According to the Postsecondary National Policy Institute, undergraduate enrollment among Native Americans aged 18 to 24 decreased from 128,600 in 2016–17 to 120,200 in 2018–19. One of the major concerns regarding Native Americans attending universities, especially private ones, is the cost.
Paying for college can be extremely stressful, especially at top tier universities or even private ones. In addition to the direct cost of tuition, the expenses of a degree also includes room and board, books, lab fees, health fees, and other university related expenses.
While some scholarships are relevant to specific degrees, all of the following scholarships require individuals to be of Native American descent. Each scholarship does have additional requirements beyond ethnicity, so it is important to make sure you meet all of the requirements prior to applying. General requirements usually include:
- Letters of recommendation
- Minimum GPA
- Personal essay
While there are millions of dollars available, it is important to stay organized in order to tap into all the available funds. Some tips to remember when applying for scholarships.
- Apply early
- Stay organized
- Be honest
- Read all the requirements carefully
- Find out what makes you unique
- Use resources available, including counselors, and friends, and /family
1. Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship
This is a $10,000 scholarship awarded to undergraduate or graduate students studying public administration, governmental accounting, finance, political science, economics, or business administration to recognize outstanding performance by minority students preparing for a career in state and local government finance.
2. Accenture American Indian Scholarship
This scholarship is for American Indian and Alaska Natives from U.S. federally recognized tribes. This program is for first year undergraduate students with a cumulative GPA of a 3.25 on a 4.0 scale that demonstrates significant financial need. Individuals must be studying engineering, computer science, operations management, finance, marketing and/or business.
3. LAGRANT Foundation Scholarship for Graduates
This $3,750 scholarship is geared toward twenty graduate and Ph.D. students who will receive a trip to New York City to participate in career building activities including professional development workshops.
4.LAGRANT Foundation Scholarship for Undergraduates
This scholarship is awarded to 30 undergraduate students to participate in career building activities including professional development workshops in New York City.
5. A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship Program
This memorial scholarship is for enrolled citizens or a descendant of an enrolled citizen of a federal or state recognized American Indian Tribe or Alaska Native Village; or Native Hawaiian or descendant from a Native Hawaiian; or Pacific Islander or descendant from Pacific Islander; or Indigenous person of Canada. Individuals must be studying in any STEM related degree.
6. Valuing Diversity PhD Scholarship Program
This PhD scholarship offers up to five $1,000 scholarships to students enrolled in Ph.D. programs specifically related to marketing.
7. Math, Engineering, Science, Business, Education, Computers Scholarships
All of these are renewable scholarships for Native American students planning to study math, engineering, science, business, education, and computers, or presently studying in these fields. Scholarships are based strictly on merit and on the basis of the likelihood of the recipient improving the lives of Native American people.
8. Native American Leadership in Education (NALE)
The NALE scholarships are renewable scholarships available for Native American and Alaska Native students who are U.S. citizens. Individuals must demonstrate high academic achievement, depth of character, leadership, seriousness of purpose, and service orientation.
9. Tribal Business Management Program (TBM)
The TBM scholarships are renewable scholarships available for Native American and Alaska Native students studying business administration, economic development, and related subjects, with the goal to provide experts in business management to Native American tribes in the U.S. Student must be at least one-quarter Native American from a federally recognized, state recognized, or terminated tribe.
10. Ralph W. Shrader Graduate Diversity Scholarship
This $3,000 scholarship is awarded to full time students, specifically women and minority students, enrolled in their second semester or at least a two semester-equivalent course. Students must be pursuing a graduate degree at any accredited academic institution in the United States and living in the United States in an eligible major that supports the mission of AFCEA Educational Foundation.
11. Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships
A national competition administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation awards this scholarship. Scholarships are awarded to individuals in a research-based Ph.D. or Sc.D. program. Examples may include American studies, anthropology, archaeology, art and theater history, astronomy, chemistry, communications, computer science, cultural studies, earth sciences, economics, engineering, ethnic studies, ethnomusicology, geography, history, international relations, language, life sciences, linguistics, literature, mathematics, performance study, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religious studies, sociology, and/or urban planning.
12. Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowships
This $28,000 award in a national competition is administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation. The awards will be made to individuals who, in the judgment of the review panels, match this criteria:
- Have demonstrated superior academic achievement
- Are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level in the U.S.
- Show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers
- Are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students
13. Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
The Ford Foundation scholarships is a $50,000 award in a national competition administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation. Similar to the other Ford Foundation scholarships this is specifically designed for postdoctoral fellowships to continue conducting relevant research.
14. COMTO North Texas Scholarship Program
This program offers scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,500 to high school seniors in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area who are pursuing a career in the transportation industry.
15. Continental Society, Daughters of Indian Wars Scholarship
This is a $2,500 scholarship for undergraduate students who are enrolled tribal members and plan to work with a tribe or nation in the field of education and/or career services. Ultimately, career goals must involve working with Native Americans. Individuals must already be accepted in or attend an accredited college or university and maintain an average GPA of 3.0
16. Warner Norcross and Judd LLP Scholarship for Students of Color
The Warner Norcross and Judd LLP scholarship offers financial assistance to students of color who are residents of Michigan, or attend a college/university/vocational school in Michigan, pursuing a career in law, paralegal, or a legal secretarial program.
17. Diversity Law Scholarship
This scholarship awards $5,000 to a law school student and $2,000 to a paralegal/legal assistant student or $1,000 to a legal secretarial student. Candidates for the law school scholarship must be accepted to or attending a Michigan law school or be a Michigan resident attending an accredited law school in the United States. Candidates for the paralegal and secretarial scholarships must be a Michigan resident majoring in paralegal or legal secretarial studies in an accredited program.
18. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Scholarship
The MLK Jr. scholarship encourages ethnic minority students to become educators, school nurses, school counselors, or school therapists and to promote professional growth for ethnic minority teachers and ESP members.
19. Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program
This is a $5,000 scholarship awarded to minority students intending to become school teachers.
20. Minority Teacher Incentive Grant Program
This grant program provides up to $5,000 a year for the final two years of full-time study to minority undergraduates enrolled in a Connecticut teacher preparation program. The program also provides eligible students with up to $2,500 in yearly stipends for up to four years of teaching in a Connecticut public elementary or secondary school.
21. Scholarship for Ethnic Minority College Students
Established as an annual scholarship of $2,000, this award is for qualified ethnic minority candidates who are currently enrolled in a Connecticut public high school and intend to enter the teaching profession in Connecticut. The applicant must be a full time high school student currently enrolled in a public high school in Connecticut. The applicant should also provide instances of leadership roles, community activities, volunteer experience and financial need.
22. Jim Bourque Scholarship
This one-time $1,000 scholarship is for a Canadian aboriginal student enrolled in postsecondary training in education, environmental studies, traditional knowledge or telecommunications. Applicants must also provide proof of Canadian Aboriginal descent.
23. TEA Don Sahli-Kathy Woodall Minority Scholarship
This scholarship is available to a minority high school senior planning to major in education and planning to enroll in a Tennessee college or university.
24. AFSCME/UNCF Union Scholars Program
This one-time award is for a sophomore or junior majoring in ethnic studies, women’s studies, labor studies, American studies, sociology, anthropology, history, political science, psychology, social work or economics. Must be African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian Pacific Islander, or American-Indian/Alaska Native. Individuals must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 in order to qualify.
25. Ronald D. Lunceford Scholarship
This scholarship provides financial assistance, up to $4,000, to a student from an underrepresented ethnic population for admission into an MA, MS, or PhD program which will qualify for licensure as a marriage and family therapist.
Search More Scholarships for Native Americans!
Even if you don’t qualify for these scholarships, or they just aren’t the right fit, we have a full scholarship tool where you can browse over 5,000 different awards and filter through to meet your individual needs. Check it out!
Data Source: Peterson’s Databases copyright 2021 Peterson’s LLC All rights reserved
Kathleen (nee Colduvell) is currently a Pediatric ICU nurse at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She has been a nurse for ten years and specializes in ICU care. She has an extensive ICU background having formerly worked in the CICU and NICU at several major children’s hospitals in the Philadelphia region. Nursing is a second career after having worked as a journalist for many years and becoming nationally published. She is Trauma certified, a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor, and Total Body Cooling Certified. Kathleen lives with her husband and her two German Shepherds. She recently earned her MSN from Loyola University of New Orleans.