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American Indian Education Fund

Service Area: Nationwide

Education is one of the most important cornerstones of self-sufficiency and quality of life. It is also a crucial factor in addressing the long-term challenges on the reservations we serve. 

The American Indian Education Fund® (AIEF), a program of Partnership With Native Americans® (PWNA), offers scholarships, literacy programs, and school supplies to help end the cycle of poverty and help Native American students realize their educational dreams. 

Throughout our country, Native American children travel each day for hours across rugged and remote areas to attend school. These students often lack the simplest tools – such as paper and pencils – needed to participate in class. 

Yet, like all children, Native American youth are inspired by the dream of a better future. Since 1997, the AIEF program – with the help of our generous donors and dedicated Program Partners – has given hope to Native American students by providing the tools they need to succeed.

List of Services

The scholarship program funds and supports graduate and undergraduate Native American students attending college throughout the country with a competitive scholarship. The goal is to increase resources and encouragement for Native American students to learn and succeed. We don’t just hand out checks, though. We offer mentoring, care packages, laptops, and more to help students stay in school and realize their education dreams.

2024-2025 Scholarship Application for Undergraduate and Graduate has closed and the deadline was April 4th

With the support of our generous donors, each school year more than 15,000 students on dozens of reservations are provided with backpacks full of school supplies through this service. This service contributes to educational outcomes by providing necessary school supplies for children attending school on the reservation in grades K-12


The literacy service provides resources to improve the student’s reading comprehension and learning experience to set them up for success. It encourages a love of reading by supplying books and incentives to Native children through our Program Partners

Designed for capacity building of promising leaders in Tribal communities, the 4 Directions Leadership Development (4D) service provides a cohort-based learning environment for Program Partners, emerging leaders, and other applicants. 4D training advances their leadership skills both professionally and personally.


A special scholarship opportunity for Native American/Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students pursuing an Elementary or Secondary Education teaching degree or Post-Secondary Education degree. The award amount will be between $500 and $2,000 for the 2024-2025 school year. Priority will be given to Tribal College/University students, but all other students attending various colleges/universities are still encouraged to apply.

Applications for this scholarship are now open — APPLY NOW! The deadline to complete and submit the application is May 31st, 2024 at 11:59 pm ET.

Quotes From Past Recipients

The donation of school supplies was a Godsend to many of our families who struggle to provide the basic needs of their children to prepare them for the school year. Thank you on behalf of our students and families.

Dawn B., Montana

My daughter is in kindergarten this year. She received a new backpack filled with school supplies… I was present in the class when the backpacks were handed out to the children. Their faces were filled with excitement and their parents, too. Your generosity has had a positive impact on the children’s educational experience.

Jacqueline G., New Mexico

We have a 6-year-old boy who doesn’t talk to anyone. With this [literacy] program, he expresses himself and asks questions. He only does this during literacy.

Boys and Girls Club, Crow Agency Montana

When I was selected for the [AIEF] scholarship, I felt relieved that I wouldn’t have to worry as much about the financial part of college. A big weight was lifted.

Brennan L., South Dakota

The AIEF scholarship helped me empower my academic and career goals by removing the stress of financial burden. It allowed me to focus solely on my studies and follow my dreams… I can not thank AIEF enough because if helped me build a foundation. I am beyond grateful for the AIEF scholarship and organization!

Hannah B., North Dakota

Scholarships go beyond a degree, they provide enriching life experiences.

Kara F, South Dakota

The scholarship is putting food on the table because I’m no longer choosing between medical treatments or tuition. It might be something small to donors, but I don’t think they know how much it means to people like me. If I could meet each of the donors and thank them personally, I would.

Terra V, Arizona


While 62% of all U.S. high school students go to college, only 17% of Native Americans are able to do so.
Only 16% of Native Americans hold a bachelor's degree, while 44% of Whites do.
Up to 55% of Native American children are growing up in poverty or low-income households.
About 3 out of every 10 Native American students drop out of high school – a rate of about twice the national average due to double-digit poverty, social bias, and systemic failures of the education system.
90-95% of our scholarship recipients stay in school, compared to only 20% for other Native scholarship providers.
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