If you are a Native American and looking for a way to support your higher education, then look no further! This Full Circle Scholarship by the American Indian College Fund is a financial aid open to Native Americans who are also full-time students.
It’s a sad reality that only 17% of Native Americans enroll in college after high school. Meanwhile, the national average for all students is about 70%. Of the Native American students who start college, 82% drop out before they finish.
This staggering number is mostly due to the lack of academic and financial resources available to many Native American students. Fortunately, Native American students who want to attend college have resources available now. One of them is the Full Circle Scholarship provided by American Indian College Fund.
This guide provides an overview of the scholarship that is available for Native American students attending tribal colleges all over the country. Keep reading to know more about the program.
About the Full Circle Scholarship
The Full Circle Scholarship is a program that is open to both general and tribal students. This program is available to undergraduate and postgraduate students. The Full Circle Scholarship provides academic financial assistance throughout the year and is administered by the American Indian College Fund.
While this is not a renewable scholarship, you have the opportunity to reapply once the two semesters are over.
American Indian College Fund is one of the nation’s largest charities supporting Native American students’ access to higher education. The foundation was founded in 1989. It provides scholarships, programming to improve Native American students’ access to higher education, the support, and tools for them to succeed, once they are there.
The College Fund also supports 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), most of which are chartered by tribal governments and are located on or near Indian reservations.
The College Fund awards up to $18,000 annually to successful candidates. You can use the scholarship to attend an accredited technical or vocational school, two-year college, four-year college, or graduate school in the United States.
It is important to understand the requirements of any scholarship program to which you are applying. Providing incorrect documentation will only decrease your success rate. Hence, make sure you read thoroughly the description of the conditions that you must satisfy.
Knowing that you are not eligible for a scholarship long after you have prepared everything for the application is a huge waste of time. Instead, you could have moved on and looked for another grant that you believe you are qualified for.
Luckily, the eligibility of the Full Circle Scholarship is clear and straightforward. If you meet the following conditions, then you may stand a chance to win the scholarship. To qualify for the program, you must:
- Be a Native American United States citizen who is a member or descendant of a state-recognized tribe.
- Earn at least a 2.0 GPA.
- Be enrolled as either a full-time undergraduate or graduate student at tribal, non-profit, and accredited schools in the United States.
Now that you understand the requirements, let’s take a look at what you need to do to apply for the Full Circle Scholarship.
How to Apply for a Full Circle Scholarship
The Required Documents
In addition to meeting the requirements, to qualify for this program, you must also provide some documents as part of its selection process. Here’s what you’ll need:
1. Digital Photo
The College Fund uses your application photo in donor reports, direct mail appeals to supporters, and on its website to inspire more supporters to give. Hence, it’s critical to present yourself in a way that portrays you in a positive light to donors. Upload a new photograph to submit alongside your application each year.
Your photo should depict you in a professional light. Your face should be clearly visible, meaning you should avoid submitting a photo with ball caps, sunglasses, or heavily pixilated or dark images.
Also, don’t forget to smile! Make sure your face is in focus and you are not in a side profile pose. Try to fill the frame with the most important part of the photo: you. The scenery may be nice, but remember, the College Fund wants to see your faces and show the donors who you are.
2. Tribal Affiliation
Examples of tribal documents may include:
- Official letter from the tribe stating the enrollment status of the parent and/or grandparent.
- A copy of the Tribal ID card.
- CIB (Certificate of Indian Blood).
It might take time and effort to compile the necessary documents, but remember that the time is well spent if it leads to scholarship funding!
Submit your most recent high school or college transcript. A copy of it is allowed, which means an official transcript is not required.
Before submitting your application, you will be asked to complete your profile here. The profile is the first thing you see when signing into the online application. There are four sections under your profile. They are “Basic Info,” “Documents”, “Address,” and “Application Information.”
Once you’ve filled out everything in the profile (or updated it, as a returning applicant) and clicked “Save,” you will be taken to a new page. Click on the Full Circle Scholarship. In the application, you will see your profile information again. If the information is correct, select “Next Step in Submit Application Process” at the bottom right of the screen.
The final page confirms your field of study and other information and allows you to paste your responses to the short-answer questions. A template for the short-answer questions is available for download here. In addition, you are prompted to upload your transcript (for the Full Circle application). You are now ready to select “Submit Application.”
Finally, you should receive a confirmation email once you’ve successfully submitted your application. If you do not receive an email (and you’ve checked your spam and junk folders), then your application was not submitted correctly and you should contact the College Fund immediately.
Full Circle scholarship applications are open from January 1 to May 31 each year. Since the application window is long, you can make the most of the opportunity to complete both your profile and application. The College Fund, as the organizer of the Full Circle Scholarship, will not consider incomplete or late submissions.
Then, you can expect to receive a notification of either an award or a decline in August. The College Fund will send you a letter if you are named a recipient.
Do you have additional questions about the Full Circle Scholarship? Or, do you want to check the status of your application? Feel free to contact a member of the College Fund’s Student Success Services team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 776-3863.
Official Website of the Full Circle Scholarship
Visit the American Indian College Fund at https://collegefund.org for more information about the Full Circle Scholarship.
While we provide guidance on the program, please note that this is a general post. We are not responsible for changes made unilaterally by the scholarship provider. However, we will try to update this information periodically.
You may also want to check out Navajo Nation Scholarship if you are looking for other resources for Native Americans.