Student & Counselor Resources
There are a variety of scholarship and grant opportunities for Native American students. The scholarships and grants available each have their own requirements as to proof of tribal membership and other factors.
All Native American students need to contact their particular Tribe’s education office to see if there are any particular tribal member only grants or scholarships. Some tribes have more developed education offices and can provide further valuable resources and information.
Also, students and counselors should check to see if the school where the student is applying has specific tuition waivers and grants for underrepresented peoples. Students and counselors need to ask school representatives that visit the high school to also bring information relevant for Native American students. As an example, the University of Kansas has agreements with one of the few (if only) Bureau of Indian Affairs colleges, Haskell Indian Nations University both of which are located in Lawrence, Kansas. The University of Kansas has a program called the 500 Nations Bridge program which provides Haskell Indian Nations University students support as they transfer from Haskell to KU if the student is pursuing a biomedical field degree.
Tribal Colleges & Universities and Supportive Schools & Organizations
As students look at the enormous amount of post secondary educational entities that one can attend there are a few things that might be relevant to Native American students.
Location of the school in relation to home and/or a tribal community. There are currently thirty seven Tribal Colleges and Universities affiliated with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) that are located on a variety of reservations mainly in the western United States. Tribal colleges and universities serve a very unique population and need dependent on the reservation or tribal community that formed the school.
Additionally, cities with large Native American populations may be of interests to Native American students. In the 1950’s as a part of the Termination Policy era of the United States the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) created a relocation office. The BIA chose four cities in California as relocation sites; San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as, Dallas, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and Denver. Due to the relocation of large numbers of Native American people in 1950’s there remains groups of families in these cities and often the cities have “Native American centers” that provide a place to gather for Native American families that are located away from the reservation areas. There are also a number of cities that served a similar purpose that are located near reservation boundaries. If a student wants to be near a strong Native American population some local population statistics may be of interest in the determination of where to go to school.
Another factor to consider is the population size of the Native American students attending the school including the Native American graduate student population. Larger universities often utilize the graduate students to lead smaller “sections” of large core courses or particular knowledge courses like Native American Studies. The schools with large Native American populations often are located near larger reservations or multiple Native American communities and tend to have courses and or degrees in Native American Studies or multicultural relevant programs.