Burlington Northern Santa Fe Foundation Scholarship

Administered by AISES for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Foundation, this scholarship is made available to American Indian high school seniors who reside in one of the 13 states serviced by the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Pacific Corporation and its affiliated companies:  Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas and Washington.  This award is for four years (for a maximum of 8 semesters) until baccalaureate degree is obtained, whichever occurs first.  Those awarded must maintain a 2.0 GPA their freshman and sophomore years, and a 3.0 GPA their junior and senior years to receive full award. Awarded students do not have to reapply for this award each year.

Scholarship Amount:     $2,500 per academic year, up to 4 years.  5 awards made each year.

Eligible Degrees:  Business, Mathematics, Natural/Physical Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Education, Medicine, or Health Administration

Other Criteria:

  • Must be a high school senior anticipating successful graduation in June or of the year application is submitted.
  • Must attend an accredited four-year college/university as a full-time student starting fall 2015.
  • Must have a 2.0 or higher cumulative grade point average (GPA).
  • Must be an enrolled member of an American Indian tribe, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian or otherwise considered to be an American Indian by the tribe with which affiliation is claimed; or is at least 1/4 American Indian blood; or is at least 1/4 Alaskan Native; or considered to be an Alaskan Native by an Alaskan Native group to which affiliation is claimed.
  • Must be a current AISES member.

Application Deadline:
The application opens on April 1, 2015. 
The application deadline is May 31, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. MDT.

Application Process:
AISES only accepts applications submitted online via our online scholarship platform,https://aises.starsscholarshipsonline.com/stars/default.aspx

Things to know beforehand:
A general application form is completed by the student online.  No paper applications are accepted. This general application requires the student to complete questions and submit documents that are relevant to all AISES scholarship programs and which will allow the scholarship platform to determine which scholarships the applicant is eligible for.  The system then prompts the student to apply for those scholarships and requests any additional information or documentation required by a particular scholarship that is not already addressed within the general application. 

Students will create an account in the system.  They will create their own user name and password, which they may use any time to re-access the system.  This access is key, as students are responsible for ensuring that their documents and other requirements are in the system and that the information is up-to-date, especially contact information.  AISES Programs staff and the scholarship platform communicates primarily via email, thus email addresses should be current and email checked regularly,  If an email address changes, it is the student’s responsibility to inform AISES Programs staff. 

Similarly, AISES does not inform students if their application is incomplete, letters of recommendation have not been received by the system, etc.  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that requested and appropriate documentation has been uploaded into the system or received by it.  Likewise, the student applicant must follow-up with references, registrar’s offices, etc., to ensure they are aware of deadlines and to allow sufficient time to get required documents in time.  In order to keep the process fair and equitable, no exceptions are made for missed deadlines, as other applicants have worked hard to get their info in on time.

Who May Apply:
Each scholarship has its own eligibility requirements as determined by the funder.  However, each AISESscholarship requires that all applicants be current AISES memberships at the time of application.  To join AISES, please go to:  https://aises.site-ym.com/general/register_member_type.asp?%20. To check on your membership, please go to:  https://aises.site-ym.com/login.aspx.

Students must also be American Indian or Alaskan Native to apply.  Each scholarship program defines this differently.  Please read the eligibility requirements of each program carefully.  AISES requires proof of ancestry/membership, which includes verification by the official tribal/village/community governing body (either a signed letter from the governing entity or a governmental ID card) indicating enrollment status of the applying student or a federally issued Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood or Certificate of Degree of Alaska Native Blood (both abbreviated CDIB) that certifies the student has at least 25% degree of Native American/American Indian blood of a federally recognized Indian tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, or community.

And, lastly, the student must be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student at either an accredited four-year college/university, or a full-time student at a two-year college enrolled in a program leading to an academic degree.  Again, each scholarship program may have its own unique requirements.  Full-time status for undergraduate students is defined as taking 12 credit hours of classes per semester (for schools not on a semester system or for graduate students, AISES uses your school’s definition of full-time).

Students cannot have more than one AISES academic scholarship in any one year.

Application Requirements:
All AISES scholarship programs require that students submit current transcripts from their college/university, as well as past transcripts from all colleges attended (if currently a college student).  For high school seniors just starting their college careers, your most recent high school transcripts, as well as transcripts from other high schools you attended must be submitted.  All transcripts must be official transcripts issued by the school’s registrar’s office.  AISES will NOT accept unofficial transcripts or grade reports.  The transcript must come directly from the school, college, or university registrar’s office and/or bear an official seal/signature. 

Students are usually required to submit an essay (or two) as part of the application process.  All applicants will be expected to provide a personal statement limited to no more than 1000 words. This statement is evaluated reviewers and it is expected to address educational and/or career goals, interest in and motivation to continue higher education, demonstrate an understanding of the importance of college and the student’s commitment to complete the educational program undertaken, and demonstrate the student’s plan or desire to make a difference in or impact their community.   

Lastly, all AISES applicants are required to upload a copy of their resume into the AISES scholarship online platform AND into the AISES Online Resume Database.  In order to submit a resume to the database, the applicant must be a current AISES member.

Selection Process:
Once the deadline ends, AISES Programs staff verify that all applications are complete.  The review process can take between 45-60 days.  Those that are not are declined automatically.  Complete applications are then reviewed by a minimum of three qualified reviewers who score each application based upon factors such as academic performance (GPA and academic record), the student’s personal essay (demonstrates character, commitment, goals), strength of recommendation letters, and other activities the student has undertaken including jobs, volunteer efforts, internships, extra-curricular activities, hobbies, etc.  Scored applications and reviewer comments are then used by AISES staff and some funders, to select scholarship recipients.

Notification Process and Payment:
Students can log into the system to check on the status of their scholarship application(s) at any time.  Additionally,AISES Programs staff will email students when decisions are made.  Students that are awarded will then be sent an award package that must be completed and returned before payment (made in two even installments, in the fall and spring) can be processed.  Students will be expected to provide transcripts showing course work completed and cumulative GPA after the application was submitted and an enrollment verification indicating full-time status for the fall semester/term as well.  All scholarship awards are dependent upon funding availability.