Indian Education_Higher Education Grant Program

To provide financial aid to eligible Indian students to enable them to attend accredited institutions of higher education.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

The Bureau's scholarship program provides about 25 percent of the student's total financial aid.

Grants for this Program

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Office - See Education Line Officers' addresses in Catalog Appendix IV.

Program Accomplishments

Annually an estimated 9,800 students receive assistance.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Grant funds are to supplement the total financial aid package prepared by the college financial aid officer.

Funds are intended to assist students in pursuing their undergraduate baccalaureate degree.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments and tribal organizations authorized by Indian Tribal Governments may apply to administer the program.

Individuals who are members of Federally Recognized Indian Tribes may submit applications for benefits directly to the Bureau of Indian Affairs if the Bureau agency serving their reservation provides direct services for this program.

Individuals must be enrolled in an accredited college and have financial need as determined by the institution's financial aid office.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Members of a Federally Recognized Indian Tribe who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an accredited college and have financial need as determined by the institution's financial aid office.


Initial application by Indian tribes and tribal organizations must be accompanied by an authorizing resolution of the governing body of the Indian tribe. Individual student applicants must submit a certificate of Indian blood; college financial aid package; statement of acceptance by college and Bureau of Indian Affairs grant application.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

The applicant should consult the Agency/Area Program Administrator for Education.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Initial applications by Indian tribes and tribal organizations to administer the program must contain the information specified in 25 CFR Part 900, Subpart C, "Contract Proposal Contents." Individual students must be accepted by a college or university and should complete application forms in accordance with instructions available upon request from the Education Line Office, or tribal contractor administering the program. Completed forms are submitted to the student's higher education program office at the appropriate office.

Award Procedures

In most cases, the application by an Indian tribe or tribal organization to administer the program can be approved by the Area/Agency Education Program Administrator or the Area/Agency Bureau Contracting Officer. Individual students are notified by the Area/Agency Education Program Administrator or tribal contractor, and funds are sent to the applicant in care of the college or university financial aid office.


Applications to administer the program may be submitted at any time. Deadlines for individual student applications are determined by the Education Line Office and/or tribal contractor.


Snyder Act of 1921, Public Law 67-85, 42 Stat. 208, 25 U.S.C. 13.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Applications by Indian tribes and tribal organizations to administer the program will be processed within 90 days. Applications by students will be processed within 6 to 10 weeks after all required documents are submitted.


Indian tribes and tribal organizations whose application to administer the program is denied may request an informal conference with the deciding official, or may appeal the denial of the application to the Interior Board of Indian Appeals, or may bring suit in U.S. District Court. Full appeal procedures are found in 25 CFR Part 900. Individual students may appeal a Bureau of Indian Affairs official's decision to the Area/Agency Education Program Administrator under the procedures contained in 25 CFR Part 2, " Appeals from Administrative Actions."


Awards to Indian tribes and tribal organizations may be renewed indefinitely upon satisfactory performance by the contractor/grantee. A notice of intent to renew should be submitted at least 90 days prior to the expiration of the current award. The amount of the award may be adjusted as a result of individual tribal priorities established in the budget formulation process. Grants to students may be continued through the undergraduate level if the student maintains acceptable progress and academic standing. Renewal applications must be submitted annually with updated grades or transcript.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable to Indian tribes and tribal organizations. Students are expected to take advantage of the campus-based financial aid programs offered to all students, and any other scholarships which may be available to them.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Awards to Indian tribes and tribal organizations are made on an annual basis. Payments may be made in advance or by way of reimbursement. The time of the payments will be negotiated with the Indian tribe or tribal organization. Grants to students are generally made for the academic year on a quarter or semester basis. A grant is for a period not to exceed 5 years, or the period of time required to complete the course of study.

Post Assistance Requirements


Indian tribes and tribal organizations are required to submit financial status reports, SF 269A.

Program accomplishment reporting requirements will be negotiated with the Self-Determination contractor/grantee.

Students applying for continuation of grants must submit grade reports at the end of each academic year.


For awards administered by Indian tribes and tribal organizations, the contractor/grantee is responsible for obtaining audits. All nonfederal entities that expend $500,000 or more of Federal awards in a year ($300,000 for fiscal year ending on or before December 30, 2003) are required to obtain an annual audit in accordance with the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 7501 et. seq.) and OMB Circular A-133 Compliance Supplement and Government Auditing Standards. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 (for fiscal years ending after December 1, 2003) a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in OMB Circular A-133.


Financial records must be maintained by the Indian tribe or tribal organization for three years from the date of submission of the single audit report. Procurement records must be retained for three years from the date of final payment. Property records must be retained for three years from the date of disposition, replacement, or transfer. Records pertaining to any litigation, audit exceptions or claims must be retained until the dispute has been resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $25,832,000; FY 08 est $25,959,000; and FY 09 est $20,138,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$300 to $5,000; $3,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

25 CFR, Part 40; 25 CFR Part 900.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Education Line Officers' addresses in Catalog Appendix IV.

Headquarters Office

Office of Indian Education Programs, Room MS 3609-MIB, 1849 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20240. Contact: Keith Neves. Telephone: (202)208-3601. Use the same number for FTS.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

All Indian tribes and tribal organizations meeting the requirements of 25 CFR Part 900 will be selected if the program has been prioritized by the Indian tribe through participation in the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Tribal Priority Allocation budget formulation process. Final determination to fund student applications is based on the individual's eligibility and total dollars available to the Indian tribe or tribal organization or local Bureau office.

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