National Relief Charities via Crowdrise
November 17, 2011
BENEFITING: National Relief Charities
EVENT DATE: Apr 01, 2011
The American Indian Education Foundation (a program of NRC) was created in 1996. It helps to fulfill the mission by providing undergraduate American Indian students with financial assistance in the form of scholarships. We provide students who do not meet the high testing standards of other scholarships the opportunity to apply for financial assistance. The program provides a $2000 competitive scholarship to encourage American Indian students to complete their post secondary educational goals. The American Indian Education Scholarship Foundation (AIEF) provides scholarships to undergraduate and graduate American Indian students of all ages, who are enrolled and/or attending full-time technical schools, community colleges, colleges, and universities throughout the United States. Priority is given to students from rural and isolated reservations and high poverty areas, although any American Indian student in the US is eligible.
The number of American Indian students who receive a college education is disproportionately low compared to other ethnic groups. The reasons include a lack of financial aid applications from rural reservation students and the difficultly of adapting to an urban school setting. The results are low applications from American Indian students and a high dropout rate, especially during the freshman year.
As tuition and book costs continue to rise, so does the need for financial aid. In 2011, we received more than 1,000 undergraduate and 110 graduate applications; a substantial increase from 2010. The scholarship may be applied toward tuition and books. Scholarship monies are sent directly to the financial aid office of the student’s selected school.
A majority of the total recipients were 18 - 30 years of age. We also awarded a few students who were between 35 – 60 years of age, which tells us that it is never too late to pursue your dreams! Approximately 2/3 of our scholarship recipients are female. A large number of awarded scholars live on a rural reservation, tribal village or border town. A total of 55 tribes were represented among scholarship recipients.
AIEF is focused on providing American Indian students with:
• Financial assistance: AIEF gives American Indian students, who do not meet the high testing standards of other scholarships, the opportunity to apply for financial assistance in the form of a $2000 scholarship. The scholarship program helps to encourage American Indian students to complete their post-secondary educational goals.
• Mentoring: AIEF provides scholarship recipients with one-on-one mentoring via phone calls, e-mails, care packages and personal contact during the awarded school year. This personalized mentoring is largely responsible for our high success rate of over 95% over the past 13 years.
• Opportunities to be role models: AIEF scholarship recipients are encouraged to return to their home communities to be role models for other students through the “Scholars for Scholarships” program. The program sends past scholarship recipients to middle and high schools to talk to students about their post-secondary educational experiences.
Success is measured in (1) the number of applicants for the award (2) the number of award recipients who finish out the school year. Sending an American Indian student from a rural reservation to an urban school can be likened to sending an American student to a school in a foreign country. It is difficult to adjust without support from those who care and understand you.
The retention rate of students staying in school during the award year is more than 95% - higher than other scholarship programs. We believe it is due to the enormous mentoring effort we put into our recipients. They consistently report a feeling of encouragement and attention that is often unexpected. Our frequent phone calls, personal visits, and care packages are reminders that they were chosen for an award and that someone believes in their success.
With our program that includes support and mentoring, the retention rate of students staying in school during the award year is more than 95% - higher than other scholarship programs where students receive only the award.