For many Native students seeking higher education opportunities, the significant financial requirements seem daunting. However, local, state, and federal grants and scholarships strive to provide a more level playing field for Native students.
Across all minority groups, Natives are the most underrepresented in colleges across the country.
The Impact College Scholarships Can Have
Every year, the American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarship opened for applicants. The program offers varying scholarship amounts for qualifying students until May 31, when the enrollment closes.
The scholarship is open to any Native U.S. citizen who is an enrolled member, or the decedent of an enrolled member, of a state or federally recognized tribe. Additionally, applicants must have at least a 2.0-grade point average and plan on attending an accredited non-profit college or university.
Currently, this is the largest charity supporting Natives seeking higher education opportunities. During its 32 years in operation, the foundation has provided over $259 million in scholarships.
And one Native Wisconsin student, Jasmine Neosh, can speak first-hand on the impact the scholarship can have. Neosh, a member of the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin, received the scholarship when she was a senior in high school.
Calling the program “a lifeline” for Native students, Neosh continues to involve herself in programs designed to help more Native students get a college education.
That said, Neosh is involved with the Forge Project, a fellowship program in New York that assists Indigenous artists, scholars, organizers, cultural workers, researchers, and educators. With programs like the American Indian College Fund, recipients like Neosh can get inspired to help others in her shoes to pursue greater opportunities.
For application details and more information about the American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarship, click here.
Natives Enrolled In College Are Scarce
For Native American students across the state of Wisconsin and the country in general, scholarships can provide a sense of hope to achieve something seemingly impossible.
That said, extreme poverty and limited access to educational opportunities are two things especially prevalent in Native communities.
So, even if Native students want to go to college, it’s extremely difficult to find the money to pursue the opportunity. Fortunately, local, state, and federal scholarships are prevalent to Native students to help combat the lack of representation.
To browse and apply for college scholarships tailored for Native students, check out this list.