CNF highlights less applied for scholarships, deadline to apply is January 31

A Northeastern State University students applies for Cherokee Nation Foundation scholarships in this 2017 photo. 

TAHLEQUAH – With the deadline for scholarships approaching on Jan. 31, the Cherokee Nation Foundation is looking to highlight scholarships they offer that are applied for less often, including some in education and art.

One of those scholarships is the Audie Baker Memorial Scholarship, which is open to Cherokee Nation citizens who are majoring in special education at Northeastern State University with a minimum 3.0 grade point average.

“That’s a great opportunity at NSU, and that's for a special education teacher,” said Janice Randall, Cherokee Nation Foundation executive director.

The art scholarships include the Anna Belle Mitchell Memorial Scholarship and the Bill Rabbit Legacy Art Scholarship, both are one-year scholarships.

“In the past, those have been at Northeastern, but they can be (used) anywhere,” said Randall.

“Those are the ones that we’d really like to get some new applicants.”

Another scholarship that could lead to a career is the Cherokee Nation Businesses Scholarship that is offered to CN students who are studying in the areas of accounting, finance, engineering, corporate law, marketing and mass communications.

“They cannot already be working at the Cherokee Nation because we’d like to get some new leads for people that do want to serve Cherokee Nation at Cherokee Nation Businesses,” said Randall.

CNF officials said CNF scholarships fall within three different categories: private donor funded, which are typically created in memory of someone; tribally funded, which are often tied to a specific tribal district; and institutionally based funded, which are often endowments from a university.

“We started endowments about five years ago,” said Randall. “If a person donates between $5,000 and $25,000, the foundation matches that and each year we give out 5% of the donation.”

With nearly 30 scholarship opportunities listed on CNF’s website, Randall said the foundation continues to see growth in the number of scholarships they offer and added that they are competitive in selection.

“Our scholarships are competitive. That’s what people don’t understand. They think that everyone that applies for ours is going to receive that,” she said. “Whoever gives the money is who decides the guidelines, we do not.”

CNF officials also noted that if a student receives one of the foundation’s scholarships they can oftentimes still apply for other scholarships from different entities.

Randall said it’s important that CNF offers these opportunities because the foundation receives “many” calls from parents or guardians seeking a way to help lessen higher education costs.

“With COVID, so many people have lost their jobs and are having to relocate or different things, and they’re just looking for anything that will help them get a better start in life,” she said. “And of course, we feel that going to college is the way to do that.”

Aside from scholarship opportunities, CNF also provides ACT prep classes for students in 10-12 grades, testing support for Oklahoma Standardized Testing for students in 5-8 grade and teams up with Junior Achievement of Oklahoma to help students within the tribe’s reservation with financial literacy through participating in JA BizTown where students experience working in various occupations.

If students need assistance with applying for scholarships, Randall said they can call CNF’s office at 918-207-0950.

“They can call our office anytime, day or night, we answer the phones, and we will walk them through it and help in any way we can,” she said. “Also, if they’re looking for other scholarships sometimes we know about other places. That’s our goal to help them how ever they need help.”

To view CNF scholarships, visit