Native American College Scholarships

College Grants for Native Americans

There are many grants and scholarships available for Native Americans who wish to attend a university. Some are offered by private organizations, some by specific tribes, and still others are available on the state and federal level.

Most are intended for students who can show financial need.

Some also require a minimum grade point average be maintained, and others are restricted to certain courses of study. With the wide range available, students should have little difficulty finding Native American grants for college.

Grants and scholarships should not be confused with the student loan program. Student loans have to be repaid, except in those cases where student can obtain forgiveness by committing to work in an underserved area of certain states in fields such as teaching or nursing.

Several states offer such programs, but they are quite restrictive. Grants and scholarships, on the other hand, never have to be repaid, and are truly free money for college.


Many private non-profit organizations offer Native American grants for college. Most of them require that the student make application directly to the organization providing the grant. These are too numerous to provide a complete list here, but some typical examples are shown below.

The Daughters of the American Revolution offers several grants and scholarships for both male and female Native Americans who wish to attend college. Request information in writing, and enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a reply. Here are two of the programs the DAR offers:

  • The American Indian Scholarship is open to Native Americans regardless of age, tribe, or state of residency. It is available for technical school, college, and university students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels (although undergraduates are given preference) and is based on financial need and academic record. This is a one-time grant of $1, 000. Students must have at least a 2.75 grade point average and submit proof of American Indian blood.
  • The Frances Crawford Marvin American Indian Scholarship is designated for students enrolled full time at either a 2 or 4 year university or college. Applicants must provide proof of Native American blood and a grade point average of at least 3.0 as well as financial need. The amount of the award depends on the returns provided by the endowment and varies.

The Association on American Indian Affairs offers the Allogan Slagle Scholarship specifically for Native American students who are not members of one of the federally recognized tribes.

The American Indian Graduate Center co-ordinates grants with a number of private corporations. Many of these grants are designated for graduate students, but there are also some available for undergraduates.

The American Indian Science and Engineering Society has numerous grant and scholarship opportunities for Native American students majoring in science, mathematics, computer science, or engineering. Awards vary, but are normally between $1, 000 and $4, 000. Sample programs are listed below, which reflect only a few of the awards available.

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