TAHLEQUAH -- The application window opens March 1 for an array of Cherokee Nation scholarship opportunities.

Through its College Resource Center, the tribe offers educational scholarships in the categories of concurrent enrollment, valedictorian-salutatorian, undergraduate and graduate.

"We offer a variety of different scholarships," Resource Center Manager Chrissy Marsh said. "When I say variety, I mean it can range from high school students up to graduate students."

The concurrent enrollment scholarship application period is March 1 through June 15. High school students who are concurrently enrolled and receiving college credit are eligible.

"That is for high school juniors and seniors," Marsh said. "There is a residency restriction on that. Students have to live within the Cherokee Nation reservation area or contiguous areas."

Applicants must be CN citizens.

"When students turn in those applications with their required documents, we go over that," Marsh said. "We look at that and make sure everything is correct. If it is, then we go ahead and approve the student. Then we get with the school that the student is attending. We ask them for an invoice, and we pay the invoice."

The CN also recognizes and awards scholarship funds to citizens named valedictorian or salutatorian for their graduating high school class. The application window is March 1-31. High schools located within the CN scholarship service area and contiguous counties are eligible.

Tribal citizens actively pursuing a higher education degree may apply to receive educational scholarships payable directly to an accredited college or university. Undergraduate scholarship applicants must apply between March 1 and June 15.

"For that scholarship, students have to be working toward a regular associates of arts or science," Marsh said. "The only associates of applied science that we help with is nursing, and of course the bachelor's degree."

Students applying for the undergraduate scholarship must first fill out and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid form.

"The undergraduate scholarship, this is where that FAFSA comes into play," Marsh said. "One of the documents that we are going to look at is that student aid report that comes from the FAFSA application. We need to know whether a student is either eligible for a Federal Pell Grant or not eligible. If a student applies and let's say they live in California, if that student aid report states that they are not eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, they are not eligible to apply for this scholarship."

The FAFSA form is available through the U.S. Department of Education at studentaid.gov.

Applications for the graduate scholarship will also be accepted from March 1 through June 15.

For information, visit the Education Services page at cherokee.org.