CollegeBound Journey Insights

5 Full Tuition Scholarships for Native Americans

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“Scholarships for Native Americans” is a common internet search query for Native students seeking financial support to attend college.  According to the Postsecondary National Policy Institute, over half of Native American college students – 54% – require financial assistance to attend college.  However, when searching for these types scholarships, students usually find a few promising links, but full tuition scholarships are rarely posted.

In this article, five full tuition scholarships for Native Americans are explored.  Specifically, these awards eliminate tuition costs and ultimately support Native American college students to remove financial barriers to college attendance.

Five Scholarships for Native Americans That are Full Tuition Opportunities

Truman State University's First Americans Scholarship

Truman State University is located in Kirksville, Missouri.  The college grounds itself in academics, tradition, and student-run service projects.  Accordingly, these factors support a sense of community for students as they prepare for their futures.

In order to support Native youth, the college has established the First Americans Scholarship.  One student receives the scholarship per cycle.  Specifically, the opportunity covers not only tuition but also room and board.  According to the Truman website, two former Native graduates: Maj. Gen. John V. Cox (’52) and Patricia (McMichael) Cox founded the scholarship.  Truman’s Native American student body is currently less than 1% with a 89% graduation rate.

Scholarship for Native Americans Requirement: Students with Native American ancestry; however, preference is given to students who are enrolled members of a federally recognized Native American tribe. Special consideration is given to students who live on or near a reservation or have immediate family members who grew up on or near a reservation.

Award:

  • Full tuition
  • Room & board

Would you like to know more?  Check out the Truman State University’s First Americans Scholarship

Augsburg University's American Indian Recognition Full Tuition Program

Augsburg College offers a Scholarships for Native Americans

Augsburg’s commitment is to educate students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders.  The university is a small, private school; however, it is located in the middle of Minneapolis.  Currently, Minneapolis is home to over 160,000 people identifying as Native American; therefore, Augsburg provides specific supports for Native American students including a major in American Indian Studies, Ojibwe and Dakota language course, American Indian Student Services, and the American Indian Recognition Full Tuition Program. Moreover, Augsburg’s Native American student body is currently 1% with a 33% graduation rate.

Scholarship for Native Americans Requirement: According to the Augsburg University website “to be eligible, students must demonstrate a commitment, grounded in lived experience, to recognizing the importance and diversity of American Indians in higher education. A student does not need to be a Minnesota resident or establish residence on trust land to participate.”

Award:

  • For family incomes under $150,000, the program covers all remaining tuition and fees after federal, state and institutional gift aid has been applied.
  • For family incomes above $150,000, the program covers 100% of unmet need.

Would you like to know more?  Check out the Augsburg’s American Indian Recognition Full Tuition Program website.

Augustana University Prairie Sage Scholarship Endowment

Augustana University is a relatively small institution that educates around 2100 students a year and is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  The Prairie Sage Scholarship Endowment is a unique Native American award provided by the college.  Founded on the intent to preserve Native culture, the endowment has grown significantly to now support one full-time Native American student at Augustana who is pursuing a degree in anthropology.

Scholarship for Native Americans Requirement: Interested students should contact the Augustana Office of Financial Aid for specific details.

Award:

  • Full tuition

Would you like to know more?  Check out the Augustana University Prairie Sage Scholarship Endowment website.

USDA 1994 Tribal Scholars Program's Scholarship 

USDA 1994 Tribal Scholars Program Scholarships for Native Americans

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) supports Native youth with completing a degree in agriculture, food, and natural resource sciences.  Correspondingly, the USDA provides a scholarship for Native Americans called the USDA 1994 Tribal Scholars Program.  The award is significant, as detailed below, and aligns itself and both scholars with Tribal Colleges and Universities.

Scholarship for Native Americans Requirement: Identify as American Indian.

Award:

  • Full tuition
  • Employment upon graduation/employee benefits
  • Housing or a living stipend
  • College-related fees
  • Books

Would you like to know more?  Check out more information on the USDA 1994 Tribal Scholars Program.

Salt Lake Community College’s Native American Community Scholars & Fellowship Program

Salt Lake Community College’s Native American Community Scholars & Fellowship Program main picture on site

Salt Lake Community College has 10 campus location around the Salt Lake Valley, Utah area; therefore, it can provide over 200 programs ranging from apprenticeships and diplomas to Associate degrees, including Anthropology, Dental Hygiene, Game Development, and Construction.  As a commitment to Native American student success, the college provides the Native American Community Scholars & Fellowship Program in hopes to increase the 1% Native college student enrollment rate and 20% Native college student graduation rate.

Scholarship for Native Americans Requirement: Students must be a current resident of Utah or an enrolled member of Utah Tribe.

However, students who are out of state resident and not enrolled within one of the aforementioned Tribes can receive in-state tuition until they can apply for residency and then transition to receiving the tuition program award.

Award:

  • Tuition costs for up to 18 credit hours.

Would you like to know more?  Check out more information on the Salt Lake Community College’s Native American Community Scholars & Fellowship Program.

Scholarships for Native Americans are quite abundant; however, finding the opportunities can be a bit of a challenge.  The scholarships featured in this article provide only a sampling of the funding available.  The CollegeBound Journey platform supports students to discover scholarships and other funding opportunities based on Native American status (enrolled, descendant, or self-identifying), Tribal affiliation, and major.  We currently have over 600 searchable opportunities within our scholarship database.  Specifically, we are committed to eliminating financial barriers for Native student to attend college.


Check out some of our other article posts on this subject and more topics regarding Native American college planning on our CollegeBound Journey Insights blog.

As an experienced, Licensed School Counselor and Educational Consultant, Kerrie has a passion for creating programming and resources for Native youth success.  She is especially interested in developing and sharing resources that support Native American students towards college matriculation.

More to explore

Cover photo for Finding Scholarships for Native Americans

Finding Scholarships for Native Americans

Native American Status Overview When researching Native American scholarships, four primary categories of eligibility arise.  These categories include: Enrolled Member/Tribal Citizen Direct

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