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How to Use This Web Page

This page provides links to information about financial assistance resources (grants, loans, and scholarships) for Native Americans attending college. Most of the resources are specific to Native Americans, but this guide provides some links to general financial assistance information for all college students.

The websites highlighted below may have more to offer than what is specifically mentioned here. Therefore, you may wish to explore other information provided at these websites. Likewise, other resources may exist about college financial assistance. In particular, the counselors at high school and college financial aid offices are important resources of information about financial assistance. The National Indian Law Library invites your comments about this web page. If you think an additional site should be linked, please contact the library.

General Information, Scholarships, and Links

American Indian College Fund
The American Indian College Fund will be administering the scholarship fund that was created by the $3.4 billion Cobell trust fund settlement. The Settlement authorizes up to $60 million in scholarships for Indian students. The money can be used at tribal colleges, vocational institutions and at public and private universities. A portion of the annual scholarships, 20 percent, can be used for graduate studies. The American Indian Graduate Center will be awarding those scholarships. The settlement requires a board of trustees to oversee the scholarship fund. The Interior Department and the Cobell plaintiffs will each choose two members. The American Indian College Fund will choose one member. (Fact Sheet: Cobell Education Scholarship Fund and Nominations to the Board of Trustees)

American Indian Graduate Center
Discusses fellowship opportunities for graduate students. Other information, such as articles and statistics about Indian education and the need for professionals in certain areas, is provided.

American Indian Education Foundation
Offers competitive scholarships for Native American students pursuing any degree from any 2 year, 4 year college or vocational school. 

Bureau of Indian Education: Scholarships and Grants
Provides FAQ information about this grant program, such as eligibility requirements.

Financial Aid for Native American Students
Provides information about qualifying for the Bureau of Indian Affairs program, as well as links to databases of financial aid information, and organizations offering scholarships for Native Americans.

The Gates Millennium Scholars
The Gates Millennium Scholars Program (GMS), funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was established in 1999 to provide outstanding, low income African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline area of interest. Continuing Gates Millennium Scholars may request funding for a graduate degree program in one of the following discipline areas: computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science. The goal of GMS is to promote academic excellence by providing thousands of outstanding students, who have significant financial need, the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Postsecondary Financial Aid for American Indians and Alaska Natives
This article discusses financial challenges to college education, sources of financial aid, and relevant publications and websites to aid students who are seeking funding, among other information.

Schoolgrantsblog.com
This website provides information necessary to get school grants and make education something affordable. It covers different types of grants, their sources and how to apply for them.

Scholarships, Grants, and Financial Aid for Minority Students (Accredited Schools Online)
A guidebook providing advice and resources in areas including minority scholarship and grant opportunities, financial aid resources, and often-overlooked fellowships and grants.

Scholarships / Grants / Tuition and Recruitment Programs
From Compilation of State Indian Education Laws, part of the Native American Rights Fund's Tribalizing Indian Education Series. "Twenty-two states have enacted laws that provide for scholarships, tuition waivers, and grant programs to Native Americans who attend state universities, community colleges, and other state schools. These laws include tuition and scholarship provisions for minority persons, including American Indians, as well as Indian-specific tuition and scholarship provisions. Likewise, these laws include programs to recruit and educate minority educators and health professionals, including American Indians as well as teacher training programs specifically for American Indians."

Affordable Degrees Online.org (not specific to Native American opportunities)
Find out how to choose a program by analyzing online instructor quality, understanding accreditation, and avoiding low-value schools including diploma mills and colleges that have been sanctioned by government organizations for poor performance, deceptive sales tactics, or student aid fraud. Explore financial aid programs, low net price degrees, and even scholarships offered exclusively to online students.

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Databases and Indexes

Native American/American Indian Scholarships (University of Miami)
From the financial assistance office at the University of Miami, this web page describes scholarships and programs for Native Americans. Information about some tribal scholarships is included.

College Scholarships, Graduate Fellowships & Postdoctoral Awards
Scroll down the page to find a list of links to financial assistance opportunities. This list provides information about internships also.

FastWeb
This general scholarship search engine locates scholarships, fellowships, internships, grants, and loans. Users can also explore a database about choosing a college.

Native American Scholarships
Provides some links to information about tribal scholarships, as well as links to scholarships offered by organizations. Clicking on the scholarship link takes the user to a summary of information about the scholarship - contact information for applicants, deadlines, award amounts, and special criteria.

Student Aid - Librarians' Index to the Internet
This search query provides information about general college aid resources, from financial aid, to preparing for entrance exams, to resources for non-traditional age students.

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Tribal Assistance

Tribes may provide financial assistance opportunities for enrolled members. Links to tribes can be found throught our Tribal Law Gateway.

Native American Scholarships
Provides some links to information about tribal scholarships, as well as links to scholarships offered by organizations. Clicking on the scholarship link takes the user to a summary of information about the scholarship - contact information for applicants, deadlines, award amounts, and special criteria.

Native American/American Indian Scholarships (University of Miami)
From the financial assistance office at the University of Miami, this web page describes scholarships and programs for Native Americans. Information about some tribal scholarships is included.

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Subject-Specific Scholarships

Business

American Indian Fellowship in Business Scholarship Program through the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development

Education

Scholarships / Grants / Tuition and Recruitment Programs
From Compilation of State Indian Education Laws, part of the Native American Rights Fund's Tribalizing Indian Education Series. "Twenty-two states have enacted laws that provide for scholarships, tuition waivers, and grant programs to Native Americans who attend state universities, community colleges, and other state schools. These laws include tuition and scholarship provisions for minority persons, including American Indians, as well as Indian-specific tuition and scholarship provisions. Likewise, these laws include programs to recruit and educate minority educators and health professionals, including American Indians as well as teacher training programs specifically for American Indians."

Federal Indian law

At least one scholarship exists for students studying Indian law. See, for instance, the University of Arizona College of Law website. Financial aid offices associated with law schools may have more information.

Health

Scholarships / Grants / Tuition and Recruitment Programs
From Compilation of State Indian Education Laws, part of the Native American Rights Fund's Tribalizing Indian Education Series. "Twenty-two states have enacted laws that provide for scholarships, tuition waivers, and grant programs to Native Americans who attend state universities, community colleges, and other state schools. These laws include tuition and scholarship provisions for minority persons, including American Indians, as well as Indian-specific tuition and scholarship provisions. Likewise, these laws include programs to recruit and educate minority educators and health professionals, including American Indians as well as teacher training programs specifically for American Indians."

Health Professions - Indian Health Service
Click on the link to "Jobs and Scholarships." This agency provides information about its loans and scholarships programs. See the link to "Loan Repayment and Scholarships." Also note the link to "Student Aid Resources," which provides information about federal government loan programs. More information about government loan programs (as well as other aid) can be found at the FAFSA website (http://www.fafsa.org).

Law

ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship
The ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship provides students with financial assistance to attend law school. During his term as ABA President, William G. Paul initiated the scholarship to encourage racially and ethnically diverse students to apply to and attend law school.

Library science

Library School Scholarship - American Indian Library Association
The American Indian Library Association provides information about its scholarship for those working toward a master's degree in library science. Specific criteria and forms are provided. Also mentioned under the section "Other Native and Minority Library and Literature Organizations and Resources" is a scholarship provided by the American Library Association Office for Diversity, also for those working towards a master's degree in library science.

Medical Library Association - Grants and Scholarships
Numerous scholarships are listed at this website, along with application information and forms. Scholarships are for "qualified students in graduate library science programs and to enable practicing health sciences librarians to take advantage of opportunities for continuing professional development."

OCLC Minority Librarian Fellowship Program
The OCLC Minority Librarian Fellowship program is designed to provide opportunities for aspiring library professionals from historically under-represented groups.

Tribal College Librarians - Honoring Generations - University of Texas
The University of Texas has instituted a program that "will recruit and train six American Indian students who will be prepared to take leadership roles at tribal school, tribal college, and tribal community libraries."

University of Arizona, School of Information Resources and Library Science - Knowledge River Program
This program "focuses on library and information issues from the needs and perspectives of Hispanics and Native Americans."The program is also highlighted at the IMLS website under "Arizona."

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Books and Publications

Check your local libraries for copies of these materials or similar ones. Your local libraries may have newer or older editions in some cases. You also can contact the National Indian Law Library for assistance accessing the material in these books.

  • Wasserman, Steve and Jacqueline Wasserman O'Brien. Law and legal information directory. New York: Gale Group, 1997 (9th ed.). *Contains a section about scholarships, fellowships, and grants

  • Furtaw, Julia C. and Kimberly Burton Faulkner (eds.). Native Americans information directory. Detroit: Gale Research, 1993 (1st ed.). *Includes a section about scholarships, fellowships, and loans.

  • Indian Country Today's Education: your guide to higher learning in Indian Country. Canastota, NY: Four Directions Media. *Information about internships, scholarships, FAFSA, and more. The most recent copy at the library is 2008-2009 (ID: 18742).

  • Klein, Barry T. Reference encyclopedia of the American Indian. Nyack, N.Y.: Todd Publications, 2000 (9th ed.). *Includes a section about U.S. government financial aid and a section about tribal scholarships.

  • Pavel, Michael D. [et al.]. American Indians and Alaska natives in postsecondary education. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Center for Education Statistics, 1998. *Includes a chapter about financial aid for American Indians and Alaska Natives in postsecondary institutions.

  • Winds of Change Magazine's College Guide for American Indians, published annually. Includes numerous articles on university and college statistics, financial aid, school portraits and other topics. Click on the "College Guide" graphic for more information.

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(Updated: 1/17/2012)

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