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Washington State University
Native American Students

Find support at WSU

Native American Programs facilitates and coordinates Native American early outreach, recruitment, and community relations.  We share responsibility for the recruitment of Native American students by working closely with the WSU Office of Admissions and Student Financial Services.

The Native American Outreach Coordinator is here to answer any questions you might have about admissions, financial aid, or student life at WSU. We welcome the opportunity to answer your questions, host you on campus, and share what we think are the best things about being a Native Coug!

Once you are a student at WSU, the Native American Student Center is your home away from home, providing cultural and social events, a computer lab with free printing, student advocacy and support, and a safe and inviting place to relax, study, and network!


Apply for Scholarships

WSU General Scholarship

The WSU General Scholarship is open to all WSU students, and one application allows you to be considered for over 700 scholarships, including several scholarships that target Native students: Academic Achievement/Diversity Scholarship, Alumni Association Leadership Awards, Creighton Scholarship, Muckleshoot Scholarship, NACI-Hanes Scholarship.

WSU Native American Programs

WSU Native American Programs administers two scholarships for Native students, the MOU Tribal Scholarship and the Plateau Native American Scholarship.

  • MOU Tribal Scholarship
    Awards are $4000 per year for new incoming students, who are members of a tribe that is signatory to a Memorandum of Understanding with WSU, including:  Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Colville Confederated Tribes, Confederated Tribes of the Salish and Kootenai, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, Cowlitz Tribe, Kalispel Tribe, Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, Nez Perce Tribe, Quinault Tribe, Spokane Tribe, and Yakama Nation.
    DEADLINE:  Feb 1
  • Plateau Native American Scholarship
    Amount varies.  Requirements: Enrolled members from Coeur d’Alene, Colville, CSKT, Umatilla, Kalispel, Klamath, Kootenai, Nez Perce, Spokane, Yakama OR from a tribe known as Plateau Salishan, Sahaptian or Kootenai, OR from Warm Springs or Cowlitz if of Sahaptian speaking descent. 2.5 GPA required. Renewable.
    DEADLINE: February 15

WSU Departmental Scholarships for Native American Students

Talk to your department or advisor and find out what scholarships are available through your major department.  Applications, award amounts & deadlines vary!

  • Eva Feryl Peterson Scholarship
    (Department of English)

    Awarded to graduate or undergraduate Native American women interested in pursuing a graduate degree in English. Recipients may receive up to $3,000 total.
  • Eva Feryl Peterson Fellowship
    (Department of English)

    For Native American women and will be chosen on the basis of qualifications for graduate study and motivation to complete a Master of Arts degree program in English. Recipients will receive a stipend of $2000 per year, for two years, normally to supplement a Teaching Assistantship.
  • Clyde Harry Backus Scholarship
    (School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science)
    Used to assist students in electrical engineering or related fields.  Preference given to Native American students. Must have at least a 3.2 GPA.
    DEADLINE:  May 1
  • Jay and Retha Inghram Rockey Scholarship
    (Murrow School of Communication)
    Used to recruit and recognize incoming freshmen students who will major in communications. Preference will be given to Nez Perce or Native American students demonstrating an interest in the field of public relations.
  • Muriel Dawley Award
    (School of Music)
    Amount varies. Scholarship recipients can be either undergraduate or graduate students. Award is based on talent and need. Applications are on the School of Music’s website.
    DEADLINE: Auditions are in January and application materials are due Mar 1.

Outside Scholarships

You may also qualify for scholarships awarded by foundations, corporations, and civic groups. WSU Native American Programs has a list of Outside Scholarships that specifically target Native students.

There are literally thousands of them out there. Use SFS’s handy scholarship search tool to find scholarships you can apply for.

Your Tribal Higher Education Office

Be sure to touch base with your Tribe’s Education Office. Many Tribes offer scholarships for their tribal members who are attending college. Find out when the deadlines are and how to apply!

American Indian College Fund

The American Indian College Fund provides about 6,000 scholarships for American Indian (or descendant) graduate and undergraduate students each year.


American Indian Education Foundation

The AIEF program is one of the United States’ largest grantors of scholarships to Native Americans, providing nearly $450,000 to about 225 graduate and undergraduate students each year.


American Indian Endowed Scholarship

Washington Student Achievement Council scholarship for Washington residents with financial need and ties to an American Indian community.

DEADLINE: February 1

American Indian Graduate Center Scholarships

AIGC provides financial support for American Indians and Alaska Natives seeking higher education in a variety of fields, and supports them in attaining undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees.

DEADLINE: varies – many May 1

American Chemistry Society Scholars Program

ACS awards renewable scholarships to underrepresented minority students who wish to pursue a career in chemistry or related fields. Awards of up to $5,000 are given to qualified African American, Native American and Hispanic students.


American Indian Science and Engineering Society

National scholarships awarded to members of AISES who are American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) college students pursuing academic degrees in the sciences, engineering, medicine, natural resources, and math.

DEADLINE: March 31

AISES – Columbia River Professional Chapter

Scholarships for Native American undergrads or grad students who are pursuing science degrees at universities in the Pacific Northwest (ID, OR, WA)


American Indian Services Scholarships

Requirements: Undergraduate student enrolled in a university, college, junior college or technical school, 1/4 Native American blood.  Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.25.

DEADLINE:  May 1 for fall

Association on American Indian Affairs

AAIA has eight scholarship programs for graduate and undergraduate students. All scholarships are for students who are from federally recognized tribes and who are at least 1/4 Indian blood, except one scholarship that is specifically for members of tribes that are not federally recognized.


Catching the Dream Scholarships

Recipients must be 1/4 or more American Indian and enrolled member of a tribe.  Scholarships range from $500-$5000.

DEADLINE: April 15 for Fall, Sept 15 for Spring, March 15 for Summer

Cobell Scholarship

The Cobell Scholarship is a non-renewable competitive scholarship that provides one-year of scholarship support to enrolled members (or verified descendents) of US Federally-recognized tribes with strong academic records who can demonstrate financial need.

DEADLINE: March 31

DAR American Indian Scholarships

All awards are judged based on financial need and academic achievement.  This scholarship is intended to help Native American college/university and technical school students of any age, any tribe, in any state at the undergraduate or graduate level.


Indian Health Service (IHS)

The Indian Health Service Scholarship provides full tuition and fees, books, uniforms, equipment, travel, insurance, national board exams, travel for clinical training, and a stipend for students majoring in health professions, engineering, and accounting.


Intertribal Timber Council – Truman D. Picard Scholarship

Scholarships for Native American students pursuing higher education in Natural Resources. $2500

DEADLINE: March 13

Native American Journalists Association

To  be  eligible  to  receive  the  scholarship,  applicants  must  be  enrolled  juniors,  seniors,  or  graduate  students  at  an  accredited  university  in  the  United  States  pursuing  a  degree  in  digital  media/journalism/communications  with  a  commitment  to  storytelling.

DEADLINE: April 30

Nez Perce Trail Foundation Scholarship

Three scholarships awarded to Native Americans students. $500

DEADLINE:  July 15

Northwest Indian Housing Association Educational Scholarship

Must be an enrolled member of a tribe that participates in Northwest Indian Housing Association (see list of voting members).  Must be less than 24 years old, and have been accepted to a 2 or 4 year higher education institution.

Postmark DEADLINE: March 25

Society for American Archaeology Native American Scholarships

Open to all Native peoples from anywhere in the Americas, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Indigenous Pacific Islanders. To support Native American students studying archaeology, including but not limited to tuition, travel, food, housing, books, supplies, equipment, and child care (up to $5,000 UG/$10,000 Graduate Students).

DEADLINE: December 15

Steven R. Nelson Native Educator Scholarship Program

This scholarship program strives to increase Native representation in the field of education by providing financial support, mentoring, and internships for Native students in the Northwest who are pursuing a master’s degree in education policy, leadership, technical assistance, research, or a closely related field.

DEADLINE: March 31

Udall Scholarship

Scholarships for sophomore and junior level Native American and Alaska Native college students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to tribal public policy, Native American education, justice, natural resource management, cultural preservation and revitalization, economic development, health care,  social work, and other related fields. $7000


Washington Indian Gaming Association

Requirements: Students pursuing degrees at community and technical colleges, four-year colleges, and post-graduate and professional schools are eligible. Scholarship recipients are students who come from or attend school in Washington State.

DEADLINE: March 31

Washington State Indian Education Association

WSIEA offers a High School Merit Award Scholarship of $500 and a Higher Ed Merit Award of $1000. Tribally enrolled or descendant. Must be a Washington resident.


Washington State Opportunity Scholarship

Supports low- and middle-income students pursuing eligible high-demand majors in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) or health care and encourages recipients to work in Washington state once they complete their degrees.


Wilson-Hooper Veterinary Medicine Assistance Program

The Wilson-Hooper Veterinary Medicine Assistance Program provides scholarships to students pursuing veterinary medicine and veterinary technician degrees. If you love animals and possess the desire to pursue a degree at an accredited college or university, you may be qualified for funding from the Wilson-Hooper Vet Med Assistance Program.


Submit Tribal Documentation

In order to qualify for scholarships from WSU, you need to have proof of your tribal enrollment on file with SFS. This can be either a copy of your tribal ID or another document from your tribe with your enrollment status. Submit those documents HERE.

American Indian Residency Bill

Students from many regional tribes are eligible for in-state tuition
In 1994, the Washington state legislature passed a bill allowing American Indian students who meet the following two conditions to be eligible for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities in the state of Washington.

  1. Students must have lived in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington for one year immediately prior to enrolling in college.
  2. Students must be members of federally-recognized Indian tribes whose traditional tribal boundaries included portions of the state of Washington, or whose tribe was granted reserved lands within the state of Washington.

For example, a Spokane tribal member who lives in Oregon, could attend WSU without having to pay out-of-state tuition because they are from a Washington tribe and live in Oregon.  Likewise, a Kootenai student from Idaho would also be eligible for in-state tuition because their tribe’s traditional boundaries included territory in Washington.

Read the legislation here.

To establish residency using the American Indian Residency Bill, students should send proof of their tribal enrollment to the WSU Registrar’s Office.  The Registrar’s Office may be emailed regarding residency questions at

Eligible tribes:

  1. All federally-recognized  tribes located within the state of Washington
  2. Coeur d’Alene Tribe
  3. Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes
  4. Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
  5. Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
  6. Kootenai Tribe of Idaho
  7. Nez Perce Tribe