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 and evaluate the scholarship categories (undergraduate attending a tribal college, undergraduate attending a mainstream college, or graduate student) to click “apply now” to begin the application process.
When are applications open?
TCU scholarship applications open on August 1 for the fall semester and January 1 for the spring semester every year, although deadlines vary by college. Contact your financial aid office at your college for details.
When will I be notified if I am awarded a scholarship?
All applicants will receive an email by early August to notify them if they have been awarded a scholarship.
Students may also log into the online application system at any time to check the status of their application under the “Applications” tab. “Pending” indicates that no decision has been made yet; the status changes to “Awarded” or “Not Awarded” when selections are complete. For the Full Circle Scholarships program, this is generally by early August at the latest; for TCU scholarships, the date varies by school. Contact your financial aid office for details concerning when they have awarded scholarships.
Is scholarship eligibility based on blood quantum (blood degree or percentage)?
Which tribal members are eligible to apply for a scholarship?
How would I be eligible for a scholarship 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.
More information on how to prove descendency can be found here.
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 attending an American college and are eligible under the terms of the Jay Treaty. More information about the Jay Treaty can be found here.
What is the difference between a TCU and a mainstream college?
TCU refers to tribal colleges and universities, which are generally tribally owned and operated. There are currently over 33 accredited TCUs across the country, as shown in this map.
A mainstream college or university is any educational institution 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 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.
How do I apply for a specific scholarship (APS, Coke, Toyota, Nissan, etc.)?
Does my school make me eligible to apply?
If your school is a tribal college or a public or private (non-profit) mainstream college or university, you are eligible to apply. If you are not sure if your private school is a not-for-profit institution, check here. For-profit college and university students are not eligible.
What does the application require?
- Digital photo – Upload a digital photo that’s at least 1.5 MB in size. We share photos with donors, so please ensure it looks professional. Read more in our Application Photo Q&A.
- Tribal Affiliation – Upload a copy of your proof of tribal enrollment (ID or CIB) or descendency by submitting your parent’s or grandparent’s proof of tribal enrollment along with your birth certificates that proves descendancy.
- Transcripts – Upload your most recent college transcript. (unofficial transcripts are accepted). High school students should submit transcripts or GED scores.
Is my scholarship continuous/renewable?
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.
What if I don’t see my tribe, major, or school as an option in the drop down menu when I type it into the search bar?
Does my transcript(s) have to be official?
Can I leave the GPA box blank if I am just out of high school or finished high school many years ago?
How can I find my cumulative GPA?
Most schools have an online portal that will show you this information on your transcript; ask your financial aid office for details. In addition, you can calculate your current and cumulative GPA with this online tool.
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, however, if being considered for an award, students attending non-tribal colleges and universities will be asked to send in a copy of their final spring transcript and fall class schedule to verify eligibility. TCU students’ documents will be verified directly with their school.
Scholarship Application Resources
Click on the links below to get the the most comprehensive and beneficial information related to our scholarship applications and with general assistance to strengthen applications for external scholarships. Here is a current list of our application tips: