Like many groups that have been under-represented in the world of higher education (as well as in certain careers), Native Americans are seeing many more scholarship opportunities for college than have previously existed.
In fact, while it was previously difficult for Native Americans to obtain scholarship money to attend college, there are now a number of great possibilities that range from tribe/nation-specific scholarships and fellowships, to national college funding initiatives.
A large pool of college scholarship and grant money for Native Americans comes from the federal government. The Dept. of Education maintains a list of the various Tribal Colleges and Universities that receive federal funding.
You can apply for a Tribal College general scholarships online at the American Indian College Fund or through your Tribal College financial aid office. Each college with determine whether or not you are eligible for a scholarships, and they will each distribute their own funding.
If you are curious about whether or not you qualify for a tribal college or Native American scholarship, the general rule is to qualify for Bureau of Indian Affairs federal scholarships you must be a member of a tribe that is recognized by the federal government. You can prove this with a Certificate of Indian Blood (CIB).
It is possible to find scholarships for tribes that are not federally recognized, but these are few and far between. The American Association on Indian Affairs sponsors one such scholarships, the Allogan Slagle Memorial Scholarship.
This scholarship awards $1,500 directly to the school for students who are members of a non-federally recognized tribe. Students do not have to submit a CIB to qualify for this scholarship. The Allogan Slagle Memorial Scholarship is given in addition to other funding opportunities offered by the American Association on Indian Affairs.
In addition to national and federal programs, many individual colleges will give special consideration to students who are tribe members and/or are of Native American ancestry. These include Humboldt College in California, Montana State University, and many more. These colleges and universities are typically located in the western states, near reservations.
Check out our growing list of scholarships opportunities for Native Americans on the following pages.