Among the grants that are available to Native American students include the Bureau of Indian Education Higher Education Grant and the Indian Health Service Program. Both these federal grant opportunities are administered by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) in cooperation with the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities (WHITCO), notes the CollegeScholarship.org website.
The Bureau of Indian Education Higher Education Grant and the Indian Health Service Scholarship Program are available exclusively for Native Americans and Alaska Natives. Applicants should have at least one-quarter of American Indian heritage and be able to prove their ancestry with accepted documentation, states CollegeScholarship.org.
Before applying for the grant, applicants should research their ancestry using their birth certificates, family records and their tribal history. Applicants can also consult the Dawes Rolls, which are census records detailing the native tribal people recognized by the Dawes Commission. These tribal groups include the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole tribes.
Once applicants have gathered the sufficient documentation and are able to prove their Native American heritage, they should then apply for a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) from the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. The CDIB is a standard requirement for all aid programs exclusively for Native Americans and it will serve as proof of ancestry when applying for any of the educational grants mentioned earlier.