The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska’s Education Department was first established in 1992. From 1992-93, the BIA managed the department. Then in 1994, the Tribe gained control of its own funds and implemented three programs within the department: Higher Education, Adult Vocational Training and the Direct Employment Program. While the Direct Employment Program would end in 2002, additional programs were established. These include the General Educational Department Program (1996), Masters Program, and our Youth Initiatives Program, with the latter two programs established during the 1997-98 school year.

Funds to administer the Tribe’s Department of Education (DOE) are allocated through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

Ponca member graduates and those who have received education assistance from the Education Department are invited to participate in a survey to identify past members that have utilized the program to reach their academic goals. The information you provide will help us actively recruit Tribal Members for job openings, and identify members needing additional assistance to meet their academic goals.

The survey can be found here:

Attention Students:

The application deadline to participate in our Youth Initiatives Program for the 2022-23 school year is July 31st.  Any applications received after that date will be considered for the 2023-24 school year.

To participate in our Higher Education/Adult Vocational Training Programs, please submit your application by August 15th.  Any application received after that date will be considered for winter quarter/spring semester. 

Adam way Memorial Scholarship

UPDATE: Deadline extended to July 31, 2023
The Adam C. Way Memorial Scholarship was established in 2021 by Susan and Gary Way in honor of their son, Adam Crary Way. Adam was passionate about sustainable, organic farming and was a man with great compassion for people. Susan and Gary were inspired in their meetings with the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska in the Tribe’s push towards food sovereignty. Seeing that connection, Susan and Gary felt compelled to create a scholarship for Ponca tribal members to utilize.
The purpose of this scholarship is to promote education and self-sufficiency for members of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska to strengthen and reinforce tribal sovereignty in all aspects.
The scholarship will be awarded annually over the course of 10 years. The initial amount will be $1,000. If applicants are seeking further educational opportunities that amounts to less than that amount, an additional scholarship may be awarded so that the total of both do not exceed $1,000.

The Adam Way Memorial Scholarship is available to all enrolled Ponca Tribe of Nebraska members, ages 18-45, currently residing in Nebraska, seeking to further his/her educational opportunities. These opportunities may range from seeking Associate, Bachelor, or Advanced degrees to other types of educational or trade certificates whose eligibility is determined by the Scholarship Selection Committee.

To apply for this scholarship, all prospective applicants are asked to supply the following:

Building for the future Scholarship

The Ponca Tribe Education Department is pleased to announce a new scholarship opportunity for enrolled Ponca members pursuing a bachelor’s degree or adult vocational training. Application deadline is August 15, 2023. For more information, or to apply, use the links below or contact the Education Department at 402-371-8834, or email or

Building for the Future

This scholarship was made possible by a private donor who wishes to remain anonymous.  Currently, the amount of the scholarship is $1,000.00; and the student must demonstrate “need.”  Also, depending on the student’s “need,” this scholarship may be awarded in conjunction with tribal assistance or independent of tribal assistance.  

The deadline to submit for consideration of this scholarship is August 15, 2023.  All applications must be completed and received by this date.  Names will then be entered in a drawing.  And once the name of the winner is known, he or she will be notified immediately.

  1. Building for the Future Cover Letter
  2. Building for the Future Guidelines
  3. Building for the Future Application
  4. Building for the Future Contract
  5. Building for the Future Financial Need Form

Contact Information

Pat Eichberger, Director of Education

Aubrey Knudsen, Education Administrative Assistant

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Department of Education
1800 Syracuse Avenue
Norfolk NE 68701
Phone: 402-371-8834
Fax: 402-371-7564