American Indian Endowed Scholarship

The American Indian Endowed Scholarship (AIES) was established in 1990 with a partnership between the state, the American Indian community, and the private sector. $300,000 has been appropriated by the state and those funds have been matched and exceeded by private donations.

This program provides educational scholarships on a competitive basis to outstanding students who have close social and cultural ties to an American Indian tribe or community. Scholarship money comes from interest generated through an endowment funded by private contributions and the state. Students can use the scholarships at public colleges and universities and accredited independent colleges, universities, and career schools in Washington.

Recipients are selected on the basis of academic merit and a commitment to serve the American Indian community in the state of Washington. There is a priority for upper-division and graduate students. 

Representatives of the American Indian community have formed a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, known as the “Friends of American Indians in Education” (FAIE), to promote and coordinate fund-raising activities for the scholarship. The selection committee is composed of American Indian educators, tribal education administrators, and private individuals from the American Indian community in the state.

With continued growth of the American Indian population in Washington, an educated leadership is vital for improving the economic sufficiency of the community. The scholarship increases equitable educational access for financially-needy individuals associated with the American Indian community. Only 53 percent of American Indians at Washington four-year public institutions receive their bachelor's degree, a completion rate far below the 70 percent overall average.

Several recipients have careers in law, medicine, education, business, and resource management. All have returned, or plan to return, to their tribal communities and work on behalf of Indian peoples within the state.

All donations and allotted funds are kept in a permanent endowment trust. The interest earnings of that fund provide for the annual scholarship awards. The current endowment corpus is valued at $608,267.

More information about AIES can be found on our partner site, readysetgrad.org.