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Application Process and Tips

Download the following information: PDF

Applications are available beginning in February or March, and must be postmarked or delivered by the stated annual deadline. If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, applications will be due the following business day.

Click on the Applications page. Select one of the two versions of the Chickasaw Foundation scholarship application.

  • To submit the application online, select "online."
  • To submit the application via the United States Postal Services (USPS) or by hand-delivery, select the PDF version.

Make certain to read the instructions carefully, and have all the requested documents before you begin the application process.

  • High school transcript copy (current vo-tech student or beginning college freshman only)
  • Current college transcript (if applicable)
  • Fall semester class schedule
  • Typed essay (two pages – size 12 font – double spaced – name typed and signed in top right corner) describing your background, interest in field of study, long-term goals and your plan on achieving them (include your past accomplishments, tribal involvement, community involvement, etc.)
  • A resume of achievements, awards, club memberships, societies, civic involvement and employment. Please limit to no more than two pages.
  • A high quality/resolution photograph. If scanning a photo, please scan at 300dpi for best results.

After completing the application form, review it to make certain there are no blank lines and all documentation has been uploaded or attached. Each line should be filled with an appropriate answer.


The Chickasaw Foundation scholarship application requires you to submit an essay. This essay is intended to allow you to share your story and give readers an opportunity to see how a scholarship would help you achieve your educational and professional goals. Take this as seriously as you would an essay you have to write for school. Scholarship reviewers learn the most about you through your essay.

To enhance your essay, start by creating an outline of your thoughts and where you want to take the essay. Please remember the requirement to type your name in the top-right hand corner of your essay and affix your signature.

We encourage you to write specifically about your background, interest in your field of study, long-term goals and your plans on achieving them (include your accomplishments, tribal involvement, community involvement, etc.). And, as always, remember to check your grammar and spelling.

Research Sample Outlines

If you are not sure where or how to begin, do some research on the internet. Examples are intended to help you organize your thoughts and begin planning to write your final responses. Please remember, plagiarism is not acceptable. There are no right or wrong essays, but it is very important you provide a thorough paper.

Formatting, Editing and Proofreading

Once you have outlined your essay and completed the first draft, you can proceed to the next step. Below are some tips for formatting, editing and proofreading to make your application the best it can be.

Applicants are not required to use any specific essay style, such as APA or MLA. Our reviewers do expect you to follow basic essay formatting, which includes, but is not limited to, writing in complete sentences, creating appropriate paragraphs and ensuring that your thoughts flow cohesively.

Passion for Goals and Dreams

Read over your words and ask yourself if your passions are evident in your writing. Are you writing something because you think it is what the reviewers want to see or are you genuinely expressing your goals and dreams?

Cohesiveness for Readability Ease

Does your essay flow cohesively? Are the sentences and thoughts laid out in an organized way that leads the reviewer easily from beginning to end? Are there any parts that sound awkward or out of place? If so, are those parts necessary or could they be better situated in another area of your essay?

Every Prompt Addressed

Did your essay address each of the prompts (background, interest in field of study, long-term goals and your plans on achieving them including your accomplishments, tribal involvement, community involvement, etc.) listed on page 2 of the application?

Punctuation and Grammar

Is your grammar on track? Did you place commas in the correct spots? Do your possessive nouns include the apostrophe properly? Have you used the correct form of commonly misused words, such as there, they're, their, or affect and effect? Ensuring these words are accurate makes your essay easier to read.

Manual Spellcheck

To avoid submitting an essay that says, "Seth is my best fried," as even spellcheck will not catch that error, print a copy of your essay and conduct a manual spellcheck. In addition, read your essay aloud. You may be shocked at the grammar mistakes you missed.

Example Necessity

Did you provide specific examples to better explain your statements? Are these examples relevant to the point you are trying to make? Do they make sense in the context of your essay?

Last Edit

Now that you have gone through the finer details of editing and proofreading, ask a friend, instructor, tutor or family member to read your essay and provide feedback. Edit your essay once more to reflect any changes. Then, go through this checklist one last time to make sure your essay is in the best possible condition.


Your transcript does not have to be official, but the copy must contain your cumulative grade-point average, your name and the name of your college, university or vocational school. Screenshots are not acceptable. Transcripts may be emailed directly from your school to the Chickasaw Foundation at

Class Schedule

We require applicants to submit their fall semester class schedule with their application. We must have this to confirm whether you are a full-time or part-time student. Fall semester class schedules must be submitted by the stated deadline.


The Chickasaw Foundation uses student photos in the Chickasaw Times, the foundation's newsletter and website as well as other media outlets; therefore, it is critical to present yourself in a way that portrays you in a positive light to donors and other people who will see your photo. Upload a new photograph to submit alongside your application each year. Mailed photos will be returned.

  • Your photo should depict you in a professional manner. Your face should be clearly visible (avoid ball caps, sunglasses, heavily pixilated or dark images and photo copies). If scanning a photo, please scan at 300dpi for best results.

Chickasaw Foundation Scoring Insights

You’ve spent hours perfecting your application and editing your essay, and you’ve just received the confirmation email of submission. What happens now? Where does this scholarship application go, who reads it and what are they looking for?

Once you click the “submit” button, your application is stored securely in our online portal. You should receive an email confirmation acknowledging receipt of your application. Applicants submitting their application via hand-delivery or through the USPS should still receive an email confirmation acknowledging receipt of the application.

If you do not receive an email confirmation, please be proactive and follow-up quickly. It is not recommended to wait until the last week or the day before the deadline to inquire about the status of your application, as you may not have adequate time to resubmit your documentation.

A week is allowed to make sure all mail postmarked by the stated deadline is received in the office and uploaded to the database. Therefore, reviews begin in mid-June and conclude at the end of June.

To ensure the highest quality of reviewers, we invite a multitude of Chickasaw Nation professionals to review the scholarship applications. Chickasaw Foundation team members do not score the applications.

For scoring consistency, all reviewers use a rubric system to determine how many points to allocate for various portions of the scholarship application. Each application is reviewed by at least three (3) reviewers. The final score is determined by averaging those three (3) scores.

Recommendation and Approval of Chickasaw Foundation Scholarship Recipients

When all applications have been reviewed and scored, the Chickasaw Foundation team verifies all potential recipients' information matches the various scholarship requirements. With numerous scholarships, it takes a plethora of time and patience to ensure the eligibility of all impending recipients. The final recipient information is forwarded to the scholarship ad hoc committee so they may make a recommendation to the Chickasaw Foundation board of trustees for final consideration of approval.

Applicants receive a letter via the USPS informing them of their application status. Recipients will also receive a telephone call from the Chickasaw Foundation team.

Donor Thank You Cards

Recipients are required to submit a thank you card to the Chickasaw Foundation for the donor of their scholarship. Check requests will be processed upon receipt of the thank you card.

Cards may be delivered to the Chickasaw Foundation, David Stout Building, 520 E. Arlington, Building B, in Ada, Oklahoma. Cards may also be mailed to:

Chickasaw Foundation
P.O. Box 1726, Ada, OK 74821-1726.

Chickasaw Foundation Scholarship Awards

Awards will be sent directly to the student's college, university or vocational school.

Additional Questions

We hope this has been helpful in outlining some tips on how to complete the Chickasaw Foundation scholarship application as well as the process. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us by email at or call (580) 421-9030.