Native American College Scholarships

Take advantage of all of the resources available to help you pay for your postsecondary education.

Whether you live on a traditional Native American reservation, or you are a resident of a mainstream suburb, there are many resources available to help Native American students pay for their college education. The first step in finding the right financial aid for college is to speak with your high school counselor, who likely knows you well and can help direct you to the scholarships that you best qualify for. Dont wait for your counselor to do all of the work for you however; with some work, you can also work to help yourself:

Take stock of your personal strengths: Many scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic records and test scores; but certainly not all of them! Many students have chosen to put an intense focus on civic activities, and there are many foundations that will reward you for this effort. This is especially true if you have been involved with organizations and activities that benefit your Native American culture. Make sure you have kept a good, clear record of your volunteer activities, and update that record often.

If you know what field you want to pursue, look for departmental help: There are many professions that have traditionally had a lack of Native American representation and therefore will provide funds for students who are interested in pursuing that field. For example, the medical professions, business fields, and postsecondary education professions have generally had a lack of Native American professionals. Contact your intended universitys department in the area you wish to study to find out if they have available scholarship money for minority students. You can also contact local or national Native American foundations to ask if they have funds intended to help students enter these traditionally underrepresented fields.

Query all minority scholarships: If a scholarship is intended for minority students, then Native American students are automatically qualified. Some private scholarships may not have specifically named Native Americans as a minority, but you are a traditionally underrepresented group in postsecondary education; therefore you are considered a minority. Be sure to apply for any scholarship that mentions a focus on minority students, if you otherwise qualify.

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