Mission Statement

Providing elevated opportunities for high achieving, community involved Native college students with leadership experience through empowering them with an impactful scholarship experience designed to support their success in higher education.

Blackfoot Chief

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.

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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.

Research and Scholar Success

Four National Native Scholarship Providers Release National Study on College Affordability for Indigenous Students

Meet The Cobell Scholarship Administrator
and Indigenous Education, Inc.

Cobell Scholarship Application

Cobell Scholarships offers are merit-based following a lengthy application and referral process. Cobell Scholarship awards are disbursed according to US Federal Student Aid standards and the policies of the individual colleges and universities. The 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 or plans to enroll in full-time study and is degree-seeking while attending any nationally, regionally and industry accredited non-profit, public and private, institution.


Verification Processes

Indigenous Education, Inc. engages several highly qualified Native education specialists to review all completed applications. Following this review, merit-based offers are made to hundreds of carefully screened and selected applicants who then move to FINALIST status in early May each year. During this stage, several things happen simultaneously:

  • Finalists will accept (or decline) the offer, then submit completed recent transcripts and proof of course enrollment for the next term for which funding will be made available. This can be very early in the process or late, depending on individual institutional policies. We also like to see scholar faces so an optional photo can be uploaded. For this reason and to relieve stress on the Finalist, the post-acceptance period usually remains open throughout the summer. It is important to understand that during this time, scholarship offers will not be lost; and,
  • Staff work with tribal enrollment offices to verify citizenship; and,
  • Staff work with financial aid offices to verify university attendance and financial aid eligibility.

*In some rare instances, we need the Finalist’s assistance in reaching out to these offices, but for most, IEI tries to do the heavy-lifting for Finalists.

At any point in the verification process a Finalist chooses to attend a different school or contact information changes, they can simply login to make changes or contact our offices for assistance.

Disbursement of funds are processed on a first-completed, first-funded basis, each Friday throughout each academic term.

**Each year, a waitlist is established. Individuals on the waitlist can see this status in OASIS. Offers to individuals on the waitlist can be made at any time during the academic year; therefore, it is important that applicants keep their information updated in OASIS.

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Frequently Asked Questions


Cobell Scholarship FAQ information is categorized into four (4) areas with a PDF for each area available for printing: Eligibility, Applying, Selection, and Summer Research Fellowship.

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

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


Federal Student Aid (studentaid.gov) is a user-friendly website for students, families, and community members. Look for “How Financial Aid Works” to get informed and stay informed.

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.

Resourceful Links

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.

Native Forward Scholars Fund – Throughout our 50-year history, Native Forward has empowered over 20,000 students from over 500 Tribes in all 50 states by providing scholarship dollars and support for services for undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees.

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.


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.


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
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About The Scholarship
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.
- Melvin Monette-Barajas, CEO