Higher Education Program

Upper Sioux Higher Education Program

The Goal of the Upper Sioux Higher Education Program is to advocate and administer higher education resources for Upper Sioux Community members. With the growing population of the community and the need to become economically diverse, the Upper Sioux Community requires diverse skills. Equally vital to the community is the need to support Dakota language learners, Dakota historians, and to foster culturally competent citizens. While the Upper Sioux Community supports members pursuing higher education and skills away from the community, we need members to return and serve the community.

USC Higher Education Assistance Program Services:
  • Advocacy and technical assistance
  • Financial Assistance
  • Housing Assistance
  • Graduate Incentives
  • Laptop Incentive

To qualify for any and all Higher Education assistance you must:
  • Be an enrolled member of the Upper Sioux Community.
  • Be accepted for admission at an accredited institution of higher education.
  • Be enrolled for credit to the institution and working towards a degree or certificate program.
  • Be in good standing with the Upper Sioux Higher Education Program.
  • If seeking Housing Assistance, the student must not be living in a HUD subsidized house. For example, cannot be living in a low-income rental unit or a Lease-to-Own unit. Assistance is given only to those living in documented campus-dormitories, documented rental units, and attending school at least half-time. A check will be authorized to the property owner, not to the student and there will be no back pay for past rent.
  • For the Laptop Incentive Program, the student must be attending school full-time and be in good academic standing.

The Upper Sioux Community Higher Education Program provides the following (based on criteria and eligibility):
  • Advocacy and technical assistance (finding a program, filling out FAFSA, applications, seeking other scholarships, fellowships, internships, resume’ development, etc.);
  • Financial Assistance
  • Rental, room/board assistance, when grant funds are available (USC IHA must follow the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rules and regulations for expenditure of HUD funds. This means that each applicant must meet the income guidelines as published by HUD).
  • Laptop incentive, when grant funds are available.
  • Graduation incentives.
  • One-time $500.00 scholarship for graduating high school students (to be mailed to the institution/college), provided student attends fall semester of graduating year.
  • Maximum Lifetime Program. Participation is:
    • limited to ten (10) academic years, up to 250 credit hours.

  • Letter of Acceptance from an eligible institution - New students, transfers and previously suspended students only.
  • Completed application/s.
  • Copies of Official transcripts, Degrees, Certificates previously attended and/or completed (when applicable).
  • Fee statement, indicating number of registered credits (each semester).
  • Copy of each semester’s grades/transcripts (to be turned in each semester).
  • Completed, signed USC Higher Education Program Appication Form.
  • Complete and file a Federal Assistance for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) application (Annually).
  • Supply documentation of lease, or room/board statement, income verification for each applicant through tax returns, Per Capita verification, etc., (each semester).
  • To be eligible for Higher Education Program, student must maintain a minimum of ½ time status.
  • Written authorization to the Upper Sioux Community Education Department to access official transcripts/school records.

Assistance Determination
  • Applications must be completed and submitted to USC Higher Education Director prior to school beginning
  • All financial assistance is based upon the number of registered credits - All award notices and checks will be mailed directly to the college or university.
    • Students must go through the Financial Aid Office at their college/university.
Note: If you are taking all online classes through the accredited college or university you must reside within the 15-mile radius to receive funding. Members residing outside the 15-mile radius must physically attend ½ time to be eligible for funding for online classes.

Minimum Academic Progress
All students must meet the following minimum standards:
  • Maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0.
  • Maintain the number of registered credits.
  • Be working towards a specified degree or certificate program (you must declare a major within two (2) years of initial funding)

USC Forms & Applications
Financial Assistance Program Form (to be completed by institutions Financial Aid Officer)

Laptop Incentive Form

Carrie Trutna
Upper Sioux Community | Higher Education Director
Direct: (320) 564-6327
Quick Links

Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Scholorship and Grant Programs
Minnesota State American Indian Scholarship Program - provides postsecondary financial assistance to eligible Minnesota resident students who demonstrate financial need for an award.

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