Native American College Grants
The first place you should look for grants is the Federal Government. The Native American population and the government once had a difficult relationship. This has led to grant opportunities today.
One important resource is the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education. This initiative, run through the U.S. Department of Education gives information and grants for students. The goal is to improve education results for this population. Additionally, it allows Native American students to learn more about their heritage and ancestry.
We Don’t Go To College To Pick Fights And Become Activists It Just Sometimes Turns Out That Way
You see, living on a reservation, most of the time, you are so busy dealing with internal community struggles that you arent going out and picking fights with the government. Most of the time its the government or some other third party doing something wrong, like poisoning the water supply or kidnapping indigenous women, and we have to fight back. When we go to college, we arent there solely to pick fights with other students or the administration. We dont apply to the worst schools for cultural insensitivity and picket on the first day. We chose our schools the same way everyone else did, by picking what we feel is the best fit for us to get an education. When we get there however, things really start changing. A professor will make a comment on why Manifest Destiny was the greatest thing to happen to America, a frat will throw a Cowboys & Indians party, a department will misappropriate funds meant for Native American students. In the same way the fight has always come to our doorstep, we are plagued with injustices to our people and we take a stand. Oh the Indians are riled up again! Well yeah, you poked the beehive.
How To Register As A Native American
This article was written by Jennifer Mueller, JD. Jennifer Mueller is an in-house legal expert at wikiHow. Jennifer reviews, fact-checks, and evaluates wikiHow’s legal content to ensure thoroughness and accuracy. She received her JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 89,388 times.
If your family has lived in the United States for several generations, particularly if you have family located in Oklahoma or near reservations or tribal lands, it’s possible that you are part Native American. If you want to register as a Native American, the process starts by locating an ancestor originally listed on the Dawes Commission Rolls. Once you’ve documented your lineage, you can apply for a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood card from the Bureau of Indian Affairs . With a CDIB card, you are eligible to apply for tribal citizenship. However, each tribe has its own rules. Some tribes require a greater connection than ancestry alone.
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How To Get Scholarships & Grants For Native American Students
Native Americans have been underrepresented in colleges and universities across the country, partly due to low high school graduation rates among American Indians and the cost of higher education. With the typical college degree costing thousands of dollars a year, many Native American students can’t afford to go to college without significant financial aid. Those who are able to attend college, often do not complete their degree at the same rate as their peers.
Recognizing the unique circumstances and needs of Native American students, many schools, nonprofits, and government agencies have stepped in to help. From tuition waivers to scholarships and grants, there are many options for Native Americans seeking to defray the cost of a college education. Below you will be able to explore an array of scholarship and financial aid opportunities and other resources available for Native American students.
College Tuition Waivers For Native American Students
Many states have enacted laws providing for scholarships, tuition waivers, or grant programs for Native Americans. Most of the states require that students be residents of the state prior to enrolling in a state college/university and/or be a member of a tribe from that state. Students should check with the colleges they are interested to see if Native American scholarships or tuition waivers are offered.
The following states provide in-state tuition rates or tuition waivers to Native American students, with additional requirements such as tribe, state residency or graduation from a BIA high school in that state. Visit the state college/university website and search under Financial Aid for ‘American Indian’ tuition waivers:
In-state tuition for AI students who graduated from a California BIA high school.
In-state tuition for American Indians who have origins in any of the original people of North America and who maintain a cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition with one or more of the tribes or nations connected historically with the present state of Iowa, including the Iowa, Kickapoo, Menominee, Miami, Missouri, Ojibwa , Omaha, Otoe, Ottawa , Potawatomi, Sac and Fox , Sioux, and Winnebago .
Maine University of Maine
Tuition waiver for historical Massachusetts area tribes who are Massachusetts residents.
Tuition waiver for residents of Michigan enrolled in a Michigan tribe. .
Utah and Washington
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Statistics About Native Americans In College
As the following statistics show, Native Americans are finding it difficult to access and graduate from higher education institutions.
High School: A high school diploma or testing equivalent is essential for any individual who wants to go to college.
- According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 75% of Native American students earned a high school diploma in 2006, which was 16% less than Caucasian students and 18% less than Asian/Pacific Islander students.
- In 2006, Native American students between the ages of 16 and 24 had the second-highest drop-out rate in the nation.
- In 2005, 36% of Native American students completed core high school classwork requirements, compared with 52% for all other students.
- According to Partnership with Native Americans, the average graduation rate for Native American freshmen students is 70%, which is 12% lower than the national average.
- For Native American youths enrolled in Bureau of Indian Education schools, the graduation rate is only 53%.
- According to the Postsecondary National Policy Institute , 63% of Native American high school students dont talk to a school counselor about classes they should take or their aspirations after high school.
Funding for College
People Believe You Are Extinct
I was lucky to be able to go to two universities that are right in the middle of Indigenous territory, so as institutions, they acknowledged that Native Americans exist. Syracuse University had the Haudenosaunee Promise scholarship, which graciously gave me 3 years of free tuition. Beyond that though, Native Americans were an extinct relic of a past age to most people, faculty included. Freshman year was interesting, because all the 100 level classes ask you for an introduction. Hi, my name is________. Im from ____________. Im a __________ major, minoring in _____________ Well hi! My name is Kawehras. Im from Akwesasne. Im a Sport Management major, minoring in Native American Studies. The dumbfounded look on peoples faces as they wonder what the hell youre talking about is priceless. You get questions and comments from people like I thought you all were dead. So do you live in teepees still? Oh, it must be nice to go to college and have electricity now. No really, Ive gotten that more than once. I cant blame them for the ignorance that an American education afforded them, but the questions need to stop.
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There Is Not Much Encouragement To Get An Education Beyond Highschool
My highschool was great in terms of getting you to graduate. We had counselors and support people to get you through those 4 years, but the effort to get you into college was less than adequate. There are financial advisors for my people, which will get you a little funding to get through college, but actual advisors for college admissions? No, youre on your own.
Qualifications For Native American Scholarships
When applying for a Native American scholarship, you will have to be able to document your Indian ancestry, and prove your attachment to one of the 562 Federally recognized American Indian tribes. It will not be enough to have an aural or anecdotal family history. You must be an enrolled member of a tribe that is recognized by the U.S. Government and the National Congress of American Indians. The purpose of these scholarships is to encourage and promote higher education in under-represented minority groups, and proving your ancestry is the only way to be considered eligible.
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It’s A Bit Harder To Adjust To The School Environment
My freshman year was rough as all hell. Thank god for SUs Native Student Program that was basically my second family. I had a terrible roommate, school was soooooo hard, and everywhere I went I just felt like I was surrounded by a bunch of high-class, nose in the air, rich white kids. I cant say I had a chip on my shoulder I think I felt like I did in the moment, but looking back, it was just me feeling like I was incredibly different than most people there.
What Percentage Of Native American Do I Need To Be
In order to receive scholarships money intended for Native Americans, youll need to prove your ancestry. Each tribe has different requirements for membership. For example, to become a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, you must prove that you are a direct descendant of one member of the tribe. Their listings go back to 1899. This means that one of your great-great grandparents needed to be a member in order to qualify . If you meet this requirement you may be eligible for Cherokee Nation scholarships.
Some scholarships or tribes have stricter requirements. For example the Bureau of Indian Education requires 25% Native American blood to qualify. Make sure to check each scholarship you are applying for to make sure you are eligible.
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Use Donotpay To Apply For Certain Native American Scholarships
Hunting down scholarships and applying for each of them individually can be a chore. If the thought of applying for scholarships exhausts you, use DoNotPay to streamline the task. Our apps built-in scholarship application feature lets you apply for all no-essay scholarships in the blink of an eye.
We curate a list of all no-essay scholarships for you and let you browse through them. You can select the ones you like, and well apply for them instantly in your stead.
As most Native American scholarships dont require you to write an essay, you can save time by applying for them through our app!
To use our scholarship search and application product, do this:
DoNotPays assorted scholarship search and apply product is not limited to Native American scholarships. We can also help you check out scholarships for other demographic groups that you fit in, like legal immigrants, senior citizens, mothers, women over 40, disabled students, and students with anxiety, autism, or a learning disability.
The Dos And Donts Of Claiming Your Native Heritage
Have you ever felt hesitant to claim your Native roots?
In your family stories, are there hints or mentions of a Native family member?
Do you, like me, know clearly your tribal connectionsyou may even be a tribal memberbut have very little history with or knowledge of your tribe or cultural ways?
As the co-coordinator of InterVarsitys Native Ministries, I regularly talk with students and staff who grew up disconnected from their Native culture and are unsure if its even okay for them to claim that heritage. They feel inadequate and insecure, and have a sense that they ought to know something that no one ever taught them.
As someone who has faced these same challenges, I want to invite and encourage you to take a step forward in learning about your Native heritage, with its unique people and culture.
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Federal Sources For Indian Education Grants
The American government and the Tribal nations have a storied history, to say the least. But in recent years the Federal government has implemented many programs to redress any past persecutions. Underlying these programs is a dedication to helping Native Americans find access to educational opportunities.
The Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs was established to promote the rights of Native Americans, including the right to a higher education. The BIA manages the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities, and administers various education grants and scholarships through their sister organization, the Bureau of Indian Education. These include the BIE Higher Education Grant, the Indian Health Service Scholarship and the Embry-Riddle Scholarship in Science and Technology. These grants and scholarships are open to all undergraduate and graduate students with the requisite Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood.
Resources For Native American Scholarships
Native American students will be able to find scholarship opportunities from a number of sources, both Federal and private. Many colleges and universities, particularly in regions where Native American Tribes once flourished, also offer scholarships specifically designed to benefit Native Americans and Alaskan Natives.
Here is a small sampling of the scholarship opportunities available to Native American and Alskan Native students:
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Other Educational Training And Internship Opportunities
Multiple scholarships and job recruitment programs exist to get more Native Americans involved in the healthcare industries. These help people interested in finding education in various medical and health-related fields and those already working in the Indian health programs.
Individuals who have become disabled and cannot continue with their former job can get vocational rehabilitation. For those living on or near reservations and other designation tribal lands, this service program educates and provides assistance to people who can work but need additional training after an injury or illness. Non-disabled tribal members can get job placement and training through the Native Employment Works Program in some cases.
Other community-based initiatives and organizations exist, which are probably handled by tribal representatives working with US government agencies. Things like the Indian Education Assistance to Schools do various things that do not directly benefit individuals. You can hope that they benefit a school or group of students nearby or that includes your children.
Other Sources For Native American Student Grants
There are a number of other sources for college grants dedicated to Native American students. States with large Native American populations often offer state-funded grants and scholarships for American Indian students. Checking with your states authorized website will provide you with information on what may be available to you locally.
Many national organizations and associations also offer financial aid opportunities to qualified Native American students. A couple of the most notable of these include:
- The American Indian Graduate Center is a private non-profit organization that provides 1500 grants and fellowships to Native American and Alaskan Native graduate students every year.
- The Gates Millennium Scholars Program, sponsored by the Bill and Amanda Gates Foundation, offers scholarships and grants to minority students pursuing studies in science and mathematics. This program also gives special consideration to Native American applicants.
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Financial Aid From Your Tribe
College-bound Native Americans can often find financial aid through their own tribe. Individual tribal nations routinely offer grants, scholarships and loans to students who are struggling to find the necessary resources to go to college. Once you have determined your tribal ancestry, contact your tribal elders to learn about any programs that may be available. The University of Oklahoma provides an exhaustive listing of recognized American Indian Tribal Nations, along with links to their dedicated websites.
Scholarships For Native American High School Students
Among all diversity groups in America, Native American students have the highest dropout and lowest graduation rates in high school. This is why you will find many scholarships for high school freshmen, sophomores, , and seniors that provide both financial assistance and tutorial help to beneficiaries.
Here are some examples:
- The Catching The Dream Program caters to Native American high school seniors who want to pursue a career in fields like math, science, and computer science
- The College Horizons Program preps tribal highschoolers for college admissions
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Additional Ways To Save: Budgeting Tips For Native American Students
Your monthly budget may not be the first place you think of when it comes to saving money, but there are cost-saving measures you can start applying to your spending today. The following budgeting tips will put money back into your pocket and help you build strong financial skills that can last your lifetime.
Student Profile: Merging Tribal Heritage And Stem
Sasha Rivers is a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and a graduate of Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana. She received an American Indian College fund scholarship after honing a strategy to apply for aid for which she was uniquely qualified. “I knew that being a Native American student gave me an edge but I was also a woman in the STEM field,” says Rivers.
As she crafted her scholarship application essays, Rivers highlighted her resilience, leadership skills, and status as both female and minority. “I conveyed that I was a hard worker and gave examples of how. I showed diligence and drive with goals, hopes, and dreams to succeed,” she says.
“I took what others may see as a disadvantage and turned it into an advantage. Being a woman in the STEM field, as well as coming from a rich cultural history, I knew I had found my edge.”
Rivers believes she also had an edge due to her community service, volunteer work, and the network she built in the process. “Volunteering gives a student real-world experience and skills necessary for future employment such as leadership, teamwork, and effective communication,”she says. In her essay, she credited help she received from mentors, instructors and supporters that assisted throughout the process â and how she has and intends to continue paying it forward
So what does Rivers think students should do to get an edge in their scholarship search process? She says students need to be honest and inspiring.
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