Native American college students, including Alaskan Native students, Native Hawaiian students, and those in federally recognized tribes, are a small but important group of students in higher institutions. Native Americans comprise only 1% of the United States' undergraduate population and less than 1% of the graduate population. Because Native American students make up such a small percentage, their specific needs often go unnoticed. To provide every student with equal access to higher education, it is crucial that Native American undergraduate and graduate students get the support that they need to pursue post-secondary education.
Many Native Americans choose to attend Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU). These schools, mainly in the Midwest and Southwest, provide ample resources and community to Native Americans. In 2016, 78% of all students at Tribal Colleges and Universities were Native American. There are 32 fully accredited Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) in the United States.
For those who go to non-TCU colleges, it can be difficult to find support. Fewer than 10% of Native American students who go directly from reservation high schools to mainstream colleges and universities finish their bachelor’s degrees.
One reason for this is because many Native American students are first-generation college students. In 2017, only 21% of Native American children under 18 years of age had a parent who completed a bachelor’s degree. As many Native American students are the first in their families to go to college, it can be difficult for them to navigate the world of higher education, afford the high tuition rates, and finish their degrees.
Native students need a lot of support in order to enroll and stay in college. In just two years from 2016 to 2018, Undergraduate enrollment among Native Americans aged 18 to 24 decreased from 128,600 to 120,200.
Once enrolled, low graduation rates among Native American college students are also common. Native American students are more likely to drop out of college during or after their freshman year.
If they don't drop out, Native American students are less likely to graduate on time than their white counterparts. In 2012, only 41% of first-time, full-time Native American students attending four-year institutions graduated within six years. Compared to white students, who graduate from college at 62%, this number is significantly low.
Additionally, after Black students, Native American students are second most likely to transfer to a different institution while getting their degree.
The cause of these struggles for Native American students is often financial, as 26.8% were living in poverty in 2018. In order to overcome the financial burden of getting an education, it is crucial that Native American students get the aid that they need to complete their degrees.
Although Native Americans get a lot of grant aid, they often need more financial help. Many students choose to use loans to cover the costs, but Native American students are less likely to take out student loans. 31% of Native American undergraduate students take out a federal student loan, compared to 40% of all students.
Any students seek financial assistance in the form of scholarships since financial support from the federal government often doesn't go far enough. Applying for scholarship funds is a great way to make up the gap so you can pursue higher education, but you need to put time and effort into your applications so you can stand out. To make sure you're not wasting your time on an application, it's important to always make sure that you're one of the eligible applicants for that scholarship. Follow our tips below to make sure you qualify for the scholarships you're applying for.
The first step in qualifying for Native American scholarships is to have Native American ancestry and to be part of a federally recognized tribe. Some scholarships are specifically designed for Native Americans, while others are open to all racial minority students, such as African American, Asian, and Hispanic American students.
Some scholarships will have additional requirements besides just being open to Native American students. Some scholarships are specifically for incoming freshmen, some are for Native American students from specific tribes, and others are for students pursuing a specific degree, such as undergraduate and graduate degrees. Be sure to check the degree requirements of each scholarship to ensure that you are enrolled in the right level of education and are eligible to apply.
Certain scholarships will have additional requirements, such as requiring that you demonstrate financial need, have federal student loans, are pursuing a specific major with your Bachelor's degree, or have a background in a certain area, such as community service.
There are many different types of scholarships for Native college students. For BIPOC students more generally, scholarships like the Across Cultures No-Essay Scholarship can be helpful, as they have a very specific audience.
For Native American students who are also first-generation, there are scholarships like Rita's First-Gen Scholarship. They can also qualify for scholarships for more general audiences that can help alleviate some of the costs of getting an education.
Whatever types of college scholarships you’re searching for, you can find them on Bold.org.
After creating your free Bold.org profile, you can begin looking for scholarships that you are eligible for. In order to find scholarships for Native American students, you can search specifically for Native scholarships or choose the "Diversity and Inclusion" category. You can also filter by education level to find the perfect scholarship opportunities for you, such as by searching for scholarships for graduate students.
Make sure to check if you are an eligible applicant for each individual scholarship by checking the additional eligibility requirements. Examples of some of these unique scholarship opportunities for minorities are listed above.
High school is a great time to start scouting and applying for college scholarships and looking for other financial aid opportunities to fund your college education. Many scholarships are available for high school students or exclusively for graduating high school seniors, but don’t worry if you haven’t started your search yet. There are plenty of scholarship opportunities for Native American students enrolled in institutions of higher education whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student. It's never too late to start taking charge of your financial aid.
Not every scholarship is right for you, so Bold.org provides many types of scholarships for Native American students to choose from. The more scholarships you apply for, the more likely you are to win.
Winning a scholarship isn't a sure thing, since certain scholarships will have many applicants, but don't be discouraged. There are ways to improve your chances of winning scholarships for minorities. If you continue reading, you'll find our tips for winning scholarships that can help your odds of winning Native American scholarships.
It only takes a few easy steps in order to begin applying for scholarships on Bold.org. Start by creating your free Bold.org profile. By clicking on any of the listed scholarships, you are able to create an account. From there, you can begin browsing hundreds of exclusive scholarships offered by Bold.org and you can bookmark any scholarships of interest.
Once you've decided on the scholarships that are best for you, begin applying. The scholarship application processes are set up specifically to make applying as easy as possible. This way, you can apply for more scholarships and maximize your Bold.org winnings.
There are many applicants for scholarships on Bold.org, but that shouldn't stop you from applying. Scholarship winners use certain strategies to increase their chances of winning scholarships. Following a few of the easy tips below can help set your application apart from others so you can win the financial aid necessary to attend college.
Since you are not likely to win every scholarship you apply to, it is important to apply to a lot of scholarships. The more scholarships you apply to, the higher the chance you will win. Applying extensively to scholarships on Bold.org can help you increase your odds of accumulating scholarship money.
New scholarships are being posted on Bold.org consistently, giving you numerous opportunities for scholarships that are introduced and awarded within just a few months. Because of this, applying sooner will make more scholarships available to you during your search. Keeping this in mind, you can apply for many different scholarships without stressing about applications deadlines all at one time of the year.
There are essay prompts for many of the listed scholarships for minorities, so make sure that you don't underestimate the power of a well-written essay. Take time to plan what you want to write, and proofread your essay after finishing it to eliminate spelling and grammar errors. Each scholarship for Native Americans is slightly different, but if you stick to fundamental writing skills, you can make your essays stand out.
Scholarships with more eligibility requirements have fewer applicable students. With a more specific set of criteria, fewer students will apply, giving you a better chance at being selected for that specific scholarship for Native American students. Keep an eye out for scholarships with several requirements that you meet in order to give yourself your best chance of earning a more specialized scholarship.
For example, finding scholarships exclusively open to your education level, such as scholarships for undergraduate students or for high school seniors, will limit the competition and boost your chances of winning.
Take the time to fill out your Bold.org profile, putting in specifics that will help show donors who you are. For scholarships that don't require essays, this is especially useful, for students with completed profiles give information about themselves that would usually come up in an essay question. Additionally, filling out your profile completely will give you more Bold Points, opening up more exclusive scholarships that you can apply to.
Bold Points not only unlock special scholarships but are also a great way to make your application and profile stand out from the competition. You can earn more points by completing tasks, nominating students for scholarships, and even by asking questions to your colleges of interest. The more points you earn, the better!
By applying for scholarships with specific requirements like those for first-generation students, the chances of being chosen are higher. By applying for these scholarships, Native American students can meet their financial needs while minimizing their student loans, making it far easier for them to attend college.
Federal student aid often doesn't go far enough in meeting the financial need of students. To pick up the slack, Bold.org, a scholarship program committed to aiding first-generation scholars, is here to help.
A Native American scholarship is a source of financial aid for a student who is a part of a federally recognized tribe. If you are a Native Hawaiian, an Alaska Native, or Native American student living in the US, you are included in the definition of Native American, and you may apply for first-generation scholarships.
Bold.org is an easy and accessible way to find and apply for scholarships. To apply, just create a profile on Bold.org. Once you do, you can apply for hundreds of scholarships with a few clicks.
Any scholarship money earned on Bold.org is sent directly to the college you are attending and therefore is not considered to be taxable income. If you are a high school student, Bold.org will hold your scholarship money in an account until enrollment.