Scholarships – General
The American Indian College Fund was established in 1989 to provide scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native students attending tribal colleges, and to fund and create awareness about the community-based accredited tribal colleges and universities that offer students access to knowledge and skills alongside Native culture, language, and values.
Catching the Dream (CTD) has three scholarship opportunities: MESBEC program, Native American Leadership Education program, and the Tribal Business Management program. Scholarship programs operate nationwide. Awards range from $500 to $5,000 per academic year. They are awarded on merit and on the basis of the students they feel will most likely improve the lives of Indian people. CTD provides supplementary scholarship funding for those who have received college funding from other sources. Competition is very intense, with only 55% of applicants receiving scholarships.
Association on American Indian Affairs (AAIA) has a long history of providing scholarships to college students, awarding their first scholarship in 1948. The program is one of many AAIA initiatives. Over the years, their scholarship program has grown to the seven scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students from federally recognized and non-recognized tribes. Currently, AAIA does not receive corporate or foundation funding for its scholarship program. Scholarships are funded entirely by individual donor contributions. The number of students awarded per year varies due to funding availability.
The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program selects 1,000 talented students each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. They provide Gates Millennium Scholars with personal and professional development through their leadership programs along with academic support throughout the scholar’s college career.
The American Indian Education Foundation scholarship program is one of the United States’ largest grantors of scholarships to Native Americans, providing nearly $450,000 to about 225 students each year. Of these, nearly half are the first in their family to attend college. In addition, they mentor and support scholarship recipients throughout the year, which makes a dramatic difference in their success rates. The AIEF program seeks out students who exhibit passion, resiliency, and leadership. They welcome applicants with solid performance and realistic goals, especially if they have overcome substantial obstacles or are nontraditional students. Nontraditional students may be defined as single parents with children, Elders returning to school after a long absence, or those students pursuing midlife career changes.
The American Indian College Fund
Catching the Dream
Association on American Indian Affairs
Gates Millennium Scholars
American Indian Education Foundation
Indian Country Today Media Network’s List of Scholarships
Resource – Financial Aid for Natives
Resource – Tools for Success (AIEF)
Article – Finding College Scholarships (CTD)
Videos – Scholarship Tips (Indian Affairs Media)