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Nursing Scholarships for Indigenous American Students

NurseJournal Staff
Updated November 24, 2022
    Native American students planning to enter a nursing career can use this guide to learn about Indigenous American scholarships, how to qualify, and when to apply.
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    Native American communities continue to face persistent challenges that limit their access to education which may derail future employment prospects. College-educated Native American nurses who can use their skills to provide healthcare to their communities remain in short supply.

    This guide provides an overview of national, local, and tribal American Indian scholarships to help prospective nurses achieve their educational and career goals.

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    Undergraduate Nursing Scholarships

    Indigenous American students interested in nursing careers may qualify for several scholarships for Native Americans or other underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. This list of undergraduate American Indian scholarships, while not exhaustive, presents funding possibilities for high school and undergraduate students.

    Graduate Nursing Scholarships

    Graduate training in nursing opens the door to in-demand, successful healthcare careers. However, earning a graduate degree can present a significant financial burden. Students interested in advanced graduate training can use this list of Indigenous American scholarships to explore financial aid opportunities.

    Frequently Asked Questions: Scholarships for Indigenous American Students

    When should I start applying for scholarships?

    A high school student should generally begin their scholarship search in the summer before their senior year. Learners who intend to apply for graduate school should explore grant and scholarship prospects at least a year before their intended start dates. All degree-seekers should check the scholarship websites for current information regarding application deadlines and eligibility.

    How much Native American do you have to be to get a scholarship?

    Most scholarship programs specify requirements to determine eligibility. The Bureau of Indian Affairs generally awards scholarships to students who can demonstrate at least one-fourth American Indian ancestry. Many Indigenous American scholarships, including those administered by the Office of Indian Educator Programs, restrict awards to members of federally recognized Native American tribes.

    How do I prove my Native American heritage for college?

    Student members of the 562 federally recognized Native American tribes significantly increase their chances of receiving funding. Each enrolled member of a tribe recognized by the federal government and the National Congress of American Indians receives a certificate of Indian blood card to use as proof of membership for scholarship applications.

    Can my student loans be forgiven if I am Native American?

    Native Americans may qualify for several student loan forgiveness plans. The Indian Health Services Loan Repayment Program reduces loan payments for healthcare professionals who commit two years of service in Native American or Alaska Native communities. Indigenous Americans who served in the U.S. Army may qualify for its college loan repayment programs.

    Related Resources

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