The 2022 Cobell Summer Research Fellowship Application is now open. The deadline to apply is January 10, 2022. Apply by selecting the link below.

The Academic Year 2022-2023 Undergraduate and graduate scholarship applications are now open. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2022. Apply by selecting the link below.

The 2021-2022 Vocational/Trade Application is open while funds remain available. The final deadline to apply for Spring 2022 funding is the earlier of May 30, 2022 or until available funds are exhausted.. Apply by selecting the link below.

Summer 2022 applications will be available February 15, 2022 through May 3, 2022.


Indigenous Education, Inc. promotes The Cobell Scholarship’s goal to provide applicants and inquirers with the most beneficial information regarding this carefully established scholarship opportunity. All scholarship applicants are encouraged to read these documents to best respond to application question prompts.

Our History

Learn more about the history behind the Cobell vs. Salazar litigations and the ultimate example of unwavering dedication, hard work and victory against all odds.

Elouise Cobell

In 1996, banker Elouise Cobell became the lead plaintiff in a class action suit, demanding back payment and better accounting on Individual Indian Money Accounts managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Thirteen years later, the federal government settled for $3.4 billion, the largest settlement in U.S. history.


The Cobell Scholarship is administered by Indigenous Education, Inc. whose growing staff of individuals are committed to the overall success of the program and each awarded recipient.

Melvin Monette-Barajas President and CEO

Bridget Neconie Director of Scholarships and Programs

John Garland Director of Research and Student Success

Maloni Fox Communications Coordinator

Julia Mosconi Asst Director Research & Student Success

Gary Pierce Asst Director of Operations


Indeed there is strength in numbers. Here is a look at some past and present strong recipients of the Cobell Scholarship. To suggest a student profile, email scholarships@cobellscholar.org.

Trinity Begay

School: New Mexico Highlands University
Major: Graduate Cobell Scholarship Recipient
Tribe: Navajo Nation

November 2021 Spotlight – U.S. Veteran’s Edition

Ya’ah’teeh! My name is Trinity Begay. I am Naakai Dine’e (Mexican clan), born for Bit’ahnii (Folded Arms  clan).
I am from the Four Corners area of the Navajo Nation, and I resided there until I was 17 years old  when I joined the US Army as an Armor Crewman (19Kilo) in 2006. I served in the Army for 4 years,  deploying to Northern Iraq with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment from 2007 to 2009. I returned to the  Navajo Nation in 2010 and have set my mind on staying near my homeland. First and foremost, there  were many parts of my life that were unsuccessful and challenging, which is a common disparity for  most Native populations who live on Indian Reservations. As a troubled youth, I dropped out of high  school at 16 years old and was fortunate enough to get my GED, which led to me joining the military at  17 years old.

The military was my hope of discovering discipline and the warrior spirit. However, I still found myself  battling the same addictions I left the reservation for, and there was more that came from my time in  service. I was finally able to overcome my challenges in 2014 when I got clean and sober through the help of faith-based groups. Since then, I have dedicated my life to helping others battle their addictions  as a Substance Abuse Counselor. I remember growing up and hearing the phrase, as well as singing the  song in elementary school, quoted by Chief Manuelito, “My grandchildren, education is the ladder. Tell  our people to take it.” At the time, I never knew the value of
education, but I have grown to see the beauty, the dangers, and the freedoms it possesses.

I appreciate what the Cobell Scholarship does for Native people. Pursuing an education is no easy task,  especially if you want to pursue your education while staying near your reservation. I honestly do not  think I would have been able to make it to my master’s program if it were not for the Cobell Scholarship.  I am truly blessed to have had the support of the Cobell Scholarship. Being a Veteran has given me the  valuable insight of working under pressure and doing whatever is necessary to complete the mission,  which I feel gives me an edge in my educational pursuit.

Melisa Livingston

School: Evergreen State College
Major: Graduate Cobell Scholarship Recipient
Tribe: Muscogee Nation

November 2021 Spotlight – U.S. Veteran’s Edition

Melissa Livingston serves as a Regional Tribal Liaison at the Washington State Health Care Authority at  the Office of Tribal Affairs. She was raised in Meridian and Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She served at Field  Station Berlin as a German linguist when the Berlin Wall fell and subsequently served as a Russian  linguist at Ft. Richardson, Alaska. She has two children and is happily married to another veteran, Al.

My education has been instrumental in moving upward in various professions, sharpening skills,  preventing burnout, and allowing me to serve target populations better. Now I am able to serve Tribal  citizens in the health care field. Education was the only way out of poverty and dysfunction from the  beginning. Cobell was primary in helping me fund my MPA and allowed me to seek higher positions in  government. It gives me hope that Cobell is there along the entire path of graduate education, even  including a J.D. or Ph.D., for American Indians/Alaska Natives. Cobell was there to help me even when  the V.A. took away my remaining educational benefits 10 years after I left the Army. I am grateful for the  opportunity given me by the Cobell Scholarship. I was able to finish my Bachelors in German and History  before ETSing the Army. This was the steppingstone to teaching and financial independence. The  military instilled more self-discipline, flexibility, and being open to new experiences. I really appreciate  the Cobell Scholarship’s efforts to honor Native veterans. Native women veterans, in particular, who  often receive
little attention.

Frequently Asked Questions

For all other questions that are not answered here, please email scholarships@cobellscholar.org.

Frequently Asked Questions: Eligibility

Frequently Asked Questions: Applying

Frequently Asked Questions: Selection

Frequently Asked Questions: Cobell Graduate Summer Research Fellowship


Cobell Scholarship information is categorized into four (4) areas with a PDF for each area available for printing: Scholarship Program Myths and Facts, General Eligibility Criteria,  General Scholarship Application Information, and Information for Finalists.

The Cobell Online Application & Scholarship Information System (OASIS) also has an FAQ tab for applicant convenience.


The Office of the US Department of Education has a user-friendly informational website containing good information for students, families and community members.  Learn about preparing for college, the variety and types of available aid, qualifications for aid, applying for aid, and information about student loan management.  Click HERE to be redirected to their site. There’s also a useful glossary of terminology HERE.

The College Board has several good tools to help select a college, explore careers, pay for college, get into college(s), and guidance to make a plan.  Information about financial aid can be particularly useful; however, their entire site is recommended and can be accessed HERE.


Both Merit-based and Need-based, the competitive Cobell Scholarship is annual, non-renewable, and available to any post-secondary (after high school) student who is; an enrolled member of a US Federally-Recognized Tribe, enrolled in full-time study and is degree-seeking. Applicants must plan to attend or be attending any nationally, regionally and industry accredited non-profit, public and private, institution.

Applicants must be pursuing a vocational certificate or diploma, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral or professional degree, or certificate.

All Finalists must demonstrate an unmet need through a process that will be coordinated with the IEI staff. And, all Finalists will demonstrate tribal enrollment through a verification process that will be coordinated with the IEI staff.

Application questions and other comments can be submitted at the bottom of this webpage.

Verification Processes

A series of verification will be required from applicants who are chosen as Finalist after the review process is completed. The verification includes, but is not limited to: Financial Need Analysis (FNA), Tribal Enrollment Verification (TEV), proof of institutional enrollment (course schedule, etc.), copy of most recent transcript, and a high-resolution/high quality photograph of the applicant.


Many online resources are available and the Indigenous Education, Inc. staff will work to continuously compile and maintain this list of links that can provide applicants with the most helpful information possible.

To suggest resources for this page, email information to scholarships@cobellscholar.org

Cobell Scholarship Official Blog

Indigenous Education, Inc. Webinar Series

The Indigenous Education, Inc. Wellness Series is a great tool to help improve your educational experience. Webinar topics range from grad school test prep, to FAFSA tips, to Cobell Scholarship Application Guidelines. New webinars will be shared roughly every month – stay up to date with coming IEI webinars by following the Cobell Scholarship Facebook Page.

Financial Aid Resources

Federal Student Aid – Find out how to complete the FAFSA and maintain your federal student aid profile.  Great resources for families as well as individual students.

The American Indian College Fund – The American Indian College Fund provides scholarships to students attending Tribal College and University students, and undergraduate and graduate students attending any other accredited public and non-profit private college all across the United States.

The American Indian Graduate Center – The AIGC provides scholarships to American Indians and Alaska Natives pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees at accredited institutions as full-time, degree-seeking students.

The American Indian Science and Engineering Society – AISES provides scholarships to students and provides so much more in student leadership, mentorship, involvement and service.

Scholarship Opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native students is a resources page maintained by the federal Bureau of Indian Education.

Testing for College and Graduate School

The PSAT and SAT are administered by the College Board

The ACT suite of products and services can be found here

GRE – the Graduate Record Exam

GMAT – the Graduate Management Admission Test is administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council

LSAT – the Law School Admissions Test is administered by the Law School Admissions Council

MCAT – the Medical College Admission Test is administered by the Association of Medical Colleges.

PCAT – the Pharmacy College Admission Test is a specialized test that helps identify qualified applicants to pharmacy colleges.

DCAT – the Dental College Admission Test is administered by the American Dental Association.

Other Resource Links

COLLEGE HORIZONS – is a pre-college program for Native American high school students open to current sophomores and juniors.  Each summer students work with college counselors and college admissions officers in a five-day “crash course.”  The individualized program helps students select colleges suitable for them to apply to, get admitted to, and receive adequate financial aid. Students research their top 10 schools; complete college essays, resumes, the Common Application, and the preliminary FAFSA; receive interviewing skills and test-taking strategies (on the ACT and SAT) and financial aid/scholarship information.

GRADUATE HORIZONS – a four-day workshop for Native college students, college graduates, and master’s students in preparing for graduate school (master’s, Ph.D. or professional school).

BIG FUTURE is a program of the College Board designed to help students track their own path to college and career.

Study Public Health, Change the World – find out if Public Health is for you

The public health profession cuts across many different disciplines. Use the SOPHAS Academic Program Finder to search degree programs from over 80 schools and programs.

Pathways to Science is a project of the Institute for Broadening Participation (IBP) . Pathways to Science supports pathways to the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. We place particular emphasis on connecting underrepresented groups with STEM programs, funding, mentoring and resources.

Contact us at your convenience

The Cobell Scholarship Team is available to address any questions or concerns regarding the scholarship process or other related inquiries. Simply complete and submit the form below.

Indigenous Education, Inc.
The Cobell Scholarship
2155 Louisiana Blvd NE
Suite 10100
Albuquerque NM 87110

Direct: (505) 313-0032

Toll Free: (844) 551-0650