"Not only do I feel as if I have a greater awareness of opportunities available to me and to Native students, but I feel better prepared to take advantage of those opportunities, which is just as important, if not more."
Bobby Joe Smith III
American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian (AI/AN/NH), students enrolled in a college or university as a sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate student in good academic standing are eligible to participate in the WINS program. Sophomores must have completed the equivalent of three (3) semesters of full-time study to be eligible to participate in the program. Individuals who have already completed a college degree (undergraduate or graduate) are not eligible to apply. Students may participate no more than twice (once, as an undergraduate student;and, once, as a graduate student). Candidates may only apply for a second WINS program as long as they are still enrolled in an academic program and have satisfactorily completed their internship and academic course work during their first WINS program. Undergraduate students and graduate students will have an option to take a specific WINS internship course based on their academic level (undergraduate vs. graduate).
Most students receive a full scholarship to attend the program through funding provided by American University, governmental agencies, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian organizations, Tribes, foundations, and private corporations. The scholarship covers the cost of tuition, travel to and from Washington DC, lodging, a meal plan, and the cost of scheduled social and cultural activities. Additional expenses for non-program activities, including medical care and independent social activities, are the responsibility of the student. Students not awarded full scholarships may apply for other SPExS-based scholarships, utilize other scholarships awarded to them outside of SPExS and the WINS Program, or pay program costs directly to WINS.
Participants with a full scholarship receive a limited stipend to cover incidental expenses.