Higher Education and Grant Program
Lela Rodriguez, Director
Phone: (800) 522-6170 Ext. 2305
*To complete digitally, download files to your computer, fill out the form, then “save as” with your name at the end of the file. Once complete, submit the saved versions of both files along with all other documents to the email below.
Applications can be completed via Adobe reader. A free download can be found here.
Please email forms, along with scanned copies of all required materials to firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the benefit: Scholarship of up to $1,000 per semester (fall and spring), or grant of up to $800 per semester (fall and spring) to any accredited college or university.
Who is eligible: Any member of the Choctaw Nation actively pursuing a higher education degree. No minimum blood quantum or restriction on location. Students affiliated with more than one tribe may receive assistance from only one tribe.
The applicant must be attending an accredited college or university and working towards a minimum of an associate’s degree. (Vo-Techs, Certificates or correspondence courses are excluded from this program. See Choctaw Career Development for assistance in these areas)
How to apply
Step 1: Complete your FAFSA here
Step 2: Gather the following items - These MUST be submitted together:
- Application posted above
- Copy of high school or previous college transcript
- Copy of upcoming class schedule
- Copy of CDIB and tribal membership cards (New applicants only)
Step 3: Send all documents to Choctaw Nation via email or mail
Step 4: Have your school submit a Financial Needs Analysis found above *Includes FAFSA info – complete FAFSA first
*One application required per year. If application is submitted in fall, only class schedule and grades are needed for spring to continue funding
Responsibilities of recipient
Applications and supporting documents will be accepted from June 1 to October 1 for Fall funding and until March 1 for spring funding. THESE DEADLINES APPLY BOTH FIRST-TIME AND RENEWAL APPLICANTS.
Applications without these supporting documents will be returned to student for completion. Late applications will also be returned to be completed for the following semester. It will be the student’s responsibility to submit all required documents and to verify receipt of the Financial Need’s Analysis by the Choctaw Higher Education Program.
- Students earning less than the required GPA or earning less than 12 hours will be placed on probation for one semester. At that time, students will be required to bring up their GPA and earn the required number of hours to remain on the program. If these requirements are not met, the student will be placed on suspension from the program. * Students earning less than 12 hours and a GPA below 1.0 will be automatically suspended at the end of that semester.
- Students who withdraw from school officially, or unofficially, will be suspended unless there is a reasonable explanation presented in writing.
Grant – These amounts will vary from year to year based upon the number of hours, financial need and classification for the previous semester. Must maintain 2.0 GPA or higher to continue funding
- Part-time - $400.00 per semester
- Freshman - $500.00 per semester
- Sophomore - $600.00 per semester
- Junior - $700.00 per semester
- Senior - $800.00 per semester
Scholarship – These amounts are based upon the accumulative grade point average. Must maintain 2.5 GPA or higher to continue funding.
- Part-time - 2.50 $500.00 per semester
- 2.50 - 2.99 $600.00 per semester
- 3.00 - 3.49 $800.00 per semester
- 3.5 - 4.00 $1,000.00 per semester
Complete transcripts will be required for first time applicants. Funds will be determined based on overall performance.
*Full Time Students are those enrolled in 12 or more hours. Part Time Students are those enrolled in at least 6 hours but less than 12 hours.
General program information
The Choctaw Nation contracted the Higher Education Program on March 1, 1984, from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This program will expend funds appropriated by Congress for the education of eligible Choctaws by providing financial assistance to attend an institution of higher learning, such as Junior Colleges and Universities. In 1998, the Choctaw Nation contributed funds to start a scholarship program. Students will be assisted based on academics, rather than financial need. This program will ensure more Choctaw students the opportunity to receive educational assistance.
The Choctaw Nation will work to ensure that the specific needs of each Choctaw student is individually considered in order to prevent unnecessary withdrawals from higher education institutions.
Higher Education’s Helpful Links
Needing to find a college? Check out the Online College Database.
How much funding can I receive?
Your cumulative GPA will determine the amount you will receive if chosen for the scholarship. We pay up to $1,000 per semester. Grant amount will vary from year to year based upon the classification and financial need of student.
When is the deadline?
The fall deadline is October 1st. Spring deadline is March 1st.
Do you have to live in Oklahoma to receive funding?
As long as you are attending an accredited college or university funding is available throughout the United States.
Do you have to be Choctaw to receive funding?
Yes. We will need a copy of your Tribal Membership and CDIB cards.
Can I receive a scholarship and a grant?
You can only receive one or the other. The Higher Education Program will determine which one you will receive.
Where can I get the application for the program?
You can go to www.choctawnation.com and print the application or you can call the Higher Education office and we will mail you the application packet.
How early should I start applying?
Applications will be available in April, most students will not be able to turn in all the documentation until summer. Higher Education starts our award process in July, the earlier you get your information to us the earlier we can notify you of any award you may receive.
Do I have to fill out the FAFSA?
We recommend that you fill out the FAFSA to see if you qualify for federal aid and to assist the financial aid office in filling out our required Financial Need Analysis.
What do I do with the Financial Needs Analysis?
You need to turn this form in to the financial aid office of the school you are attending. It is your responsibility to make sure that the financial aid office fills this form out and turns it in to our office by the required deadline.
Do I have to go full time to receive funding?
No. We offer part time funding.
Do I need to fill out an application each semester?
No. Our application is good for the fall and spring school year.
Where does the scholarship money go?
The money will be sent to the financial aid office of the school you are attending.
Can I use my scholarship money to purchase my books?
The money will be sent to the financial aid office and applied to your current bill. Any leftover money should be given back to the student to use however they need.
How do I raise the amount of my scholarship?
The Higher Education Program will review your transcript at the beginning of each school year to see if your GPA has changed.