Currently, Native Americans are one of the most underrepresented groups in college and can face limited resources and access to quality education on reservations. Fortunately, there are many Grants, Internships, and Scholarships available to Native Americans to help build a stronger and highly educated Native American community. Below is a list of some funds available to Native Americans.
American Bar Association (ABA) Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund
This fund grants 20 incoming diverse law students with $15,000 of financial assistance over the course of their three years in law school. Former ABA President, William G. Paul initiated the scholarship during his tenure to encourage racially and ethnically diverse students to attend law school.
Since its inception, 200 students from across the U.S. have received the ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship. These exceptional recipients have overcome adversity, proven themselves through academic success and public service, and demonstrated the tenacity to excel within the practice of law in the U.S. Details to apply can be found the ABA’s website here:
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Higher Education Grant Program
Eligible applicants must:
- Be a member of or at least one-quarter degree Indian blood descendant of a member of an American Indian tribe who are eligible for the Bureau of Indian Affairs special programs and services.
- Be accepted for admission to a nationally accredited college or university that provides a course of study conferring an Associate of Arts or Bachelor’s degree
- Demonstrate financial need as determined by the student financial aid office of the college or university.
The majority of federally recognized tribes administer the grant program for their member, so call your tribe first. The grant application is available from the education office of the Tribe with which you are affiliated or possess membership. For more information, please visit the BIA website.
Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) American Indian Scholarship
This one-time, $1000 scholarship is awarded by the American Indians Committee of the DAR to Native American students of any age, tribe and in any state striving to attend college. All awards are based on financial need and academic achievement. Graduate students are eligible; however, undergraduate students are given preference. Applicants must be Native Americans (proof of American Indian blood is required by letter or proof papers) in financial need and have a grade point average of 3.25 or higher. Further details can be found at the DAR website.
Ford Motor Company Tribal Scholarship
Ford Motors awards up to $3,000 annually, based on financial need. The scholarship is for students studying math; science; engineering; business; teacher training; or environmental science.
To be eligible for the Ford/American Indian College Fund Corporate Scholars Program student must:
- Be American Indian, Alaska Native or Hawaii Native with proof of enrollment or ancestry
- Have at least a 3.0 grade point average as a full-time student with a declared a major in math; science; engineering; business; teacher training; or environmental science
- Demonstrate leadership in and commitment to the American Indian, Alaska Native or Hawaii Native community
- First preference is given to students in a Michigan tribal college
Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program
This grant is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide outstanding African American, American Indian/Alaska Natives, Asian Pacific Islander Americans, and Hispanic American students with the opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in all discipline areas and a graduate education for those students pursuing studies in mathematics, science, engineering, education, or library science. The goal of GMS is to promote academic excellence among minority students and to provide an opportunity for thousands of outstanding students with significant financial need.
For more information about the GMS Program, visit their website.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) Scholars Program
The HP Scholars Award is a scholarship opportunity for students interested in engineering. Scholarship awards are $3000 per year for a four-year program. Once accepted, each HP Scholar receives a Productivity Package which includes an HP laptop, printer, and PDA. In addition to this, students are also enrolled in the HP Intern Program. HP Scholars are eligible for three paid summer internships at a US location during the course of their undergraduate work.
African American, Latino, and American Indian high school seniors or community college transfer students who will be attending one of the HP Scholar partnership universities (University of California, Los Angeles, North Carolina A&T, Morgan State University, or University of Washington) and will be majoring in computer science, computer engineering or electrical engineering. Please refer to the application form for specific information on the application process.
For HP Scholar Applications, visit their website.
Morgan Stanley Tribal Scholars Program
Morgan Stanley awards scholarships of $5,000 annually to outstanding American Indian students currently enrolled at a tribal college or university who have an interest in business and the financial services industry.
Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Have at least a 3.0 grade point average
- Have an interest in a career in business and the financial services industry
- Have demonstrated leadership, service, and commitment to the American Indian community
- Are American Indian, Alaska Native or Hawaii Native with proof of enrollment or ancestry.
- Must be enrolled in a tribal college or school
For more details on this and other scholarships, visit the Morgan Stanley website.
Smithsonian Minority Student Internship
Internships in residence are available for students to participate in research or museum-related activities for periods of 10 weeks. U.S. minority undergraduate and beginning graduate students are encouraged to apply. The appointment carries a weekly stipend of $350. Travel allowances may be provided.
Deadlines to apply are February 1 for Summer Internships and October 15 for Spring Internships.
For more information, please visit: http://www.si.edu/ofg/Applications/MIP/MIPapp.htm
Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship
Xerox awards range from $1,000 to $10,000 annually for undergraduate and graduate minority students in technical areas of study to include:
- Computing & Software Systems
- Engineering (Chemical, Computer, Electrical, Imaging, Manufacturing, Mechanical, Optical or Software)
- Information Management
- Laser Optics
- Material Science
- Printing Management Science
Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and already be enrolled full-time at an accredited college or university in the U.S.
For more information about this award or to download the application form, visit the Xerox website.
Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma
Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin
Navajo Nation Chapters
Ndeh-San Carlos Apache Nation
Oneida Indian Nation
Salesh and Kootenai Tribe
Seminole Tribe of Florida
Organization Resources For Native Americans:
American Indian College Fund
American Indian Education Program
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Bureau of Indian Education
College Grants Database
Department of the Interior
National Relief Charities