Native American Scholarships: Helping Improve the Tribe’s Quality of Life

No doubt among the first indigenous tribes who came to America, the Native Americans are an intelligent group of people who value education. As such, a lot of Native Americans dream of earning college degrees. But with the high cost of higher education, this dream is somewhat hard to achieve. Fortunately for Native Americans, a multitude of individuals, groups, and organizations have established scholarship grants to help those who have aspirations of becoming professionals pay for college.

Where to Look for Native American Scholarships

With so many scholarship grants available nowadays, finding one that caters to Native Americans is no longer a difficult task. Generally, the best place to look for Native American scholarships is the Internet. All you have to do is go to any search engine, type the keywords “Native American scholarships,” and an overwhelming number of results will surely appear.

The different colleges and universities all over the country are also excellent places to look for Native American scholarships. Since most of these academic institutions provide financial assistance to minority groups, a Native American scholarship program should not be far off. Visit the various colleges and universities near your area and ask whether or not they offer Native American scholarships.

Another good place to hunt for Native American scholarships is the local government. Surely, there is a scholarship program exclusively established for Native Americans in your state. If there is none, there are always non-government organizations and institutions that have exiting scholarship grants for students of Native American descent.

Native American Scholarship Grants

As mentioned, there are a good number of Native American scholarships out there. The State Farm Companies Foundation is just one of the organizations who sponsor scholarships through its American Indian College Fund. Each year, this generous organization awards more than 5,000 scholarships to brilliant Native American minds. This scholarship program aims to support the education of bright Native Americans who want to become teachers someday. To qualify, an applicant must be enrolled in either a mainstream university or a tribal college. He must also be an outstanding student who possesses a GPA of not lower than 3.0. Likewise, the applicant must truly be incapable of financing his college education.

Catching the Dream is an organization which goal is to improve the Native American’s quality of life through college education. As of the present, this organization has three scholarship grants: the Native American Leadership Education, the MESBEC, and the Tribal Business Management program. Applicants to these scholarship programs must at least be 1/4 American Indian and a member of state-recognized tribe. They must also be enrolled or planning to enroll full-time to any college or university in the US. Applicants must have good scholastic records, high SAT or ACT scores, and impressive leadership backgrounds. Likewise, they should be active in their respective Indian communities.

The Adolph Van Pelt Scholarships also offers every Native American an opportunity to pursue a higher education. This scholarship program is open to both graduate and undergraduate students who are of Native American descent. It awards a total of $2,600 financial assistance to deserving recipients. To qualify, applicants must submit a certification that he is at least 1/4 Native American, his most current transcript, a 2-page essay discussing his goals, and an educational costs budget.

The A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship Program in Colorado is yet another scholarship program for Native Americans. It is open to both graduate and undergraduate students who are enrolled in either 4-year or 2-year college courses. Acceptable courses include engineering, health sciences, mathematics, natural resources, and business. Applicants must be American Indian Science and Engineering Society members who demonstrate exceptional academic standing, leadership skills, dynamic involvement in the Native American community, and financial incapability. Undergraduate recipients each get $1,000 worth of financial assistance, while graduate recipients get $2,000.

There are undoubtedly hundreds of scholarship programs founded just for Native Americans. Those mentioned here are just some of which you can find online.

Finding Your Tribe

The tribe with which you belong to is an important consideration when applying for a Native American scholarship grant. As such, it is vital that you are aware of which tribe you originally hailed from. More importantly, your tribe must be registered with the federal government. If you are not sure about whether or not your tribe is recognized, you can go to to find out. This site claims to have the most complete directory of recognized Native American tribes from different regions in the United States. Whether you are from Alaska or Northern Plains, this site can help you find your tribe.