DENVER – The American Indian College Fund Native scholars at Harvard Law School have what it takes to succeed. A law degree is the foundation to creating strong future leaders. Thanks to a gift of $1 million from an anonymous donor, the American Indian College Fund will award the first American Indian Law School Scholarship in the fall of the 2018-19 academic year. The scholarship covers all costs of attendance, including tuition for the three-year course of study at Harvard Law School, for one Native student.

Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, “Indigenous students and scholars know they are carrying the tremendous responsibility of protecting and honoring who we are as the First People of this country. To do this, we need educated individuals who understand the complexities of our diversity, the laws of our peoples, and the laws of this land. This gift provides a remarkable resource so that we can educate people needed to ensure Native prosperity.” 

Robb London, Chief of Communications for Harvard Law School, said, “A first-rate legal education can make a tremendous difference to future leaders who need to understand how to navigate complex issues and to safeguard rights of individuals and societies. We are delighted that these generous American Indian Law School Scholarships will support Harvard Law School students, who, through scholarship, advocacy and clinical work, will have exciting opportunities to engage with the most important questions facing Indigenous communities.”

Shelly C. Lowe, Executive Director of the Harvard University Native American Program, said, “Native nation-building is at the heart of why many of our Native students chose to attend college and then move on into graduate and professional schools. There is no doubt that our students face a number of obstacles and hurdles in this pursuit. This scholarship takes away one of the most daunting obstacles to earning a Juris Doctorate degree, while simultaneously applauding the educational rigor and preparation our tribal colleges and universities provide.”

Eligible applicants must be American Indian or Alaska Native and an enrolled tribal member or lineal descendant of an enrolled parent or grandparent. Preference will be given to a tribal college and university graduate. One full scholarship will be awarded to an incoming first-year 2018 Harvard Law School student seeking a law degree. Two additional three-year scholarships will be awarded to one Native student entering Harvard Law School in 2021 and one Native student entering Harvard Law School in 2024.  Applicants for the 2018 American Indian Law School Scholarship must apply by January 31, 2018 at to be considered.  

– About the American Indian College Fund: Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for more than 28 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer" and has provided $7.58 million dollars in scholarship support and 6,548 scholarships last year to American Indian students, with more than $100 million awarded since its inception. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators, and received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit