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Cherokee Council approves increasing college scholarships for citizens

Updated: May 29, 2023

Wednesday, May 31, 2023 - The Council of the Cherokee Nation approved Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner’s proposal to increase Cherokee Nation college scholarships from $2,000 to $2,500 per semester over the next two years.

This marks the first increase of the Cherokee Nation college scholarships since 2012. It will include an initial step increase of $250 per semester in assistance beginning this fall and an additional $250 per semester beginning in the fall of 2024, bringing the total per-semester-award to $2,500.

“Deputy Chief Warner and I know just how important of an investment education is when it comes to our current and future generations of Cherokees,” Chief Hoskin said. “We feel it is vital to keep pace with the rising cost of higher education, and that is why we have decided to move forward with a sustainable and impactful plan that will help ensure the future success for our Cherokee college students. I appreciate the Council’s support of this initiative.”

The increase will benefit about 5,000 Cherokee college students who receive the Cherokee Nation scholarship per semester. More than 5,300 students received the scholarship in Fall 2022, with 1,060 of the recipients being at-large citizens.

Those numbers represent the largest number of Cherokee students, both at-large and within the reservation, to participate in the program in Cherokee Nation history. The tribe anticipates spending around $20 million on scholarships in the current academic year.

“The Cherokee Nation will always prioritize the support of its young people and whatever educational path they choose to pursue,” Deputy Chief Warner said. “This investment, one that adds more than $2 million in college education assistance that students will receive per year, speaks to the Cherokee Nation’s dedication to education.”

The Cherokee Nation offers an array of educational services, including a College Resource Center for citizens pursuing higher education, concurrent enrollment for eligible high school students and academic and cultural support for K-12 students through Johnson O’Malley programs, as well as other assistance such as early learning and career readiness trades training programs.

The deadline to apply for the Cherokee Nation college scholarship for the fall 2023 semester is June 15. Applications are open now on the Gadugi Portal at

“I’m proud of the Cherokee Nation and the Council for its efforts to continually support our citizens in their educational endeavors,” Speaker of the Council Mike Shambaugh said. “We’ve accomplished so much in the area of education under the leadership of Chief Hoskin, Deputy Chief Warner and through our Council Education Committee.”

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