Financial Aid

At IAIA we believe one’s abilities should not be measured or judged by their ability to afford a quality education. As such, IAIA provides financial assistance and resources for students who would otherwise be unable to pursue a post-secondary education. IAIA chooses not to participate in the Federal Student Loan Programs, including PLUS, Perkins and Stafford.

Through financial awards based on demonstrated financial eligibility, except when funds are specified for recognition of special talents and performance, every effort is made to meet the financial assistance needs of students. While IAIA recognizes that a student’s family bears the primary responsibility for financing a post-secondary education, we also recognize that supplemental aid may be necessary to achieve this goal.

To qualify for financial aid, a student must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program. All information, including student records and economic circumstance of both student and family, is confidential and will not be released without written consent of the student.

IAIA’s Federal Code

1. Financial Aid Workshops

Various workshops are held each semester; contact your high school counselor for the dates and locations. These workshops provide information on available financial aid and tips on completing the FAFSA or Renewal Applications.

Students attending a New Mexico high school or currently residing in New Mexico visit HERE to find a workshop in your area. The IAIA Financial Aid Office also provides assistance for current IAIA students in our financial aid resource center.

Have questions about financial aid at a tribal college or university? (The American Indian College Fund provides prospective and returning students answers at )

2. Submit FAFSA

To apply for federal student aid, you need to complete the . Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and quick, and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school.

In addition, many states and colleges use your FAFSA data to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, and some private financial aid providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid.

3. Scholarships

Scholarships are another source of aid that can be used to pay for school. It is money for school that you will not be expected to repay. The amount of the scholarship award can range from paying for your books to paying for tuition.

Group photograph of several scholarship recipients

Group photograph of several scholarship recipients

Scholarships come from a variety of sources: IAIA, tribe, employers, individuals, private companies, nonprofits, religious groups, or professional organizations.

These sources offer scholarships for a variety of reasons. Some are offered to students that have financial need. Some scholarships have academic requirements like a certain GPA or enrollment in a particular major. There are athletic, music, and art scholarships. There are scholarships for minorities and first generation students; and some for students with certain community affiliations or religious affiliations.

Because scholarships are offered for different reasons and by many sources, it is important that you understand that each scholarship has its own requirements and deadlines, so you should begin searching for scholarships as soon as possible. You should also know that in most instances you should not have to pay to apply for a scholarship.

IAIA Merit Scholarship

  • New Students: For new students who have graduated from high school with no prior college experience, high school CGPA is used to determine eligibility. New students who have successfully earned their GED are also eligible to receive the merit scholarship award their incoming semester in the amount of $500.
  • Transfer Students:The CGPA from the student’s most recent college transcript is used to determine eligibility. Transfer students whose CGPA is from colleges which are NOT accredited are not eligible to receive the merit scholarship their first semester at IAIA.
  • Continuing Students: The CGPA from the student’s most recent semester is used to determine eligibility. For example, if a student’s CGPA is 3.25 following the completion of the fall semester, the student will be awarded $500 for the subsequent full-time semester.
  • Award Amounts: The award amounts depend on the student’s CGPA, according to the following table:
    • 2.99 and below: $0
    • 3.00 to 3.49: $500
    • 3.50 to 3.89: $750
    • 3.9 to 4.00: $1000
  • Notice of award and disbursement: Following the review of the student’s CGPA, the award will be posted on the student’s Financial Aid account (via Empower). The scholarship is posted to the student’s account and if eligible a disbursement check will be issued the first Friday following the last day to drop a course without the course appearing on the students’ transcripts.
  • For eligibility, candidates must be enrolled full-time in a degree-seeking program.

IAIA Certificate of Indian Blood (CIB) Scholarship

IAIA CIB Scholarships are need-based scholarships. New, transfer, and current students are eligible for these scholarships. (Note: There is no incoming GPA requirement for new entering freshmen. However, the student’s CIB must be on file.) A student must have:

  • Be an enrolled member of a federally recognized American Indian, Alaska Native Tribe or Canadian First Nation
  • Submit a copy of a Certificate of Indian Blood, Status Card or other eligible documentation to the IAIA Admissions Office
  • Submit a FAFSA (and complete the process)
  • Maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (CGPA)
  • Be a degree-seeking student enrolled in at least 6 credit hours

Award Amounts

  • For full-time students, the award is $500 per semester
  • For part-time students (6–11 credits), the award is $200 per semester
  • Students who are enrolled in less than 6 credits do not qualify

Award Amounts Details

  • Lifetime Limit: The associate degree lifetime award limit is $2,500 (five full-time semesters). The bachelor degree lifetime award limit is $5,000 (10 full-time semesters).
  • Time of Award: The CIB Scholarship is determined after a student is admitted. If a student qualifies, the award is placed on the student’s Financial Aid account (via Empower).
  • Credit Hour Verification: A scholarship recipient’s credit hours are verified at mid-term. If the student withdrew from any courses, the scholarship award may be prorated following mid-term credit hour verification. Also, at mid-term, if the student no longer has an unmet need, the student no longer qualifies for the scholarship and the scholarship will be removed from the student’s award letter and/or student account which might result in a bill.
  • Disbursement: CIB scholarships are disbursed the first Friday following the date mid-term grades are due to the Registrar’s Office. Under no circumstances are these awards disbursed before midterms.

American Indian College Fund (AICF)

  1. Why students attend the Institute of American Indian Arts or a Tribal College University? (Watch two short videos: )
  2. Have questions about financial aid at a tribal college or university? ( provides prospective and returning students.)
  3. Create a profile and apply for scholarships at .

Enrolled members of American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes are encouraged to apply for scholarships or grants through programs offered by their Tribes, as well as by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Each tribe has developed its own forms, procedures and deadlines; students should request information directly from their affiliated tribal agency. Most tribal scholarships or grants require a Financial Needs Analysis (FNA), based on the student’s FAFSA information, to be completed by IAIA’s Financial Aid Office. Note: It is imperative that a student submit the FAFSA early in order to determine eligibility for Tribal grants. It is the student’s responsibility to contact their Tribal Agency for application information and submit FNA forms to the IAIA Financial Aid Office for review and finalization.

5. Check Your Status

In order to check your status, you will need to sign in to the IAIA Portal.

Subscribe to IAIA’s Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from IAIA.

Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.