Higher Education Assistance Program (HEAP)

Purpose: The Department of Education shall provide additional financial aid to eligible Pokagon Band citizens that are enrolled in higher education at an accredited institution. To apply for the Higher Education Assistance Program, please submit the completed Higher Education Assistance Application (below) and all forms as attachment to DOE.HEAP@PokagonBand-nsn.gov.




Tribal Council passed a motion for the 2020-2021 academic year.  Please note the following change.  If a student has a Providence First Trust Fund with $15,000 or more, he/she will be eligible for 50% maximum eligibility for the following: tuition/fees, book stipend, and housing.  Please see the following example of how this formula works:

"Associate" Example:  $200 x 12 credits = $2400 max eligibility/2= $1200 new max eligible for school payment, 4 classes x$150 = $600 max book/2= $300 new eligible balance, & lump sum of housing is $1250 during fall/winter/spring semesters/2= $625 new eligible balance (housing available for full time students 12+ credits) 

If a student does not have a Providence First Trust Fund or has a Trust Fund containing less than $15,000, HEAP eligibility will be calculated by the original formula (tuition/fees, book stipend, and housing not divided by 2).  



Application Deadlines: Any person who seeks to participate in the program, including current students, shall complete and submit to the Department an application by the following deadlines:

  • August 1st for the Fall semester
  • December 1st for the Winter or Spring semesters
  • May 1st for the Summer Semester

Please note deadlines are a generalized timeframe and students will not be denied for late submissions due to being outside standard terms/semesters. We understand students may not allowed registration for classes until after our stated deadlines.

In addition to the completed application students must submit:

  • Direct Deposit Form
  • FAFSA – Student Aid Report
  • Unofficial transcript or high school diploma
  • Copy of class schedule
  • Financial Aid Verification Form

Funding: Eligible students will receive up to the following financial assistance based on unmet needs.

Tuition and Fee Assistance

Vocational degree:  up to $3000/year
Associate degree:  $200 per credit/hour (Up to 18 credits)
Bachelor’s degree:  $400 per credit/hour (Up to 18 credits)
Graduate degree:  $600 per credit / hour (Up to 15 credits)
Post-Graduate degree:  $800 per credit / hour (Up to 15 credits)

Book Stipend Assistance

Vocational degree                                up to $3000/year
Associate or Bachelor’s degree            $150 per class (up to 6 classes)
Grad. or Post-Grad. degree                 $300 per class (up to 4 classes)


  • Must be an enrolled citizen of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians
  • Must be officially accepted to an accredited institution
  • Must apply for Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit Student Aid Report (SAR) to the Pokagon Band Department of Education
  • Must apply for all eligible campus-based financial aid.
  • Must be enrolled as either a full-time or part-time undergraduate or graduate student
  • Undergraduate students must have/maintain a minimum cumulative semester GPA of 2.0
  • Graduate students must have/maintain a minimum cumulative semester GPA of 3.0
  • If on probation, must follow and adhere to the Academic Improvement Plan

Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver

The Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver (MITW) is available through the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MCDR), which waives tuition for Michigan residence, attending a Michigan public college/university who have a Native American Blood Quantum of ¼ or more as certified by your Tribal Enrollment Department.

First time applicants of the MITW, will submit their completed forms to Pokagon Band Enrollment Staff with a photocopy of your Michigan Driver's License or state-issued Michigan Identification Card and a photocopy of your Tribal ID.

The MITW will stay in affect and will not need to be resubmitted unless, you are transferring schools and/or returning to school after a gap in pursuing your higher education. These changes will be submitted directly to Melissa Kiesewetter MDCR at kiesewetterm@michigan.gov.

You may visit MDCR https://www.michigan.gov/mdcr/0,4613,7-138--240889--,00.html for more information. Below is the application along with MITW FAQs.

Free Application for Federal Financial Aid

You can file the FAFSA for the upcoming school year after October 1, though you can apply for your PIN# anytime. You must apply every year you are in school. There is no cost to apply for the FAFSA.

For more information, contact your high school’s guidance office, your college financial aid office, Marisela Goodrich, at the Pokagon Band Department of Education (888) 330-1234.

Marisela Goodrich Higher Education Contact
(269) 782-0887

Department of Education
(269) 782-0887 or (888) 330-1234 Fax (269) 782-0985