American Indian and Alaska Native Student Success

American Indian and Alaska Native student success

American Indian and Alaska Native students can succeed at California Community Colleges.

At California Community Colleges, our goal is to put higher education within reach for every student. American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) students are an important part of that goal.

Land Acknowledgement

The California Community Colleges have formally adopted the use of a Land Acknowledgement statement that recognizes the original Tribal Nations of the land where our colleges are located. We honor and are grateful for the land we occupy and are committed to pursuing continuous collaborations with the Tribal Nations of California.

What we're doing for students

We know students face numerous challenges, like financial insecurity, access to resources, racial discrimination and underrepresentation. Whether we’re working with community leaders and organizations or speaking directly to students, we’re committed to helping AIAN students improve the future for themselves, their families and communities.

Financial Aid

Money shouldn't get in the way of going to college and reaching your goals. Thankfully, financial aid is available to help cover college costs like tuition, textbooks, supplies—and sometimes even rent. To get started, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) to apply for financial aid year-round. No matter your financial situation, it's always free to apply and it opens the door to most types of financial aid.

There are many financial aid options available, including grants and work study, as well as scholarships specifically for AIAN students. Use our locator tool to get contact information for your local college financial aid office to learn more. Here are just a few financial aid options:

American Indian College Fund
Learn more about the Full Circle Scholarship from the American Indian College Fund website.

Tribal Scholarships
Check with your tribal education office for more information.

The Gates Scholarship
A highly selective, last-dollar scholarship for outstanding, minority, high school seniors from low-income households.
Looking for a scholarship? You’ve come to the right place. can point you towards scholarship opportunities specifically for American Indian and Alaska Native students.

Wi’áaşal (Great Oak) Future Leaderships Scholarship Fund
This scholarship is open to most enrolled California tribal members. Up to $20,000 is available each year to students seeking vocational, associate or bachelor’s degrees at any accredited, nonprofit college, university or vocational program.

The Rodney T. Mathews, Jr. Memorial California Native Scholarship
This scholarship provides up to $10,000 and was established to assist California Indian students in pursuing their educational goals through the granting of competitive and meritorious-based financial scholarships.

The Rodney T. Mathews, Jr. Memorial Tribal Member & First Descendant Scholarship
This program assists students in pursuing their educational goals of one vocational program and/or one of each of an associate, bachelor’s, masters, and PhD degrees. Eligibility and scholarship amounts differ for tribal members and first descendants.

The Cobell Scholarship
Both merit-based and need-based, the competitive Cobell Scholarship is an 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 full-time study and is degree-seeking. Applicants must plan to attend or be attending any nationally, regionally and industry accredited non-profit, public and private institution.

The Aawok Georgiana Trull Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship was established to honor the work and life of Aawok Georgina Trull. Federally and non-federally recognized California Indigenous people are eligible to apply. The scholarship is open to students who will be actively enrolled in and attending two or four-year universities, graduate school programs, or trade school.

Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (FIGR) Scholarship Fund
FIGR's University of California Scholarship provides in-state systemwide Tuition and Student Services Fees and Campus Fees for students who are California Native Americans but not members of a federally recognized tribe. This scholarship applies to undergraduate and graduate students for professional and non-professional degrees. 

University of California (UC) Native American Opportunity Plan
UC’s Native American Opportunity Plan ensures that in-state systemwide Tuition and Student Services Fees are fully covered for California students who are also enrolled in federally recognized Native American, American Indian, and Alaska Native tribes. This plan applies to undergraduate and graduate students. 

Associate Degree for Transfer

Take your education further with the California Community Colleges Guaranteed Transfer Program. We’ve partnered with the CSU system, fully online and out-of-state universities and independent colleges and universities in California to guarantee saved spots to AIAN transfer students looking to move on and earn their bachelor’s degree. Don’t miss out on this guaranteed opportunity.

Career Education

A better career starts with a career education program at a California community college. There are more than 200 hands-on career training programs through Career Education to help you learn the skills to increase your earning power.

On-Campus Organizations

American Indian and Alaska Native students can benefit from joining a student club or organization. Every campus has different offerings, so be sure to check with your local college. Some of the organizations may include:

• American Indian, Native American, or Indigenous Peoples Clubs
• Native American Inter-Tribal Student Association (NAISA)
• Native American Student Alliance
• Native American Resource Centers: Check our locator tool to find if your local campus has a Native American Resource Center

Tutoring Services
Free tutoring services are available to all American Indian and Alaskan Native students, both online and in-person. Tutors are students too, and they’re knowledgeable in many subjects, ranging from math to writing. If you need support with any subject, be sure to check with your local campus for a complete list of tutors or skills workshops.

Food and Housing

We know food or housing insecurity is real for many AIAN students. Eleven California community college campuses offer student housing, and free money is available for groceries through the CalFresh program. If you’re an AIAN student in need of food and housing support, we can help.

On-Campus Housing
Some California community colleges offer on-campus housing options. Take the next step and see if on-campus housing is available near you.

Free Money for Groceries
Many California community college students are eligible for CalFresh, a program that helps them buy food and eat healthier. CalFresh benefits are not income and don’t impact your taxes or financial aid. Find out if you qualify today.