Interior Department adds $4M to Cobell Scholarship program

The U.S. Interior Department last week announced that it added $4 million to a scholarship program for American Indian and Alaska Native students.

The Cobell Scholarship provides need-based awards for post-secondary education – up to $2,500 for certificate students, $5,000 for undergrads or $10,000 for graduate students.

The first round of Cobell scholarships were awarded this fall.

According to the American Indian Graduate Center, which administers the scholarship, just four of the 369 recipients were Alaska Natives, and none currently live in Alaska.

The Cobell Scholarship Fund was created as part of a 2009 settlement of a class-action lawsuit regarding the federal government’s mismanagement of individual American Indian trust accounts.

So far the Interior Department has transferred $35 million into the scholarship fund; that could grow to a maximum of $60 million dollars.