$1 Million in Scholarships Now Available to Native Students Through AIGC

The American Indian Graduate Centers’ new Empowering Scholars Initiative will allow the organization to help more Native students than ever. (Courtesy American Indian Graduate Center)

The Empowering Scholars Initiative has been established by the American Indian Graduate Center in honor of Native American Heritage Month, and will help the Center provide even more funding to Native students who need it, especially during the current global pandemic.

“The impacts of COVID-19 have created additional challenges for our scholars to stay in college and exacerbated the need for scholarships. We have seen a significant increase (15 percent) in the number of requests for part-time funding due to the impacts of the pandemic. We also continue to address emergency needs of our scholars,” said Angelique Albert, Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, American Indian Graduate Center Executive Director. “Since the start of the pandemic, we have supported 14 percent of our scholars with funding for basic necessities like food and shelter so they could continue on their educational path. These are the realities of what Native students are facing right now and it is our responsibility to ensure we are working to meet these needs. We are committed to providing all the necessary tools for Native students to be successful in college and beyond.”

Since its beginning, the American Indian Graduate Center has helped 16,000 Native students with scholarships, but more is always needed; the organization is not able to assist some 82 percent of the students who apply for scholarships due to funding.

AIGC says the Empowering Scholars Initiative is a pivotal step to change that.

“With 50 years of data and informed best practices, American Indian Graduate Center has the expertise to identify the most critical needs of our scholars and implement effective solutions — and that is exactly what we’ve done in the Empowering Scholars Initiative. We have been given the opportunity to create programming that has a generational impact on Indian Country and we intend to empower as many scholars as possible,” Albert said.

This initiative aims to fund 53 percent more Native students than the previous year, and will be divided into four categories: Direct Scholarships, Student Relief Scholarships, Community Impact Research Scholarships, and American Indian Graduate Center Access Scholarships.

Native students interested in applying for scholarships can visit​ ​Scholarships and Fellowships​ or contact ​fellowships@aigcs.org​.

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