Scholarships & Resources for Native American and Alaskan Native Students

From key advocacy resources to scholarships and grants in healthcare and beyond, find materials you can use for college admission, classroom success, and turning your degree into a lasting career.

Last Updated: 04/27/2020
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College means hard work and dedication, whether you major in a healthcare-related field or not. And no matter your race, gender, or nationality, just about every student could use resources and scholarships to help move their academic journey forward. Although these things are available to everyone, we’re focusing this guide on the resources and scholarships for Native American and Alaskan Native students. Below you’ll find both financial and non-financial resources that students of these communities can start using today.

Scholarships for Native American and Alaskan Native Students

Scholarships are one of the best forms of financial aid for college. Why? It’s free money. Unlike student loans, the money you receive from a scholarship doesn’t need to be paid back. Large national scholarships offer students an opportunity to get big money, but large payouts often mean intense competition. That’s why more and more students narrow their scholarship search to smaller or more niche opportunities. The ones below are definitely worth investigating if you’re Native American or Alaskan Native.

General Scholarships

Organization

Organization

American Indian Services

Amount

Amount

Varies

Deadline

Deadline

Varies

Eligibility

Applicants must be attending or planning to attend a post-secondary institution, be at least a one-quarter member of a federally recognized Native American Tribe and have a minimum 2.25 GPA.

How to Apply

Complete the FAFSA, prepare a biographical letter, and provide a photo, copies of the most current transcript, and official billing tuition statement.

Organization

Organization

American Indian Education Fund

Amount

Amount

Up to $2,000

Deadline

Deadline

4/4/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Students must be enrolled full-time at an accredited undergraduate institution and part of a federally recognized tribe (or be the child of someone who is).

How to Apply

Applicants need to provide documentation of tribal enrollment, high school transcripts, and ACT or SAT scores, if applicable.

Organization

Organization

Association on American Indian Affairs

Amount

Amount

Varies

Deadline

Deadline

6/30/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

This scholarship requires applicants to be an enrolled member of a U.S. or Alaskan Tribe; there is no blood quantum requirement. Applicants must also have at least 2.5 GPA and be enrolled full-time in an accredited undergraduate degree program.

How to Apply

Submit a current class schedule and transcript, complete the scholarship application and essay, and submit proof of tribal enrollment.

Organization

Organization

Daughters of the American Revolution

Amount

Amount

Varies

Deadline

Deadline

2/15/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be enrolled at a two or four year college program, have a 3.25 minimum GPA, and show proof of Native American heritage. Awards are based on academic achievement and financial need.

How to Apply

Online applications will include a statement about career goals, letters of recommendation, applicable transcripts, and a list of extracurricular activities.

Organization

Organization

American Indian College Fund

Amount

Amount

Varies

Deadline

Deadline

5/31/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Students must be enrolled in a full-time post-secondary program, have at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA, and be registered as an enrolled member of a federal or state-recognized tribe. Alternatively, applicants must be a descendant of at least one grandparent or parent who is an enrolled tribal member.

How to Apply

Applications must be completed online and require a digital photo, proof of tribal affiliation, and relevant transcripts.

Medical and Health Scholarships

Organization

Organization

American Association of Occupational Health Nurses

Amount

Amount

$2,500

Deadline

Deadline

1/1/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

This scholarship goes to individuals seeking to further their professional learning in the occupational and environmental health nursing fields. Applicants must be a member of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses.

How to Apply

Submit an online application, an essay of 500 words or less, and letters of recommendation.

Organization

Organization

National Society of the Colonial Dames of America

Amount

Amount

$1,500

Deadline

Deadline

6/1/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be one-quarter American Indian, enrolled in a tribe, or be able to prove direct tribal ancestry. They must be enrolled in an accredited campus-based or online nursing program and demonstrate financial need.

How to Apply

Application materials are available online and may be mailed, along with a biographical statement, small photograph, official transcript, and evidence of financial need.

Organization

Organization

International Order of The King’s Daughters and Sons

Amount

Amount

Varies

Deadline

Deadline

4/1/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Students studying to be a doctor, dentist, or registered nurse, as well as those in medical technology, physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy programs may apply for this scholarship.

How to Apply

Interested individuals must email or mail a letter with their name, course of study, and contact information to the Health Careers Scholarship Director to obtain an application.

Organization

Organization

Indian Health Service

Amount

Amount

Varies

Deadline

Deadline

Early 2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Graduate and undergraduate students who are members of a federally-recognized Tribe and will earn a professional health degree. Applicants must also agree to a full-time service commitment.

How to Apply

Applications will be mailed in and must include an application essay and employer or faculty evaluations of the applicant.

5 Keys to Landing Your Scholarship

Scholarships may be great because it’s free money, but they often require a good amount of effort to obtain. No matter how tempting it is to take a shortcut, don’t. The application is the only chance you’ll have to impress the scholarship award committee. To even further increase your chances of getting a scholarship, consider the following advice.

  • Key #1: Follow the instructions
    This seems like common sense, but skipping a requirement can ruin your chances of winning the scholarship before anyone even looks at your application. Maybe it’s a missed deadline, going over the essay word limit, or submitting the wrong materials. Either way, all that hard work and effort may be for naught.
  • Key #2: Look for local scholarships
    Local scholarships might be smaller in amount, but they’re probably going to receive far fewer applications. This can drastically increase your chances of getting an award.
  • Key #3: Start as soon as possible
    You never know exactly how long the application process will take. Maybe your essay needs a few more revisions or someone you asked for a recommendation is delayed in completing your letter.
  • Key #4: Revise and double check
    Most scholarships require an essay or other subjective element. This is your opportunity to stand out and make an impression. But it’s also a chance to make a careless mistake. Avoid this by revising and double checking everything to make sure it’s perfect.
  • Key #5: Think about taking a risk
    There’s a very subtle difference between being bold and crossing a line. But depending on the scholarship and what you have in mind, it might be worth it. Standing out will be one of the biggest challenges in a scholarship application, but if you do, it may make the difference between an award and a rejection.

College Resources for Native American and Alaskan Native Students

There are many different resources available to Native American and Alaskan Native students. Some will help lower the cost of schooling. Others will help with professional development. And still others will assist Native American and Alaskan Native students while in school. All these resources work together to provide the greatest opportunities possible for a career in healthcare or just about any field.

Academic & Career

  • Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC)
    The primary goal of the ANHC is to preserve and recognize the Alaskan Native culture. This includes offering classes, community events, and special cultural awareness workshops for professionals working within Alaskan Native communities.
  • American Indian College Fund (AICF)
    At the AICF, the primary goal is to improve the lives of Native American communities and individuals by lowering the hurdles to education. This includes offering scholarships, internships, promoting research, and providing networking opportunities.
  • Native American and indigenous Studies Association (NAISA)
    Made up of a variety of members including professors, researchers, community leaders, and students, the NAISA offers a variety of resources, including internship, fellowship, publication, and networking opportunities to help promote its mission of advancing scholarly learning.

Social & Networking

  • Alaska Native Professional Association (ANPA)
    The ANPA’s mission focuses on improving the lives of Alaska Natives by including related organizations through the use of networking, leadership, and serving in the community.
  • American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC)
    The AIGC ‘s mission is to help Native American students achieve their educational goals. Besides scholarships, the AIGC provides fellowship and networking opportunities.
  • National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)
    The NCAI is the preeminent organization representing the interests of American Indian and Alaskan Native communities. Resources include publications, conferences, fellowships, youth programs, and initiatives.

Advocacy & Diversity

  • Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN)
    The AFN is the leading organization in Alaska working to promote the interests of Alaskan Natives while working alongside the federal government.
  • National Indian Education Association (NIEA)
    Through various educational and advocacy programs, the NIEA works to improve the opportunities for Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Alaskan Natives.
  • Association on American Indian Affairs 
    This organization works to protect the traditions, cultures, values, and beliefs of Native Americans through a variety of initiatives, including financial assistance and cultural education.

Healthcare Education