2018 CNAY-Columbia Scholarship

The Center for Native American Youth, in partnership with Columbia University’s Summer Immersion Program for High School Students, will award one full-tuition, residential scholarship for a Native student to attend a 3-week pre-college program during summer 2018 in New York City.

The CNAY-Columbia scholarship covers the cost of housing, tuition, weekday meals, coursework materials, and other required student services. The estimated value of the scholarship is over $10,000.

*Students are financially responsible for their own travel to and from the program, as well as spending money for incidentals, souvenirs, and recreational activities. Columbia University recommends a generous amount of $900 to cover expenses such as weekend meals, laundry, personal items, and transportation and admission fees for optional activities around the city. CNAY suggests contacting your tribal nation, school and other local organizations to identify funding to cover travel and spending money.

Application Deadline: March 16, 2018 11:59 PM Eastern Time.
CNAY will select the scholarship recipient during the week following the deadline, and will connect with the scholar to clarify next steps.

Session I: June 25-July 13
Session II: July 17-August 3

Eligibility: Scholarship applicants must be:

  • American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian;
  • In grades 9-12 or entering their first year of college in Fall 2018; and
  • At least 15 years old by the start of the program.

*Note that students age 15 must provide a letter from parents/guardians attesting to student’s maturity and ability to look after oneself while at Columbia and in New York.


TO APPLY: A complete application requires all of the following:

Completed online scholar application which includes the following materials:

  • Proof of tribal enrollment or descendance;
  • High school transcript (unofficial transcripts accepted);
  • Explanation of curriculum selection (one paragraph); and
  • Response to an essay prompt (750-word maximum)

Recommendation Form #1. This form should be submitted by a guidance counselor, principal, or headmaster commenting on the student’s intellectual ability, level of maturity, and motivation for participating in the Columbia University Summer Program for High School Students. 

Recommendation Form #2.

  • For Rising Junior-Seniors – This form must be submitted by an instructor who teaches in a field closely related to the applicant’s chosen curricular option. The comments should describe the student’s knowledge of that field and assess the student’s qualification to engage in concentrated study.
  • For Rising Freshmen-Sophomores – This form must be submitted by a teacher familiar with the student’s work. The comments should describe the student’s academic talents and potential to benefit from the experience at Columbia.
  • You may also submit a High School Resume, though this is not required.

All materials must be submitted to CNAY by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on March 16, 2018.

For more information on the program and course options, visit the Columbia Summer Program for High School Students website and FAQ page. Note that applicants for the CNAY-Columbia scholarship must apply through CNAY’s online process, not Columbia’s portal. If selected, CNAY will guide the scholar through Columbia’s process. The scholar's space in the program is reserved, and their application will be expedited through Columbia's process. Therefore, Columbia's timeline and fee structure do not apply to the CNAY-Columbia applicant. 

For questions, contact Amber Richardson at amber.richardson@aspeninstitute.org or (202) 736-3577.