Requirements for Native American Scholarships


Native American scholarships are available from several different organizations. The Catching the Dream foundation alone offers three scholarship programs for Native Americans: the MESBEC program, NALE program and the TBM program. Requirements are important to concentrate on when seeking these scholarships because they let you know if you qualify or not before applying. Most Native American scholarships have race, ethnicity, income, location and educational requirements.


Ethnicity is one of the main requirements for a Native American scholarship, since all of the scholarships are just for individuals who are Native American. You may also be registered in a federally recognized tribe and have at least 50 percent Indian blood. To prove this, you will have to provide a Certificate of Indian Blood card or other document that verifies your membership in a federally recognized tribe. You can also be approved for federal funding from the Department of Education that is just for Native Americans, such as the BIA/OIEP Indian Education Grant. According to the Jay Treaty of 1794, this also extends to Canadian-born Native Americans who have 50 percent Indian blood and belong to a tribe recognized by the U.S. government.

Location-Specific Scholarships

Some scholarships are location specific. These scholarships may require that you were born, live or go to school in a specific area. You may also have to be part of a local tribe to qualify. Examples of location-specific scholarships are the Oklahoma Cherokee Scholarship that requires applicants to be part of the Cherokee Tribe of Oklahoma, the North Dakota Turtle Mountain Scholarship that is just for individuals enrolled in the Turtle Mountain Chippewa tribe and the South Dakota Yankton Scholarship that requires membership in the Yankton Dakota Tribe. Applicants should have available their documentation that verifies their membership in the specific tribe before applying.

Educational Requirements

Many scholarships have GPA requirements to either receive the scholarship, maintain eligibility or both. You have to have at least a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale to qualify for most Native American scholarships. Several top-paying scholarships require a higher GPA. For instance, the American Indian Science And Engineering Society's A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship awards $10,000 and requires a 3.5 GPA. The American Indian Graduate Center/Undergraduate scholarships require that the applicants have a 3.25 GPA to qualify for the $2,000-a-year funds for four years. Other educational requirements include being accepted at a specific school or type of school, being enrolled full time and majoring in a specific course of study.


The Association on American Indian Affairs scholarship, Daughters of the American Revolution's American Indian Scholarship and the Minnesota Indian Scholarship Program are all scholarship programs that pay different amounts to qualified Native Americans. What they have in common is that they are all need-based scholarships. These scholarships and other Native American scholarships like them often require you to be within a certain income bracket to qualify. Other need-based scholarships requires that you qualify for the Federal Pell Grant Program to qualify for their scholarships.

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