as full-time, degree-seeking students. In addition, applicants must have shown leadership abilities and meet Pell Grant eligibility requirements. To apply, students must complete and submit a personal information form, nominator form, and recommender form by January 16. Forms and additional details are available at http://www.gmsp.org/.
Stan Beck Fellowship
The Stan Beck Fellowship is designed to help students who want to enter a career in entomology or a related field and who have a need based on minority, economic, physical, or environmental limitations. Interested students must submit all materials by July 1. Required materials include completion of the CV template at http://www.entsoc.org/awards/student/beck, a letter of recommendation, a description of academic studies and plans, current transcripts, a statement of need or challenge, a letter of recommendation from an academic advisor, and two letters that support the need or challenge.
Hyatt Hotels Fund for Minority Lodging Management Students
The Hyatt Hotels Native American scholarships were started in 1988 to help minority students pursue a hotel management degree. In order to be eligible for the award, students must be enrolled for at least 12 credit hours for the coming fall and spring semesters, be majoring in hospitality management, be at least a sophomore in a bachelor’s or higher program, be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. and be either African-American, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, or American Indian or Alaskan Native. Winners receive a plaque and a $2,000 scholarship. To apply, download and complete the application at the official site and make sure all materials are submitted between January 1 and May 1.
Lagrant Foundation Scholarship for Graduates
Through the Lagrant Foundation, minority graduate students can earn a $10,000 scholarship that will help cover the costs of earning a graduate degree. To be eligible, students must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S., full-time students at an accredited U.S. college or university, and have at least a 3.2 GPA, and must be majoring in marketing, advertising, or public relations. In addition, students must be African American, Asian American or Pacific Islander, Hispanic, or Native American. To apply, students must complete the official application, submit an essay, write a paragraph detailing college and community involvement, and write a paragraph detailing honors and awards received. The application must also be accompanied by a reference letter, a current resume, and unofficial transcripts from your school. All materials must be submitted by February 28, and official applications are available at the Lagrant Foundation website here.
Smithsonian Native American Awards Program
Smithsonian Native American scholarships are available to students interested in furthering Native American archives and studies. Deadlines for the awards are February 1 for summer and fall and October 1 for spring. There are three types of awards available: Native American Community Scholar Awards, Native American Visiting Student Awards, and Native American Internship Awards. The Community Scholar Awards provide appointments in residence at the Smithsonian. Visiting Student Awards allow students to pursue independent research in conjunction with Smithsonian staff and provide a stipend of $150 a day for 21 days as well as $550 a week for between three and ten weeks. In addition, recipients receive a small research allowance and a travel allowance. Recipients of the Internship Awards intern at the Smithsonian for 10 weeks and receive a stipend of $550 per week plus a travel allowance. Interested students may apply online at SI.edu.
These and other Native American scholarships can help you overcome your financial obstacles and get the education you need to meet your life’s goals.