BHSU Center for American Indian Studies - Scholarships

For all BHSU scholarship information, check out the BHSU Scholarships page. 

  • Jo Marie Ruddell Scholarship Fund for International and Native American Students - Criteria:  International or Native American student who is a sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate maintaining a 2.5 GPA
  • John E. Hess Scholarship - Criteria: Native American South Dakota resident with a minimum 2.0 GPA, must be enrolled in 16 credit hours
  • Meyers,DeYoung and Schwalm Scholarship - Criteria: Junior or senior,full-time student, minimum 2.75 GPA, South Dakota resident from Midland and/or Stanley, Jones, Jackson (on Pine Ridge Reservation), or Haakon County, special consideration given to financial need
  • Merlyn and Shirley Aman Scholarship - Criteria: Majoring in music, preference given to students from Mobridge first, Standing Rock Reservation Tribal members second, followed by any transfer student from Sitting Bull College
  • Williams and Ree Scholarship - Criteria: Majoring in music, preference given to Native Americans
  • Sam DeCory Memorial Scholarship - Criteria:  College of Arts & Sciences major, preference will be given to American Indian Students
  • Kevin Whirlwind Horse Memorial Scholarship - Criteria: Each year, one $500 scholarship is presented to an American Indian sophomore who demonstrates outstanding academic ability and leadership skills
  • Crazy Horse Memorial Journalism Scholarship - Criteria:  A Native American student attending or planning to attend a college to pursue journalism as a career.
  • Anne Ziolkowski/Christensen Rodeo Scholarship- Criteria: A Native American students participating in Rodeo.


FAFSA on the Web - U.S. Department of Education
Financial Aid for Native American Students
Grants, Internships and Scholarships For Native Americans


Non-BHSU Scholarships

Non-BHSU Scholarships (no deadline listed online)

Non-BHSU Scholarships

January Deadlines

February Deadlines

  • Association of American Indian Affairs - Adolph Van Pelt Scholarship, Emilie Hesemeyer Memorial Scholarship, Emergency Aid and others. Check website in late February for details.
  •  Dakota Corps Scholarship Program - Full undergraduate tuition and fees at a public South Dakota Institution, a public technical school or a tribal school. Must have a 2.8 GPA and a 24 or greater on the ACT. Must agree to work in South Dakota in a critical needs area for as many years as you receive the scholarship, plus one year. Deadline: February 1.
  • Yankton College Scholarship - Several $1,000 scholarships open to graduating seniors who have a relative that attended or worked at Yankton College. Must have an ACT of 21 or higher and at least a 2.5 also will need a transcript and letters of recommendation. Deadline: February 11
  • Sports Quest Playing with Purpose Scholarship - $500 scholarship to college of choice. Selection as an All-American Athlete can also increase the opportunity for other scholarships. Deadline: February 13.  
  • American Indian Services - Amount varies. Requires 2.23 GPA, financial need, certificate of Indian blood, transcript and less than 150 semester credits. Deadlines: February 15, if starting in April or May, May 15 for classes starting in June, August 15 for classes starting in Aug. or September, November 15 for classes starting in January.
  • Al-Neuharth Free Spirit Scholarship - The annual Al Neuharth Free Spirit Scholarship and Journalism Conference program awards $1,000 college scholarships to rising high school seniors who are interested in pursuing a career in journalism. Application must include the completed application, journalistic work, two essays, letters of reference, high school transcript and color headshot photo. Deadline: February 15.
  • KFC Colonel's Scholars Program - Up to $5,000 per year ($20,000 total) for tuition, fees, books and room and board. Dedicated to assisting students with financial need who plan to pursue a bachelor's degree at a public institution within their legal state of residence. Must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher. Online applications are available from December 1 through mid-February.
  • Indian Health Service - Northern Plains Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH) Scholarship Program. Helps support the American Indian students who are pursuing an education in the health field or those currently working in tribal health who wish to pursue general education. Funds are provided directly to students for tuition, books, and living expenses. Must be members of a federally recognized tribe. Deadline: February 27.
  • South Dakota Board of Regents- Ardell Bjugstad Scholarship Program for Native American High School Seniors, deadline: February 22nd,2013.


March Deadlines

  • American Indian Education Foundation Scholarship Program - Open to Native Americans enrolling full-time in a 2 or 4 year college, university, or vocational technical school. Extra points if application is submitted by March 1. Deadline: April 4
  • Northern Plains Eye Foundation of Rapid City - $1,000 scholarships, awarded to high school seniors planning to enter full-time, post-high school education in health-care related studies. Awards are based on GPA 3.8 or above, academic merit, extracurricular activities, health-care related activities, leadership and two letters of recommendation. Deadline: March 1. 
  • South Dakota Agri-Business Association Scholarship - $1,000 scholarship. Applicant may be a high school senior or registered freshman, sophomore, or junior at a SD University or Technical school who will/is majoring in agriculture. Deadline: March 1.
  • Scott Mecham Better Business Bureau Student of Integrity Awards - One $2,000 scholarship for a South Dakota high school senior or junior who plans to continue education after high school graduation. Must be nominated by a principal, teacher or guidance counselor. Deadline: March 4.
  • Catching The Dream - will fund high achieving Native American Indian students in the fields of math, engineering, science, business, education and computers. Applicants: Must be 1/4 or more degree American Indian, and be an enrolled member of a US tribe. Deadline: April 15 for fall semester, September 15 for spring semester, March 15 for summer school. 
  • Sioux Falls Community Foundation Scholarship - Most of the scholarship applications are available online. Generally, they are posted on or about the 15th of December for the coming academic year. Scholarships that are active have a "Download Application" button to the right of the description.
    • Joe Foss...An American Hero Scholarship - Applicants who plan to attend an accredited college or university or vocational or technical school are eligible. GPA of 3.5 or better and a minimum ACT score of 21. Award: $1,000. Deadline: March 15
    •  Fred & Marie Christopherson Scholarship - Applicants who plan to attend a four-year college or university in South Dakota are eligible. Minimum GPA of 3.9 after seven semesters, and have  a minimum ACT score of 28. Award: $2,500. Deadline: March 15.
    • Fool Soldier Scholarship - Award is open to descendant of the Fool Soldiers. Eligible applicants must provide their descendant. GPA of 2.0 or higher, plan to attend an accredited college, university, or technical school. Award: $400. Deadline: March 15.  
    • Kimberly Rose Means Native American Council of Tribes Scholarship - Enrolled members of a South Dakota Native American tribe or South Dakota tribal member who plan on returning to school after an absence. GPA or 2.0 or higher. Award: $500. Deadline: March 15
    • Osmann Family Native American Scholarship - Applicants must plan to attend a college in the South Dakota university system or a vocational or technical school in Sioux falls, Watertown, Mitchell, or Rapid City. GPA of 2.5 or higher after seven semesters of high school. Award: $1,000. Deadline: March 15
  • American Cancer Society - Scholarship for Young People who are Cancer Survivors- $1,000. Must have been diagnosed with cancer before they age of 21 and currently under the age of 25. Deadline: March 15
  • Intertribal Timber Council - Truman D. Picard Scholarship, $1,500 for high school seniors and $2,000 for college students. Open to Native American students pursuing higher education in Natural Resources. Deadline: March 18
  • Brown Foundation Teacher Quest Scholarship Program - Scholarships of up to $1,000 awarded to students of color wishing to attend college and major in education. Deadline: March 30
  • Casey Family Programs and Orphan Foundation of American Foster Care Scholarships - Up to $10,000 per year for youth who meet one of the three criteria 1) foster care for one consecutive year at age 18; 2) taken into legal guardianship out of foster care after age 16; 3) lost both parents to death after age 16 or before age 18 and not adopted or placed into a guardianship. Must also be under age 25. Application process open from January 1 until March 31.


April Deadlines

  • Accenture American Indian Scholarship - Up to $20,000. Able to demonstrate involvement with or measurable interests in Native American activities or affairs and be a member of the tribes. GPA of 3.25 at the end of the 7th semester of high school. Applications available online starting in April. 
  • Daughters of the American Revolution American Indian Scholarship - $1,000 award, open to Native Americans who an show proof of ancestry. Deadline: April 1
  • American Indian Education Foundation - $2,000 per year. Open to Native American students attending a 2 or 4 year college or university, or technical or vocational school. GPA: 2.0-3.4 and ACT score of 14 or above. Extra points if turned in by March 1. Deadline: April 4.
  • South Dakota Retailers Association - Jerry Wheeler Scholarships and other scholarships ranging from $300-$1,000. Applicants must be enrolled full-time for the fall semester. Deadline: April 9.
  • Catching the Dream - Applicants: Must be 1/4 or more degree American Indian, and be an enrolled member of a US tribe. Have a high GPA, have a high ACT or SAT score. Deadline: April 15 for the fall semester, September 15 for spring semester, March 15 for summer school. 
  • Indian Health Service - Check on line for available scholarships. Recipients incur a one-year service obligation to the Indian Health Service for each year of support for a minimum of two years. Deadline: April 28.

May Deadlines

  • Sertoma Club Scholarship - $1,000 scholarship to cover tuition,  boks, and supplies. Student must have a minimum 40dB bilateral hearing loss, be a US citizen, entering college on a full time basis to pursue a bachelor's degree, have a minimum 3.2 GPA. Deadline: May 1
  • Associated General Contractors of South Dakota, Inc. - Open to beginning or first year students who are enrolled in a construction-related education program at a college-university or technical institute. Applicants must have a desire to pursue a highway-heavy construction career and be sponsored by a Highway-Heavy-Utilities Chapter member. Deadline: May 1 
  • Native Vision Scholarship - Scholarships for outstanding American Indian young people with a commitment to education, athletics, and leadership. Complete application with 2 letters of reference, tribal documentation, high school transcript, 200 word essay explaining future goals and how your goals relate to continued involvement in American Indian communities and how this scholarship will help you achieve your dreams. Deadline: May 1
  • South Dakota Department of Education - Robert Byrd Honors Scholarship - $1,000 to selected SD residents with a 3.5 GPA and ACT of 24. Deadline: May 1
  • South Dakota Association Career Technical Education (SDACTE) Scholarship - Open to graduating seniors who are applying to or accepted by a program at an South Dakota technical institute or applying to or accepted by a Career and Technical Education program at a South Dakota university and will be a full time student. Must demonstrate scholastic achievement. Deadline: May 2
  • American Indian Services - Requires 2.25 CGPA, financial need, certificate of Indian blood, transcript, and less than 150 semester credits. Deadlines: February 15, for classes starting in April or May, May 15 for classes starting in June, August 15 for classes starting in August or September. November 15 for classes starting in January.
  •  American Indian College Fund - Applications for scholarships in the Special Scholarship Program are available on the website January of each year. Scholarships of significant amounts open to Native Americans attending tribal colleges or other colleges. Deadline: May 31
  • The Will to Win Scholarship for High School Seniors with Asthma - All high school seniors with asthma who have achieved a level of excellence in one of the following: performing arts, community service, athletics, visual arts or science. Deadline: May 31

June Deadlines

  • Native American Health Education Fund Scholarships - provides financial aid to Native Americans who are pursuing health careers and show a desire to return to their communities to provide improvements in health care. Deadline: June 15
  • South Dakota Junior Golf Association Junior Golf Foundation Scholarships - six $1,500 scholarships. Must have lived in South Dakota for the past two years and will attend a four year college or accredited post high school institution during the upcoming fall semester. Winners will be determined past performance at their golf club, diligence, cooperation, willingness to work, high school academics, leadership qualities etc. Deadline: June 30

August Deadlines

  • American Indian Services - Requires a 2.25 GPA, financial need, certificate of Indian blood transcript and less than 150 semester credits. Deadlines: February 15, for classes starting in April or May. May 15 for classes starting in June, August 15, for classes starting in August or September, November 15 for classes starting in January.

September Deadlines

  • South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship Board or Regents - $5,000 over four years. Student must have a 24 on an ACT, at least a 3.0 GPA, take requires high school courses: including 4 years of math and 2 years of foreign language. Deadline: September 1
  • Catching the Dream - will fund achieving Native American Indian students in the fields of math, engineering, science, business, education and computers. Applicants: Must have 1/4 or more degree American Indian, and be an enrolled member of a US tribe. Deadline: April 15 for fall semester. September 15 for spring semester, March 15 for summer school.

October Deadlines

  • Horatio Alger Scholarship - Must pursue a bachelor's degree at an accredited institution (may start at a two year institution and transfer) and demonstrate critical financial need. Must be involved in co-curricular and community service activities, demonstrate academic achievement (minimum GPA of 2.0) Deadline: October 30
  • Coca Cola Scholarship Foundation - $10,000 to $20,000 to 250 deserving students. Must be a high school senior with at least a 3.0 GPA. Deadline: October 31

November Deadlines

  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Voice of Democracy Scholarship Contest - $2.5 million annual awards and scholarships nation-wide. Open to students in grades 9-12. Must write a 3-5 minute original essay and then record it on an audio cassette. Deadline: November 1
  • The Prudential Spirit of Community Award - open to students in grades 5-12 who have engaged in volunteer activities in the previous year. Has some financial rewards and a trip to Washington DC if you are a winner. Access key to application is "spirit". Deadline: November 1
  • South Dakota Legislative Page Applications - If you are interested, check out the summer opportunities page or see your school counselor. Deadline: November 12
  • Stokes Educational Scholarship Program - National Security Agency (NSA) - Open to high school seniors,k particularly minority students, planning on majoring in computer science, computer/electrical engineering, mathematics, intelligence analysis or foreign language. Student attends college full time and works in the summer at National Security Agency for 12 weeks in areas that relate to your study. You receive experience and a salary year round. Need at least a 25 on your ACT, a 3.0 GPA is preferred. Requires completion of an application as well as a resume following their directions. Deadline: Applications accepted September 7- November 30

December Deadlines

  • Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student Scholarship Competition - four year scholarships range from $1,000 to $15,000 per year for graduating high school seniors based on financial need, leadership and scholarship. the form is long and the directions are comprehensive so few people apply. Boys and girls compete separately. Deadline: December 1
  • South Dakota Bankers Foundation Scholarship - One hundred $1,000 scholarships. Open to area students who plan to attend an accredited South Dakota college, technical school or community college on a full time bases. Based on academics, activities, character and your response to an essay about the most challenging aspects of being a teenager/young adults today. Deadline: December 17
  • College Scholarship Program- offering $10,000 in scholarships to qualified students who are enrolled or planning to participate in an accredited college or university program. Must have a minimum 2.5 GPA. You will be required to write a 50 to 200 word essay on who has had the greatest impact on your life and a 50 to 200 word essay on what you hope to achieve in your personal and professional life after completing college. You can complete your application on-line. Deadline: December 31