Higher Education and Grant Program
Lela Rodriguez, Director
Phone: (800) 522-6170
Any tribal member of the Choctaw Nation actively pursuing a higher education degree is eligible to receive assistance in the form of a scholarship or grant payable directly to an accredited college or university. There are no minimum blood quantum or location restrictions; however, students with multiple tribal lineages may only receive assistance from one tribe. Students must be working towards a minimum of an associate’s degree. Students may receive assistance with one Associates Degree, one Bachelor’s Degree, one Masters Degree, and one Doctorate Degree. Students seeking to obtain recognized certifications may receive assistance from the Choctaw Nation Career Development Program.
Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions Page for more information
How to apply
Step 1: Gather the following items-these MUST be submitted with the online application.
- Copy of High School or previous college transcript
- Copy of upcoming semester class schedule
- Copy of CDIB and Tribal Membership cards (New applicants only.)
Step 2: Complete the online application by clicking here.
This process will need to be completed each semester.
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Responsibilities of recipient
Applications and supporting documents will be accepted from June 1st until October 1st for the fall semester assistance. Spring semester applications are accepted as soon as students are able to get fall transcripts and spring class schedule. The deadline for the spring semester is March 1st. Any application received after the deadlines or incomplete will not be accepted (applies to first-time and renewal applicants).
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 improve their GPA and earn the required number of hours during the next semester to remain with the program. If these requirements are not met, the student will be suspended from the program. Students earning less than 12 hours and a GPA of 1.0 or less will automatically be suspended from the program 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.
Full-time enrollment: Undergraduate students enrolled in 12 or more credit hours or Graduate students enrolled in 9 or more credit hours.
Part-Time enrollment: Undergraduate students enrolled in at least 6 to 11 credit hours or Graduate students enrolled in 6-8 credit hours.
Forms of Assistance
Grant – Amounts vary from year to year based on number of hours enrolled, financial need, and classification. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher per semester in order to continue receiving grants.
- 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 – Amounts are based upon the cumulative GPA and may vary semester to semester.
Students must maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA or higher in order to continue receiving scholarships.
- Part-time - $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
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.