Cobell Scholarship 2023 | A Guide

The Cobell Scholarship has been a lifeline for many Native American students over the years, helping them pay for college education and launching them on paths to successful and fulfilling careers. In this article, we will explore the origins of the Cobell Scholarship, how it works, eligibility requirements, application procedures, benefits, and other important information.

Cobell Scholarship

Origins of the Cobell Scholarship

The Cobell Scholarship was established by Indigenous Education, Inc. (IEI) in 2013 in honor of Elouise Cobell, a Blackfeet tribal member and a banker who worked tirelessly to secure justice and reparations for Native Americans who had been cheated out of trust funds by the federal government. According to Ms. Cobell, the government had mismanaged that money for over 100 years, causing immense harm and financial losses to Native American tribes and individuals. In 1996, Ms. Cobell filed a class-action lawsuit against the Department of Interior on behalf of over 500,000 Native Americans, arguing that they were entitled to receive an accounting of the funds and to be paid the amount they were owed, with interest. The lawsuit, known as Cobell v. Salazar, dragged on for 15 years, but eventually resulted in a historic settlement of $3.4 billion, the largest ever paid by the federal government to Native Americans. Ms. Cobell dedicated her life to advocating for Native American rights and education until she passed away in 2011. The Cobell Scholarship was created to honor her legacy and continue her noble work.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Cobell Scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. The applicant must be a member of a federally recognized tribe or be the child of a parent who is a member of a federally recognized tribe.

  2. The applicant must be enrolled in a US federally recognized tribe or be able to provide documentation of ancestry to a federally recognized tribe.

  3. The applicant must be pursuing or planning to pursue a full-time degree at an accredited college or university in the United States.

  4. The applicant must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or equivalent based on the grading system at the school attended.

Cobell Scholarship

Cobell Scholarship Application Process

The application process for the Cobell Scholarship is relatively simple, but it does require careful attention to detail and a timely submission. The scholarship is awarded twice a year, with application deadlines on June 1st and November 1st. The following documents must be included in a complete application:

  1. A completed application form from the Cobell Scholarship website.

  2. Proof of enrollment or tribal descent.

  3. Transcripts from the most recent academic institution attended.

  4. A personal statement or essay that describes the applicant’s academic and career goals, financial need, and any challenges faced while pursuing higher education.

  5. Two recommendation letters from individuals who can attest to the applicant’s character, academic, and/or professional abilities.

Check also: American Intercontinental University Scholarship 2023


The Cobell Scholarship offers significant financial assistance to Native American students pursuing college education. The scholarship covers tuition, fees, books, and room and board for up to $7,500 per academic year for undergraduate students and up to $10,000 per academic year for graduate students. The scholarship is renewable, subject to the availability of funds and continuation of satisfactory academic progress. In addition to financial support, the scholarship also provides leadership development, mentorship, and networking opportunities for its recipients. The Cobell Scholarship seeks to foster a new generation of Native American leaders who can help uplift their communities and work for social justice and equality.

Other Important Facts

Here are some other important facts to keep in mind about the Cobell Scholarship:

  1. The scholarship is awarded based on a combination of academic merit, financial need, and the applicant’s commitment to their tribal community.

  2. Priority is given to students who have never received a Cobell Scholarship before.

  3. The scholarship is highly competitive, and not all applicants who meet the eligibility requirements will receive a scholarship.

  4. The Cobell Scholarship is administered by Indigenous Education, Inc., a non-profit organization that focuses on improving access to higher education for Native American students.

  5. The Cobell Scholarship is just one of many scholarships available to Native American students. Other scholarships include the American Indian College Fund Scholarship, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, and the Udall Foundation Scholarship.

Cobell Scholarship


The Cobell Scholarship is a vital resource for Native American students seeking to pursue higher education and achieve their academic and career goals. It honors the visionary legacy of Elouise Cobell, a remarkable leader and advocate who fought for justice and equity for Native Americans. By providing financial support, leadership development, and networking opportunities, the scholarship helps empower a new generation of Native American leaders who can transform their communities and shape a better future for all. We hope this article has provided useful information and inspiration for Native American students who are looking for ways to fund their education and make a positive impact in the world.

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