Application FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

You can find answers to the most frequently asked questions about the American Indian College Fund’s scholarships below.



Where and how do I apply?

Visit our scholarships page for more information about our scholarship programs and click on the Apply Now button to start your application. We can only accept online applications at this time.

When is the scholarship application open?

Our scholarship application opens February 1st each year. The priority deadline is May 31st, but the application remains open until January 30th of the following year.

When will I be notified if I am awarded a scholarship?

Students who apply by the priority deadline will receive a notification email by early August. Applications received after May 31st will be evaluated and notified of awarding decisions on a rolling basis. You can always login to your student portal to view your status.

How do I demonstrate my Tribal Affiliation?

  • Applicants can prove eligibility by providing documentation of tribal enrollment or descendancy from a tribally enrolled parent or grandparent.
  • Tribal enrollment – Any member of a state or federally recognized tribe or Alaska Native village is eligible to apply for a scholarship. Acceptable documentation can include tribal ID, CIB, letter from your tribe.
  • Descendancy – To be eligible based on descendancy, you must provide tribal enrollment documentation of your parent(s) or immediate grandparent(s) and birth certificate(s) that connect you to the parent/grandparent. You can learn more about enrollment by contacting your tribe or visiting the Bureau of Indian Affairs website at

Eligibility is not based on blood quantum or DNA test.

If I’m a Canadian citizen or a member of a Canadian tribe am I eligible to apply?

Applicants who are attending a U.S. college and are eligible under the terms of the Jay Treaty are eligible to apply. More information about the Jay Treaty can be found here.

What is a tribal college or university (TCU)?

Tribal colleges and universities (TCU) are accredited higher education institutions, that are tribally chartered and operated. There are currently over 35 accredited TCUs across the country, offering everything from vocational certificates to graduate degrees. You can learn more about these fantastic institutions on our Tribal College Page.

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 TCU financial aid office for more information.

The Full Circle scholarship program is for both TCU and mainstream students. This program provides academic year-long scholarships (two 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 program.
Applicants will submit only one application to be considered for all scholarship opportunities.

How do I apply for a specific College Fund scholarship (Disney, Ford Blue Oval, TikTok, etc.)?

By submitting your scholarship application, you will automatically be considered for all the programs for which you are eligible (Full Circle and TCU) based on the information provided in your application.

What type of school do I need to attend to apply?

You must attend a nonprofit, accredited college or university to qualify. Students attending for-profit institutions are not eligible. High-school seniors planning to enroll in the coming academic year can also apply.

What documents will I need to apply?

  • Digital photo – a headshot or photograph of yourself 
  • Tribal affiliation – Enrolled members should provide proof of their tribal enrollment (or CIB). Descendants prove descent by providing a copy of their parent/grandparent’s enrollment information and a copy of the student’s birth certificate
  • Transcript – Upload your most recent unofficial college transcript. High school students should submit transcripts or GED scores.

Can my scholarship be renewed year to year?

Every student must submit a new application for each academic year, even if awarded the previous year. Due to funding changes awards and amounts cannot be guaranteed to renew.

How should I answer the reflection questions?

The reflection questions provide an opportunity to tell us more about yourself. They also have a significant impact on the overall score of your application. For these reasons, you should spend time crafting your answers in a way that is true to you while using correct language and grammar. See our Application Tips page for our tips on writing a winning scholarship essay.

If I don’t see my tribe, major, or school as an option on the application, what do I do?

We have the majority of tribes, majors, and schools listed, so double check the spelling first.

If you do not see your tribe, select “Self describe” and type in the name of your tribe.

If you do not see your school, choose “Other” from the dropdown menu and manually type it in.

If your major is not listed, you may choose a major that is closely related or a more general major. If you have not declared a major or have more than one major, please select a major from the list that closest represents your intended field of study. Otherwise, you may select “Other” and type in your major.

Does my transcript have to be official?

No, your transcript can be unofficial but it must contain your cumulative GPA, not just the term GPA. Most schools have an online portal that will show you this information on your transcript; ask your financial aid office for details.

Where do I find my cumulative GPA, and can I leave this box blank?

Your cumulative GPA is the average of all your term GPAs. Most schools have an online portal that will show you this information on your transcript; ask your financial aid office for details. The GPA you report must be your most recent cumulative GPA, even if that is from a high school transcript. Whether you graduated high school a few months ago or a few decades ago, you need to use your most recent or last cumulative GPA, which can be found on your transcript. Students with a passing GED or HiSET score will need to convert it to the equivalent of a 4.0-scale GPA.

We hope this has been helpful in outlining how scholarship applications are scored. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us by email or by phone at 800-987-3863.