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30 Master’s Scholarships and Resources for Native American and Alaskan Students

If you are a Native American or Alaskan student in pursuit of a master’s degree, check out this list of scholarships and resources to help pay for school.

Author: Mikala Lugen

Editor: Staff Editor

Only 17% of Native American and Alaskan students enroll in college after high school, and less than 5% of indigenous adults earn master’s degrees. In fact, Native American and Alaskan students are the most underrepresented group in postsecondary and graduate education often simply because they lack the necessary academic and financial resources.

This guide details scholarships specifically for Native American and Alaskan graduate students along with resources focused on academic and career success. It also gives tips for standing out on your scholarship application. Keep reading to learn about the many resources available to you as a Native American or Alaskan hoping to earn a master’s degree.

30 Graduate Scholarships You Can Apply for Now

While student loans need to be repaid, scholarships do not, making them significant funding sources for graduate students. Scholarships can help pay direct tuition costs and some can be applied to other costs like books and housing. Even one scholarship takes the edge off the financial burden and allows you to focus more on earning a degree and optimizing your success in a graduate program.

The scholarships below are tailored to Native American, Alaskan, and other marginalized and underrepresented students dedicated to pursuing graduate degrees.

AAIA Scholarships

  • Scholarship Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: May 31, 2023
  • Applicants must be undergraduate or graduate Native American students who are citizens or members of their Tribal Nation. They must also be full-time students maintaining 2.5 or higher GPAs. The award is granted twice a year until graduation to support students connected to their Tribal Nation and Indian Country and who wish to utilize their degree to serve them.

ACF Carl F. Scott Scholarship Fund for Tucumcari Lodge No. 27

  • Scholarship Amount: $750 – $2,000
  • Deadline: April 7, 2023
  • Applicants must be New Mexico residents from Quay County pursuing master’s, bachelor’s, or associate degrees in science and/or human service disciplines without consideration of a planned career location. Alternatively, they may pursue degrees or technical or vocational certificates or diplomas for use in any planned trade or career in a northwest New Mexico community.

ACHE Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: $5,000
  • Deadline: March 31, 2023
  • This scholarship is for minority students in healthcare management graduate programs to help offset tuition costs, student loans, and expenses. Applicants must be in the final year of their graduate program.

AIA Chicago Foundation Graduate Diversity Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: $10,000
  • Deadline: March 20, 2023
  • This diversity scholarship is for graduate students enrolled in NAAB-accredited master’s degree programs in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, or the University of Illinois at Chicago. It is administered after one semester of graduate school is complete. Applicants must demonstrate financial need.

AICPA Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students

  • Scholarship Amount: $10,000
  • Deadline: March 1, 2023
  • You must be a minority student attending a four-year accredited institution in the U.S. as a full-time undergraduate or graduate student pursuing an accounting degree or accounting-related major to apply. A minimum 3.0 GPA and financial need are necessary.

AISES A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: $2,000
  • Deadline: May 31, 2023
  • Open to full-time undergraduate or graduate students pursuing degrees in mathematics, medical science, physical science, technology, science, engineering, or natural resources. Applicants must be enrolled members of a federally or state-recognized American Indian Tribe or Alaskan Native Village or be Native Hawaiian.

American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: May 31, 2023
  • Open to American Indian and Alaska Native college students seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees at nonprofit, accredited colleges, universities, or tribal colleges. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and have at least a 2.0 GPA.

American Indian Education Fund Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount:$1,000 – $2,000
  • Deadline: April 4, 2023
  • Applicants must be Native American, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian students attending or accepted into accredited graduate schools. Online colleges are not applicable nor are ABD students. Applicants must also be enrolled in six to 18 credits and maintain a 2.5 or above GPA.

Brown and Caldwell Minority Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: $5,000
  • Deadline: April 15, 2023
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and full-time students enrolled in their junior or senior year or a graduate program at an accredited college/university. They must also have a declared major in civil, chemical, or environmental engineering or one of the environmental sciences (e.g., biology, geology, hydrogeology, ecology). A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher is also needed.

Cherokee Nation Higher Education Scholarships

  • Scholarship Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: June 15, 2023
  • Open to citizens of the Cherokee Nation who are actively pursuing higher education degrees. Educational scholarships are payable directly to an accredited college or university. Students must be working towards an Associate in Arts or Science, Associate of Applied Science in Nursing, or bachelor’s, master, or doctorate degrees.

Chickasaw Nation Higher Education Grants

  • Scholarship Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: February 15, 2023
  • This grant is awarded to undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral students who maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher and enroll in at least three credits each semester.

Chickasaw Nation Textbook Grant

  • Scholarship Amount: $500
  • Deadline: February 15, 2023
  • Chickasaw citizens pursuing higher education from accredited institutions are eligible for this grant. They must be undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral students enrolled in at least three college credit hours and maintain a 2.0 or higher GPA each term. The grant is awarded through a Visa card and is valid for textbooks only.

CLA Scholarship for Minority Students in Memory of Edna Yelland

  • Scholarship Amount: $2,500
  • Deadline: April 12, 2023
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, reside in California, be enrolled in an ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science or Information Studies program, and have completed one or more courses. Additionally, applicants must intend to work in a California library upon graduation, provide a description of financial need, be a racial minority, and be available for interview by the scholarship committee.

Corris Boyd Scholars Program

  • Scholarship Amount: $40,000
  • Deadline: April 19, 2023
  • Applicants must be full-time students and one of the following: African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Latino/Hispanic, or Multiracial. They also need a minimum 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate coursework and have U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status. At the time of award, applicants must have applied and been accepted into an AUPHA full-member master’s degree program to start in the fall but not before August 1st. Scholarship funds go towards tuition and other expenses and are paid in four installments.

Diversity in Structural Engineering Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: $5,000
  • Deadline: April 29, 2023
  • Multiple scholarships are awarded annually to junior college students, undergraduate students, and/or graduate students pursuing degrees in structural engineering.

Dr. Jade Guerra High Achiever Award

  • Scholarship Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: March 1, 2023
  • This award is open to all female students who identify as a member of a minority group and have a minimum 2.5 GPA. High school seniors, undergraduate, graduate, and international students of all majors can apply.

Elizabeth Furber Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: June 1, 2023
  • Open to American Indian and Alaska Native female graduate students pursuing degrees full-time at accredited institutions and studying fine arts, visual works, crafts, music, performing arts and dance, literary arts, creative writing, and/or poetry.

The Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: $18,000
  • Deadline: April 1, 2023
  • Applicants must identify as a woman or non-binary scholar of color from a racial/ethnic group and be enrolled graduate students in the early stages of writing a dissertation that is sociologically relevant while addressing the concerns of women of color domestically and/or internationally. Applicants must demonstrate financial need. Recipients also receive free registration for both the Summer and Winter Meetings and $500 to help them with attendance fees (e.g., hotel, travel, etc.)

GRCF Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids Minority Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: March 1, 2023
  • Open to students of color (i.e., African-American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, and Pacific Islander) attending a non-profit public or private college/university in West Michigan majoring in fine arts, including all visual and performing arts. Applicants must have financial need and a minimum 2.5 GPA and be Kent County residents.

Joseph Zukin Jr. Scholarship for Entrepreneurship

  • Scholarship Amount: $5,000
  • Deadline: June 5, 2023
  • Open to graduate or undergraduate students demonstrating entrepreneurial skills, work ethic, and commitment to community engagement. Special consideration is given to students from marginalized communities.

LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) Graduate Scholarships

  • Scholarship Amount: $3,750
  • Deadline: February 28, 2023
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens and full-time students at four-year accredited institutions with a minimum 3.2 GPA. Eligible majors include advertising, marketing, and public relations. They must be members of the African American/Black, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, or Native American/Alaska Native ethnic group.

Minnesota Indian Scholarship Program

  • Scholarship Amount: $24,000
  • Deadline: July 1, 2023
  • Must be Minnesota residents with one-fourth or more Indian ancestry and demonstrate financial need. The award is available to Indian graduate students enrolled at least half-time in accredited colleges, universities, or vocational schools in Minnesota.

Moss Adams Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: April 30, 2023
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens and identify as women or minorities pursuing degrees in accounting.

NAIOP Diversity Student Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: $5,000
  • Deadline: March 30, 2023
  • Applicants must be affiliated with a NAIOP University Member school in good standing, enrolled full-time in an applicable graduate program during the academic calendar year, and have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Native Language, Culture, and Land Management Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: $10,000
  • Deadline: June 1, 2023
  • Open to American Indian and Alaska Native undergraduate and graduate students enrolled full-time at accredited institutions and pursuing degrees focused on indigenous languages, natural resources, land management and conservation, or cultural preservation. Applicants must have a current 3.0 or higher GPA.

NCAIED 40 Under 40 Awards

  • Scholarship Amount: $3,000
  • Deadline: March 11, 2023
  • NCAIED recognizes 40 emerging American Indians from across Indian Country who demonstrate leadership, initiative, and dedication and made significant contributions to business and/or their communities. Applicants must be 18 to 39 years old by January 1st of the year the scholarship is awarded.

Osage Nation Higher Education Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: June 15, 2023
  • Open to Osage students pursuing associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees at accredited schools. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA and be in good standing to remain eligible for scholarship funding.

Ralph W. Shrader Graduate Diversity Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: $3,000
  • Deadline: April 30, 2023
  • Applicants must be full-time students enrolled in their second semester and pursuing graduate degrees at any accredited academic institution in the U.S. in majors that supports the mission of AFCEA Educational Foundation. They must identify as women or be a minority student, be U.S. citizens, and have a 3.5 or higher GPA.

Raytheon Intelligence & Space Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: $10,000
  • Deadline: April 25, 2023
  • Applicants must be females pursuing or planning to pursue degrees focused on cybersecurity, information assurance, or a similar field. They can attend on-campus or online classes and be full-time or part-time undergraduate or graduate students. Applicants must also have at least a 3.3 GPA and be U.S. citizens.

Science Post Graduate Scholarship Fund

  • Scholarship Amount: Varies up to $30,000
  • Deadline: June 1, 2023
  • Open to eligible American Indian and Alaska Native undergraduate, graduate, and professional students pursuing degrees full-time at accredited institutions. Degrees must be in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: June 1, 2023
  • Open to eligible American Indian tribal and Alaska Native graduate students pursuing degrees full-time at accredited institutions in any field. Applicants must have an unweighted cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

S.I.S.T.A.s of Middle Georgia Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: $1,500
  • Deadline: May 22, 2023
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled in accredited undergraduate or graduate SLP/Communication Disorders programs and be minority females. They must also be residents of Georgia and have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

TLF Scholarship Program

  • Scholarship Amount: $3,750
  • Deadline: February 28, 2023
  • Applicants must be minority students attending four-year accredited institutions in the U.S. and have full-time undergraduate or graduate status. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required, and you must have at least one year to complete your degree program when the scholarship is awarded.

Wells Fargo American Indian Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: Varies up to $5,000
  • Deadline: June 1, 2023
  • Open to eligible American Indian and Alaska Native undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees full-time at accredited institutions. Graduate students must be pursuing degrees in business or gaming/hospitality-related fields, including banking, resort management, gaming operations, and management and administration (e.g., accounting, finance, information technology, and human resources).

WEN Foundation Scholarships

  • Scholarship Amount: $3,000
  • Deadline: March 31, 2023
  • Offered to either undergraduate or postgraduate students in preparation for careers in energy or STEM-related fields. Scholarships are typically awarded in June for use during the upcoming academic year, and payments are made directly to the institution. Recipients must update the scholarship committee on their academic progress at the end of each semester and submit a transcript to verify enrollment.

Wildlife Conservation Network Indigenous Scholarship

  • Scholarship Amount: $30,000
  • Deadline: Varies
  • This scholarship funds graduate education and applied training for candidates dedicated to pursuing careers in wildlife conservation. It’s open only to individuals who self-identify as members of U.S.-based Indigenous tribes and who are pursuing programs at U.S.-based institutions. All candidates must be nominated by someone who can speak to their experience and potential in the field of wildlife conservation. Candidates must be committed to a lifelong career in their home regions and be enrolled or planning to enroll within the next year in master, doctorate, or applied training programs.

Tips for Standing Out on Your Application

Some scholarships have multiple recipients, and there could be dozens to hundreds of applications submitted for each scholarship. Submitting a top-notch application package is essential for making yours stand out. While scholarships do take significant effort to obtain, just one is worth it to make the scholarship committee remember you. The following tips can help you rise to the top of the selection pile.

Beef Up Your Extracurriculars

Did you play sports during your undergraduate years? Maybe you volunteer at your local animal shelter or nursing home, have been a part of your university’s choir, band, or musical performances, or were a member of a club on campus. Scholarship committees want applicants who are involved and make positive differences in their communities. Be sure to talk about what you do outside of classes and why it contributes to your qualification for the scholarship.

Apply to as Many as You Can

With free money on the line and potentially dozens of other applicants for each scholarship, it’s important to apply to as many as possible to increase your chances of being awarded at least one. American Indian and Alaskan Native students receive an average of about $2,100 in scholarships, so the more scholarships you apply to the greater your chances are of receiving one to help pay for your master’s.

Apply to Scholarships You Most Qualify for

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the number of scholarships available, focus on ones with specific eligibility requirements where you meet all the criteria listed. Doing so will increase your chances of being selected for that scholarship. Seeking scholarships that specifically include your major, GPA, and area of expertise significantly increases your chances of receiving the award.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are some of the most important pieces of information in your scholarship application. They help set you apart from other applicants by allowing a third party to speak on your behalf and showcase why you deserve the scholarship. A letter of recommendation can come from a professor, internship coordinator, or non-academic individual who knows you well and can speak specifically to your contributions to your community and field of study.

Wow With Your Essay

Many scholarships require an essay with your application. These essays may be specific to the graduate program you’re enrolled in, or they might be a more generalized topic. Give yourself plenty of time to organize and write your essay to showcase your expertise, experience, passion, and need for the scholarship. Wow the scholarship committee with your words but don’t include any unnecessary information just to fill up the page. Be concise and clear and make it personalized to you.

Be First in Line and Before the Deadline

Submitting your scholarship application before the deadline shows the scholarship committee that you took the time to plan out your application. According to College Raptor, submitting your scholarship application before the deadline allows you to avoid last-minute disasters, like your computer crashing or losing your work, keeps you on schedule, and allows you to be more focused and less stressed.

Look for Local and Regional Scholarships

Applying to national scholarships is perfectly fine but applying to local and regional scholarships may be a better use of your time. Local and regional scholarships adhere to a smaller pool of students, which means your chances of being selected are significantly larger. Look for scholarships that are specific to the state or county in which you live to increase your chances of being awarded scholarship money.

Resources for Native American and Alaskan Students

Along with many scholarships available, many organizations are working to improve the opportunities given to Native American students and to help them successfully earn a postsecondary education. The following resources are essential for every Native American and Alaskan student entering graduate school.

  • Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC): The ANHC preserves and strengthens the traditions, languages, and art of Alaska’s Native People through statewide collaboration, celebration, and education.Also offers classes, community events, and special cultural workshops for professionals and students within Alaskan Native communities.
  • American Indian College Fund (AICF): The AICF provides financial support for Native American students at tribal colleges and universities and supports programs for institutional growth, sustainability, and cultural preservation.
  • American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC): The AIHEC provides a support network as American Indians influence federal policies for American Indian higher education. It includes 37 Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) in the U.S. that provide higher education opportunities to American Indians through local, cultural, and supportive programs.
  • American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES): AISES is a nonprofit organization representing American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, First Nations, and other indigenous peoples of North America in STEM studies and careers.
  • American Indian Services (AIS): The AIS is dedicated to helping Native Americans access a quality education while still preserving their culture and honoring their heritage. It helps provide preparatory programs for children and financial assistance for those pursuing college degrees.
  • Association on American Indian Affairs: The oldest non-profit serving Indian Country, this association protects sovereignty, preserves culture, educates youth, and builds capacity. It also has the oldest Native scholarship program in the country for both undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Bureau Of Indian Education: This organization provides students at BIE-funded schools with a culturally relevant, high-quality education that prepares them with the knowledge, skills, and behaviors needed to flourish in the opportunities of tomorrow, become healthy and successful individuals, and lead their communities and sovereign nations to a thriving future that preserves their unique cultural identities.
  • Cherokee Nation: The largest tribe in the U.S., Cherokee Nation provides health and human services, education, employment, housing, economic and infrastructure development, and environmental protection services. It also promotes educational opportunities for tribal citizens by offering a variety of scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes: The Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes offer scholarship and grant opportunities to members demonstrating financial need.
  • Gates Millennium Scholars Program: This program promotes academic excellence and provides opportunities for outstanding minority students with significant financial needs to help them reach their highest potential by reducing financial barriers and offering academic support and resources.
  • Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP): The GRFP ensures quality, vitality, and diversity in the scientific and engineering workforce of the U.S. by broadening the participation of underrepresented groups in these areas.
  • Indian Health Service: Indian Health Service provides federal health services to and promotes the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives through educational and career opportunities.
  • Management Leadership for Tomorrow: This national nonprofit transforms the leadership pipelines of more than 120 organizations by driving breakthrough results for individuals and institutions. It equips and emboldens high-achieving individuals from underrepresented communities to realize their full potential through coaching, skills training, and professional networking.
  • National Congress of American Indians (NCAI): The NCAI represents the cultural interests of American Indian and Alaskan Native communities by offering publications, conferences, fellowships, student programs, and initiatives.
  • National Indian Education Association (NIEA): The NIEA advances comprehensive, culture-based educational opportunities for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. It brings educators and students together to improve the schooling of Native students and children, promotes the maintenance and development of Native languages and cultures, and influences local, state, and federal policy.
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA): The largest scholarly organization that engages Indigenous issues and communities, NAISA is comprised of scholars working in Native American and Indigenous Studies and offers internships, fellowships, and social opportunities.
  • Native Forward Scholars Fund: Native Forward empowers students from tribes throughout the U.S. by providing scholarships and academic support for those working toward undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees.
  • Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship & Financial Assistance: This organization provides enrolled members of the Navajo Nation opportunity to achieve their educational goals. It awards financial aid and scholarships from several sources including federal funds from the Higher Education Grant, Navajo Nation funds, trust funds, and corporate funds.
  • Partnerships With Native Americans: This group invests in Native American communities, improves access to academic resources, and offers scholarships to Native American students.
  • SACNAS (Advancing Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science): SACNAS promotes the highest standards of education and professional excellence to widen the STEM workforce and grow sector support for students and professionals.
  • Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education: This nonprofit media organization addresses American Indian and Alaska Native higher education.