What’s the deal with scholarships for Natives? Hook me up.

Dear Auntie – So what’s the deal with scholarships for Natives? I hear all the time that there’s all this money for Natives to go to school. Hook me up.– David

Hey David, good question! Sounds like we’re both in the same boat. I’m planning on going back to school again next Fall, so this (September) is a goodtime to start looking into applying to schools, then scholarships.

I’ve always heard the same kind of thing…that there’s all this money for Natives and that if you’re Native you shouldn’t have to pay for college.Well, there’s some truth to this, but they’re not just throwing money around either. You’ll have to do a little work for it. This means you’re going tohave to do a little homework on your end, but this should help get you started.

Find a school
If you haven’t found a school yet, you could look into Tribal Schools. It’s a great way to stay connected to your roots and they’re substantially cheaperto attend. Check out the American Indian College Funds website by clicking here. They have alist of the 34 Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) across the U.S. that offer students access to knowledge and skills alongside Native culture, language,and values.

What do TCUs cost?
TCUs keep tuition low for their students. The average cost of attendance in 2013-14 was approximately $14,168 per year (including room, board, books,and tuition averaged across institutions). That’s about half of what I paid for my undergrad.

Now for the scholarships:
Start by looking into the American Indian College Fund. The American Indian College Fund provides scholarships to American Indian students to educationNative people, and preserve Native culture. Click here tocheck out the scholarships being offered. The American Indian College Fund accepts scholarship applications online from January 1 through May 31 everyyear. Apply today!

To be eligible to apply for scholarships, you’ll need to:
-Be enrolled full-time
-Provide proof of your tribal membership or descendancy
-Write some essays, or answer some short questions
-You may need to fill out a financial needs analysis (FNA) form
-Scholarships are based upon merit or demonstrated financial need.

I hope this helps get you started. There’s definitely help out there for you to go to school, you’ll just have to do your part. Best of luck David!

Auntie Manda

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