Native American scholarship recipient Erika Yellowhair



I am Erika  Yellowhair from the Navajo Nation. I am currently studying Elementary Education and hope to return home to my school district with my PhD in Educational Leadership to become the superintendent and a member of the Navajo Nation Board of Education.

I’m from Sonastee, New Mexico. I lived in a one-bedroom house with seven of my relatives. There wasn’t cell phone service. I didn’t have any drawers and kept my clothes in a tote and drove an hour to get back and forth from school. I always thought this was a normal way of life but I’ve since realized it’s not, but I wouldn’t change how I lived. Money has never been something I’ve had a lot of. Growing up my family and I were comfortable, but we were not well off. My dad worked as a supervisor in a construction company and when the 2008 housing market crashed in Phoenix my family lost our house and we were forced to go home to Sonastee where my parents have struggled with work ever since. My mom eventually took a job as a teacher and has worked as an educator since. We’ve been homeless many times but I looked at it as a normal thing. We’ve lived with family almost all my life and even now my parents and my siblings don’t currently have a place to live.

This may make my parents seem idle, but they are two of the most hard-working people I know. They’ve never been without a job and have always provided for my siblings and I’s needs. It was these obstacles that helped my parents realize that they needed to go back to school. My mom is going to grad school for Special Education and my dad is in his last year of his civil engineering program at the University of Utah.

Money is not the only obstacle I’ve had to face coming to school. When I first started college, I was originally in a major that I was not prepared for. It was hard to do the work that some students had already been doing for a year in high school and I was catching up and learning new material along with them. It soon became apparent that it was not my major not only because my grades did not reflect my work ethic, but it would not lead me to my overall goal of becoming a superintendent.

I left BYU for a year to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and while on my mission I experienced many hard things, one being many health concerns, but I continued to work as hard as my body would allow. I was eventually sent home early due to my increasing health concerns. My first semester back at BYU I had clarity on what I wanted to do and the necessary steps to get there. However, my new health concerns were something I was still learning to manage. I was finally diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis because they had yet to determine the specific type of arthritis I have. This health condition can be very hard to manage when first diagnosed for many people as it was for me. It can also come with other health concerns. There were times throughout the semester I was unable to physically get out of bed and had to have a lot of help from others. Being 20 and having to use a cane to walk everywhere can be a humbling experience and for some it may be detrimental, but I tried as best as I could, but it was not at a level I’m proud of. I had to drop a class and was always late, if I showed up at all, to my morning classes because I’d wake up stiff from my arthritis. I knew I had to change my life as a student to match my new obstacles and by winter semester I had eliminated some of my stressors from my routine such as my job and clubs.

Having all these circumstances may make it seem like I have had a hard life and I wouldn’t argue, but to say I haven’t learned something from each challenge life has brought would be untrue. It is your help and donation that gives me hope in hopeless times. This year will be hard on my family and I without a doubt. Any financial support I receive is truly an honor and I will continue to work as hard as I can to be worthy of it. I thank you for all your support. I will pay it forward to those I help in my future profession and my family as well.

– Erika Yellowhair

Help Native American Students Today



AIS Scholarship Alumni Crystal Tulley Cordova scholarships for STEM Majors

Scholarships For STEM Majors


Scholarships For STEM Majors

We love our STEM majors at American Indian Services, and we have a lot of them. 49% of our students are majoring in STEM related fields. They are moving toward careers that will benefit the Native American community, and the nation as a whole. We believe in the power of STEM so much that we even created a STEM summer school for Native American middle schoolers to help prepare them to become STEM majors and pursue STEM careers. We created a list of scholarships for STEM majors to further support our future STEM superstars. Our goal is to get you all the funding you need so that you can keep your focus on studying where it belongs. So once you’ve finished your American Indian Services scholarship application, return to this list to find more funding resources. To apply for scholarships with maximum efficiency, check out this guide we created to aid you in your search.


List Of Scholarships For STEM Majors


The 2021 Capital Auto Auction Annual Scholarship

Capital Auto Auction will award a selected student applicant $1,000 to be used toward his or her degree. In addition, they will award a $250 textbook scholarship to the two runners-up.

To qualify, undergraduate students must be majoring in a STEM field of study (or related field) as well as attending an accredited college or university.

The deadline to apply for the 2021 Capital Auto Auction Annual College Scholarship is August 15, 2021. Winners will be announced August 30, 2021


Red Olive Women In STEM Scholarship

Red Olive offers a $1,000 scholarship to encourage female students to study in STEM fields.

Must be a female student currently enrolled or planning to enroll in a fully accredited university in a STEM field.

Applicant must write an 800-word essay on the following question: How does she plan to make the future better with technology? Applicant must submit essay and required information online through the scholarship URL.

Deadline is August 1st.


2020 Molded Dimensions, LLC Scholarship

Molded Dimensions offers scholarships for students in the process of pursuing a college degree in STEM. The awarded student will receive $500 to be used towards expenses for his or her degree.

Must be a U.S. citizen accepted to or currently attending a college or university within the United States. The winner will be required to provide proof of acceptance to your college or university, or a college transcript.

November 30th.


NDSGC American Indian Scholarships

The North Dakota Space Grant Consortium gives scholarships to Native American students who are interested in pursuing STEM degrees and continue their education beyond their current enrollment in community college.

Applicants must be students committed to attend UND or NDSU after the applicants’ graduation and pursue a STEM degree at UND/NDSU.

Applicants must contact the Financial Aid office for their respective Institution, and fill out the application form together with applicants’ one letter or recommendation from a faculty member.

Deadline is November 14th.


Science Mathematics And Research for Transformation

The SMART Program provides a combined education and career opportunity to students pursuing STEM degrees that will enhance the Department of Defense (DoD) civilian workforce.

SMART offers a large package of benefits to qualified candidates:

  • Full tuition and education related educational expenses (meal plans, housing, and parking not included)
  • Stipend paid at a rate of $25,000 – $38,000 a year depending on degree level (may be prorated depending on award length)
  • Summer internships ranging from 8 to 12 weeks
  • Health Insurance allowance of up to $1,200 per academic year
  • Miscellaneous allowance of up to $1,000 per academic year
  • An experienced mentor at one of the Sponsoring Facilities
  • Employment placement at a DoD facility upon degree completion.

The SMART application is open August through December of every year, with awards being granted the following spring. Review the requirements here to ensure you are eligible to apply.




Hustle - How To Apply For Scholarships

How To Apply For Scholarships Like A Machine

How To Apply For Scholarships Like A Machine

Applying for scholarships can feel like a huge, overwhelming task. You have to fill out a bunch of forms, gather financial documents, take a professional looking bio photo, write letter after letter… It can feel like a full time job in and of itself.

But there is one great thing about applying for scholarships – laying down the groundwork pays dividends to the process. Once you do the initial tasks of gathering everything you need for one application, applying for the next ten scholarships becomes so much easier.

This article is going to show you how to apply for scholarships in a way that is organized, efficient, and maximally productive. With a little legwork you can get the scholarships you need so that you can focus on school rather than finances, and get that degree.


Getting Started

Some scholarship and grant application deadlines are as early as a year before you begin classes. So the best time to start your scholarship search is the summer between your junior and senior year of high school. But if you’re getting started later than that, don’t worry! There will still be plenty of scholarship opportunities available to you. And you can always apply for the scholarships that you missed next year.

The first thing that you’ll need to do is create a Google account if you don’t already have one. This will give you access to Google Sheets and allow you to create email reminders for your application deadlines. These will be essential tools in organizing your search.

Next, create a Google Sheet where you will enter all of the necessary information for your search. Give it a title like “Scholarship Search” or “Scholarship Masterplan.” Then input the following column headers:

Scholarship Title

Due Date (Month/Date/Year)

Submit By Mail Or Online?

Online Application Link

Mailing Address

Email Address

Required Documents

Submitted Date (Month/Date/Year)

Next Deadline (Month/Date/Year)

As you conduct your scholarship search, enter all of the information for each scholarship into the corresponding columns. Add columns if there are any extra items of information you’ll need to gather for your application.

But remember, before you put a scholarship into your sheet, read the qualifications with care. You don’t want to waste time applying for scholarships that you don’t qualify for.

To get your feet wet, visit our scholarship page and carefully read the qualifications. Then, if you qualify, enter all the information into your sheet that you’ll need to apply for the American Indian Services scholarship.

With all of this information in one place you’ll know exactly what you need to do to apply for each scholarship and when you need to submit.


Start Your Scholarship Search

The first thing you’ll want to do is go to your schools for help. Your high school counselor and/or the financial aid office at your college will be able to help you find scholarships that might be hard to find online because they’re specific to your school or area.

After that, talk to your employer or have your parents talk to their employer about the tuition funding opportunities that they offer. Many major companies offer tuition assistance to their employees and their families.

Next, hit the internet. Start with a search on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Scholarship Search Tool. There are also federal grants and state grants available for low income students. After you’ve exhausted your school and government resources, then you can try sites like There you can find lists of scholarships that fit your unique qualifications for aid.


Set Up Reminders

Now that you’ve found all of the scholarships you want to apply for, you’ll need to set up due date reminders. You can easily set up email reminders using the Google Sheet that you’ve created so that you never miss a deadline.

First, go to the menu on your Google Sheet and click Add-Ons. In the submenu click Get Add-Ons. Next, search for an Add-On called Add Reminders and install it. Once installed, you’ll see that the Add Reminders menu automatically comes up on the right side of the sheet.

Using Add Reminders, set up reminders that will be sent to you 1 week before each deadline. You can also have the reminders sent to a parent or friend. That way they can help make sure that you’re staying on top of your applications.


Complete your FAFSA

The very first application you should fill out in order to get funding is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It’s a great funding resource and many scholarship opportunities require that you’ve completed one. It also has the added benefit of helping you get all of your financial and identification documents together.


Get Your Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood

To apply for scholarships for Native Americans you will frequently need to provide proof of heritage. Usually you will do this by providing your Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. To do this you will first need to contact your tribe to make sure that you are enrolled, have at least one parent or grandparent who is enrolled, or to get enrolled in your tribe. Once you have your certificate of enrollment, or proof of relationship to an enrolled member, you will need to fill out an application with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  (To provide proof of relationship to an enrolled member you will need your birth certificate if the relation is a parent. If the relation is a grandparent you will need your birth certificate and their death certificate or your parent’s birth certificate.)


Write A Letter Template

Many scholarships require that you submit a letter about yourself. This may seem like a burden to you but it’s very important for the organization giving you funding. It helps them get to know you and your writing abilities, which is a good indicator of whether you’ll be a student worth investing in. Remember that when organizations give you funding, they’re investing in your future. They want to make sure that they’re making a good investment.

But writing a new letter for each scholarship will take a ton of time and energy, right? Actually, it doesn’t have to. You can drastically cut down on the time it will take to write these letters by creating a letter template. Once you’ve created the template all you have to do is add or subtract a bit from the template to create letters that meet the scholarship’s requirements.

Most scholarship letters want to know similar things. Be sure to include answers to the following commonly asked questions in your letter template:

  • Who are you? You can answer this by saying where you grew up, what your family/community is like, and/or what your hobbies and interests are.


  • What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them? It can be hard to open up to strangers, but keep in mind that no one is expecting you to go in depth into the tough stuff you’ve dealt with. It’s enough to briefly mention what you went through in a sentence or two. The most important part is to talk about how you dealt with those difficulties and how they made you a stronger person.


  • What are your hopes and dreams, and how do you plan to achieve them? Let them know what you want your career to be and what inspired you to start down this path. Create a step by step plan for how you’re going to get from where you are today, to where you want to be ten years from now. Include what you want your major and minor to be, whether you want to get a master’s or doctorate, if you want to do internships, where you’d like to work, and what position you’d like to have. The more specific you are the easier it is for the reader to believe in your dream.


  • How will you give back to your community? If you are involved in any community activities currently, name your involvement and tell them what exactly it is that you do. Show how you’re making an impact. Also, make a plan of how you will be involved after you graduate. If you want to be a doctor, you could plan to do service at free clinics. If you want to own a business, you could create a business plan that includes charitable contributions. Or you could become a mentor in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program. Do some brainstorming about how your community needs you and what you’ll do to fill that need. Again, be specific.


  • How will this scholarship help you? Let the reader know how the scholarship will help you in meeting your unique needs. I read one thank you letter from a student who said that before he got his scholarship he was making creative plans to afford college. He was looking into sharing a single room with three other guys. And he was also making a grocery budget where he could only afford ramen, and beans and rice. It tugged at my heartstrings. Another letter I read mentioned that she had ridden her bike through rain and snow to get to school every day, and the scholarship helped her afford to buy a used car. These unique details made the letters memorable and made me want to make sure that the student got funding.


  • Lastly, thank the reader for considering you. Tell them how much you appreciate the service that they provide. Let them know that they are making a difference for students like you. Mention that they are helping you achieve your dreams and will be instrumental in your success. These scholarship providers will be your partners as you pursue an education and it’s important to recognize them as such.

If you aren’t confident in your writing abilities, go to your school’s writing center and ask for help. If your school doesn’t have a writing center, you can ask a teacher or counselor to help you.


Ordering Transcripts

Ordering your high school and college transcripts can be a bit of a pain. You have to fill out a form every time you order one, some offices require that you deliver the form in person rather than online, and it usually requires a fee for each copy sent.

To make the process easier, order the transcripts in bulk. This is where searching for all your scholarships first and organizing their mailing addresses into one place comes in handy. You can order most or all of your transcript copies be sent out in one go. And that will save you a lot of time and effort.

Just be sure to check with your transcript office if you can order transcripts in bulk. And check with the scholarship organization to see whether you can send the transcript in advance of your application.


Don’t Forget To Reapply

Many funding opportunities will provide you with funds throughout your educational career, but they require reapplication. Make sure you’re updating those reapplication deadlines and requirements in your sheet and creating new reminders with the Add Reminder tool.


For some great advice on how to take a great applicant photo and other tips check out our FAQ page.



Devon Hall headshot

Student Highlight August 2020

Devon Hall is our August American Indian Services Scholarship Recipient Student Highlight. Devon overcame addiction and is driven to help others in his community do the same. Please read below about this admirable student and learn why we are proud to be funding his future!

My name is Devon Eagle Hall. I am a proud member of the Gros Ventre Tribe of Fort Belknap, Montana. Born in Seattle, WA, and raised in Olympia, WA, I lived right down the road from the Nisqually reservation where I am an active and positive member in the community. I attend and help set up and prepare for potlucks, sweat lodges, community dinners, and wellbriety meetings. I am looking into volunteer mentor positions in the native community as well as public speaking on my experience with addiction.

My role in the community has not always been so positive. My family has suffered from addiction, which caused financial stress as well.  I also suffered from addiction and have a troubled past to say the least. I am not proud of my past but I would not change a thing. My unique life experiences have given me the tools I need to help people in native communities. I have come a long way from where I was a year ago. With hard work, drive, and dedication I will continue my progress through school and life.

My educational goals are to obtain my A.A. then seek employment, and then go back for my B.A. I want to help as many people that suffer from addiction as possible. My first step is to become a Chemical Dependency counselor but my ambitious aspirations will certainly take me to other explorations. I am a leader in my own right; I am breaking the cycle of addiction in my family. Already I have an internship set up with the Evergreen Counsel on Problem Gambling. We have discussed me working with youth and public speaking and eventually getting a job with them once I have attained a degree.

The health of our people our native community is a big concern of mine especially when it comes to addiction. I know first-hand how addiction can affect a child, a family, and a parent. I have experienced addiction from many angles. There are good people that just got dealt bad hands. I understand that there are people who really want to do better and succeed and just don’t have the tools or anyone that believes in them. My past experiences and the knowledge that there are others out there that are going through what I went through and felt how I did. There are families that suffered like mine did, is all the motivation I need to push to make a change.

I hope that this paper sheds a little light on how grateful I am for this life, and how passionate I am about helping our people that suffer from addiction like I once did.  There is still a lot of progress to make in the chemical dependency field especially in the Native American community. And I believe that I am part of that progress. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Help Devon and students like him as they pursue their dreams. Donate to the American Indian Services Scholarship Program today.