Frequently Asked Questions About Scholarships
Where or how do I apply?
- To apply, go to www.collegefund.com/scholarships and choose the appropriate scholarship category (undergraduate attending a tribal college, undergraduate attending a mainstream college, or graduate student) to begin the application process.
Is eligibility based on blood quantum (blood degree or percentage)?
- No, your eligibility is determined by your enrollment in a state or federally recognized tribe or the ability to prove descendancy to an enrolled member.
Which tribes are eligible to apply?
- Any state or federally recognized tribal members or Alaska Natives are eligible to apply. You can also be eligible by proving descendancy to a parent or immediate grandparent that is/was an enrolled member of a state or federally recognized tribe or Alaska Native.
How would I be eligible based on descendancy?
- To be eligible based on descendancy, you must provide tribal enrollment documentation of your parent(s) or immediate grandparent(s) and birth certificates that connect you to the parent/grandparent.
Am I eligible if I’m a Canadian citizen or a member of a Canadian tribe (i.e. First Nations, Blood Tribe, etc.)?
- No, unless you are a dual citizen and can provide proof, you are not eligible.
What is the difference between a TCU and a mainstream college?
- A TCU refers to Tribal Colleges and Universities, which is a tribally-owned and operated college or university. There are currently 34 accredited TCUs across the country, as shown in this map.
- A mainstream college or university is any educational institution that is not tribally-owned; this includes universities, colleges, community colleges, and other not-for-profit educational institutions.
What is the difference between the TCU scholarship program and the Full Circle scholarship program?
- The TCU scholarship program is for tribal college students. It is administered each semester by the financial aid office of each tribal college and university. This means that the deadlines and requirements vary according to each TCU. Contact your financial aid office for more information.
- The Full Circle scholarship program is for both tribal college and mainstream students. This program provides academic year-long scholarships (2 semesters) and is administered by the American Indian College Fund. Students must be enrolled full-time and have a minimum 2.0 GPA. There are also graduate scholarships available through the Full Circle scholarship.
Is my school eligible?
- If your school is a tribal college or a not-for-profit mainstream college or university, you are eligible to apply. If you are not sure if your school is a not-for-profit institution, you can check here. For-profit colleges and universities are not eligible.
What does the application consist of?
- The application requires you to submit the information and essay electronically and upload the necessary documents.
Is my scholarship continuous/renewable?
- No, each student must resubmit an application every year, regardless if they were awarded a scholarship the previous year.
When are applications open?
- Full Circle scholarship applications are open from January 1st to May 31st each year.
- TCU scholarship applications are open at the beginning of every spring and fall semester, although exact dates vary by school. Contact your financial aid office for details.
What should I put in the essay?
- To write a great essay, be sure to answer each of the three questions that are listed within the application. Use professional language and make sure to use the spell/grammar check feature provided. Other tips for writing a winning scholarship essay can be found here.
How do I apply for a specific scholarship (APS, Estee Lauder, Coke, Toyota, Nissan, etc.)?
- You don’t. By submitting your TCU and/or Full Circle scholarship application, you will be considered for all the programs you are eligible for based on the information provided in your application.
Does my transcript(s) have to be official?
- No, your transcript can be unofficial but it must contain your cumulative GPA, not just the term GPA.
Do I need to turn in a new transcript after the semester is over?
- No, your application will be evaluated based on the information you provided at the time of submission.