Who is eligible for post secondary funding?
Answer:  ONLY a registered Six Nations member with a valid status card can apply.  If you are a registered Six Nations member and you have  met the entrance requirements for and been enrolled in or accepted for enrollment in an eligible post secondary program then you can apply for post secondary education assistance through the Grand River Post Secondary Education Office.  Questions about membership can be directed to the Six Nations membership office at (519) 445-4613.            

Can I apply for funding without a letter of acceptance or without confirmed registration from a College or University.
AnswerYes - you do not have to wait for these items.  Your information can always be changed on your application if it is different than when your application was completed.            

When can an applicant expect to hear whether their application for post secondary funding has been approved?
Answer:  Given the volume of applications to process, it takes at least three weeks to process an application once the processing starts for completed applications in a particular priority.

 Application Processing Schedule "Subject to availability of funds"

  Winter 2017

Summer 2017

Fall 2017

Winter 2018

Resid 1
Resid 2
Resid 1
Resid 2
Resid 1
Resid 2
Resid 1
Resid 2
 Priorities 1 to 3
Oct 28

Feb 10

Apr. 14
June 16
Oct 27

 Priority 4

Feb 17

May 12
June 23

 Priority 5 to 7

June 2
July 7

The GRPSEO’s Application Approval Processing Schedule for 2017/2018 provides the earliest date that an eligible application can be recommended to the Director for approval. Note that applications are processed by priority for each intake. There is limited processing for summer and winter applications due to limited availability of funding.  All applicants are encouraged to seek an alternate source of funding (such as OSAP, Dreamcatcher or Indspire) to assist with the expenses of going to school.            

An application can be recommended if:
(1) the application was received by the application deadline date, 
(2) required documents were received by the application approval processing date,  
(3) the applicant is otherwise eligible, and 
(4) there are sufficient funds for the application priority.  

FYI - Post Secondary Funding Advisors (Funding Advisor) review all applications and assign a processing priority. This priority is printed on the Checklist of Required Documentation that is sent to the applicant by their Funding Advisor.  

Example: You have submitted an application for Fall 2017 funding and your priority is a 4b.  You have sent in all the required documents to GRPSEO including an acceptance letter from the school you will be attending. It is now April 1, 2017. Your application will not be processed for funding until June 23, 2017. This is the earliest date that you can expect to be notified whether your application for funding can be approved. You must decide whether to accept the offer of admission and send in a deposit to hold your seat or wait to hear about your funding application. If you have any questions please call the GRPSEO and speak to your Funding Advisor.

Who am I supposed to see or contact if I have questions?
Answer:  This depends on the purpose of your contact. The receptionist at the GRPSEO can direct you to the right person. When in doubt, contact your Funding Advisor. Your Funding Advisor's name is on your approved application for assistance form (client copy).

I've been approved for post secondary funding, now what?
Answer:  You will receive a copy of the approved application in the mail along with a copy of the sponsorship letter that is sent to your post secondary institution. It is your responsibility to register with the post secondary institution. Remember to check with your post secondary institution for specific dates and deadlines. If you stay in residence, you must let your Funding Advisor know prior to your first month's education allowance being released. Be aware of your institution's deadlines for residence.

When will my monthly education allowance be deposited?
Answer:  If you have been approved for a monthly education allowance then it is directly deposited to your bank account by the first of each month.  Any problems with your file at the GRPSEO may result in the deposit being delayed.  Keep in touch with your Funding Advisor to make sure everything is okay.

Detailed tuition fee information.  What is it?
Answer: : The detailed tuition fee information is a statement/listing which shows what fees are included in your tuition amount.  (ie:) Health and dental, association, activity etc.  Your detailed tuition fee information will have your name/student number on the statement.  Your acceptance package from the school will include this in your package.  If not you can get a student account statement from the school website, or go directly to the student accounts office and request your account statement.  Your detailed tuition fee information is due October 1st for fall and February 1st for winter.

How do I opt-out of an optional health insurance plan, and where can I access information on the non-insured health benefits
Answer:  Only mandatory tuition and mandatory student fees are covered in approved tuition assistance through GRPSEO.  Avoid charges for optional student fees by opting out at the start of the semester.  Check with your institution on when fees are applied and the deadline for opting out.

First Nations and Inuit Health Branch works with First Nations and Inuit communities, other Health Canada branches, and federal government departments to provide health programs and services.  The Non-Insured Health Benefits Program (NIHB) provides a range of health related goods and services to eligible beneficiaries who are status Indians, recognized Inuit and recognized Innu people in Canada. The NIHB Program offers specific health related benefits not provided by other agencies such as provincial and territorial health plans or other third party plans. These benefits include vision and dental care, medical transportation, drugs, medical supplies and equipment and others.  Visit here to access more information.

May I receive an advance on my education allowance?
Answer:  No. There are deadlines and procedures in place for receiving monthly education allowance.

May I receive more book money?
Answer:  No. There are limitations for book and supply assistance.

May I change academic programs if I already started one?
Answer:  You need to be aware of deadlines and procedures for both the college or university as well as Grand River Post Secondary Education Office. Speak with your Funding Advisor before you decide to change academic programs.

How often should I have contact with my Grand River Post Secondary Funding Advisor?
Answer:  You should have direct contact a minimum of once per semester. Full time students will have either direct or indirect contact with Funding Advisor at least eight times per year i.e.

  • To complete an application for education assistance before the next applications deadline.
  • To review progress to date, share successes and concerns.
  • To discuss marks, progress reports, transcripts.
  • To submit required documentation.
  • To confirm that all required documentation has been submitted to maintain eligibility for education assistance.
  • To discuss your education plan.
    **Contact can be made with your Funding Advisor in several ways. For example by telephone (collect calls are accepted); by mail; in office visits and through e-mail.

Is an appointment required to meet with my Funding Advisor?
Answer: An appointment is preferred to ensure your Funding Advisor is available when you arrive.

Overpayment? How do I clear this up so that I can receive funding again?
Once notified of an overpayment by the "overpayment report," contact GRPSEO to make arrangements about your payment. If you are successfully returning and you are unable to pay the full amount, it is possible to arrange a monthly payment schedule.  A 15% discount may be applied if payment will be made in full.

I plan to attend post secondary at an institution outside of Ontario, is there any difference in the funding I will receive?
Answer:  The amount of assistance has limitations in place.  It is based on the mandatory tuition rate in a public post secondary institution in Canada for the same program.  If a student attends a private or out of country institution and the tuition costs are higher than this then the outstanding tuition balance is the students responsibility.  Assistance for an accredited private and out of country institutions is available for one level of study only.  

Residency Categories-FAQs

Does this mean that off-reserve students outside the 100 km radius of Six Nations of the Grand River are not eligible for funding now?
Answer: No it does not. All Six Nations Band members are still eligible for funding under the new policy.

I live in the United States but my address is within the 100 km from the hub of Six Nations (1670 Chiefswood Rd, Ohsweken Ontario), will I be eligible for Residency 1?
Answer: No. The new policy states that our current Priority 6 (students from other countries) will NOT be eligible under Residency Category 1.

How will the 100 km radius be calculated? 
Answer: The 100 km has already been pre-defined as seen on the map below and was created using  www.freemaptools.com using the point of origin as 1670 Chiefswood Rd, Ohsweken, Ontario.  (This is the North-West corner of Chiefswood Rd and Fourth Line Rd in Ohsweken, Ontario.)

*NOTE: while the 100 km radius extends into the United States, students outside of the Canadian Border will not be eligible under the Residency 1 Category.

We will then locate your permanent home address (provided on your application and verified  by your submitted required documentation) on the radius map above to determine your  Residency category as a 1 (within the 100km) or a 2 (outside of the 100km). 

How will you verify my permanent home address?
Answer: Each student is required to submit   documentation which will verify the permanent home address you input on your application  form.

What are the documents accepted by GRPSEO as verification of permanent home address?
Answer: The GRPSEO will accept the following documents to verify your permanent home address:

    • Driver’s Licence
    • Documentation from your chosen institution which shows your permanent home address ((i.e.) Letter of acceptance, enrollment letter or tuition fee statement)
    • An official copy of your college or university application which shows your permanent home address.
    • A notarized letter verifying your permanent home address.
    • Any other form of documentation must be approved by the Director of GRPSEO.

*PLEASE NOTE: A Post Office Box will not be acceptable as your permanent home address. You must be able to provide a physical home address or your application will not be processed.

If I am in the Residency 2 category, when can I expect to be notified of funding?
Answer:  The processing schedule can be found on our website under the FAQ section. These are the earliest possible dates you can hear from our office regarding your application.

In many instances, students should be prepared to make their own deposits to their chosen institutions to secure their seat in their program.

I am currently funded by GRPSEO and will be returning to my program in the fall. How will these new residency categories affect my priority?
Answer:   They won’t. Students who are currently funded by the GRPSEO and will be continuing successful students in Fall 2015 will be exempt from these new Residency Categories. The GRPSEO will honour our current policies for the duration of the students’ currently enrolled program of studies until one of the following happens:

A)   any changes to their current program occur. (i.e. – switching into a different program)
B)   the student reaches graduation from their current program.
C)   There is a lapse in their application cycle. Example – Student funded in Fall/Winter 2014, student did not apply for Fall 2015, student applied for Winter 2016. The applicable Residency Category will be in effect for the Winter 2016 application. This does not apply to students in co-op terms.

 *Students must have maintained their Permanent Home Residence address for a full 12 months prior to the start of the application academic period for which they have applied for Education Assistance.

Community Service-FAQs    Click the Community Service Activity Form

Will current organizations that I volunteer at be classified as an eligible organization even if they are not First Nations related? 
Answer: These community service hours are to be  completed within a recognized organization or service provider within the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. In the event that a  student is not able to complete their community service hours within the Six Nations of the  Grand River Territory and can provide justifiable reasoning to their Post Secondary Funding Advisor, the  GRPSEO will accept community service hours accumulated through a First Nations  organization or service provider within the closest First Nation community to the student  including an urban center.

Acceptable First Nations Organizations or Service Providers outside of Six Nations of the Grand River can include (but are not limited to): First Nations Student Services within their Educational Institutions, local First Nations Friendship Centers, First Nations Schools or other First Nations Community Organizations. Students can contact their Funding Advisors to receive confirmation if their chosen location for Community Hours will be acceptable.

Could you please send me a list of appropriate organizations that would be willing to accept volunteers?
Answer: The GRPSEO is currently leaving the option up to the students to choose where they would like to complete their community hours.  We suggest that you look into the different organizations within the community and decide what might be better aligned with your program of study and chosen career. From there you can contact the organization of your choice and let them know that you are interested in volunteering for their organization.

A notice has been issued to the Six Nations of the Grand River Community organizations and service providers regarding student requirements for Community Service Hours.

Will I have to start accumulating my 5 hours of community volunteering for this current semester?
Answer: Accumulation of Community Service hours should begin in the Fall 2015 semester however, you can accumulate your hours over the entire academic period and submit one Community Service Activity Form by the August 1st deadline.

My current job requires a lot of ‘off the clock’ hours. Will this be eligible for my community service hours?
Answer: It will depend on the organization you work with (i.e. is it a First Nations Organization/Six Nations community organization?). You will still be required to complete a Community Service Activity form which will need to be signed off by your work supervisor.

Can I submit my required hours at the end of each semester?
Answer: Yes, if you wish to complete your 5 hours at the end of each semester, you may do so. Your Funding Advisor will note on your file the number of community hours you have submitted to GRPSEO. 

Alternately, if your program is a 2 year college program and you are able to complete your full 20 hours(4 semester x 5 hours each semester) in one volunteer opportunity, you may then submit your full 20 hours at one time and your Funding Advisor will note on your file that all community hours are complete for the duration of your program.

If at any time your program changes or level of study changes, your Funding Advisor will also reassess your accumulated community hours to determine what is still outstanding.

When will I be required to submit my Community Hours to GRPSEO?
Answer: You will be required to submit your community hours no later than August 1st along with your Official Transcripts from the previous academic year. i.e. You were funded for Fall 2016 /Winter 2017, your Community Service Activity form which verifies 10 hours of community service will be due on August 1, 2017.

The Community Hours Form is a required document and failure to submit to the GRPSEO will result in the cancellation of your application for funding in the following year. Don’t procrastinate on completion and submission of your community hours.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we progress through this important change.
Where else can I go for funding?
Answer: You can apply to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for a student loan. We encourage all students to apply for all scholarships/awards/bursaries  that they are eligible for.  We recommend that students check at their particular institution for any aboriginal specific scholarships and also the following:

Indspire (formerly NAAF)  
Dreamcatcher Fund

What job employment opportunity will be available upon completion of my program?

Answer:  You need to have clear and concise goals when choosing a career. Research the labor market for possibilities and projections for future employment. Talk to mentors, employment counsellors and your institution's guidance department for information on how your employment picture will look.

Important Notice to  Students Planning Research on Six Nations Territory. 

Six Nations Council recognizes that all research conducted on Six Nations of the Grand River Territory is a valuable learning experience and therefore should be respected for its merits.Furthermore, Six Nations Council recognizes that research should be encouraged on Six Nations of the Grand River Territory when it is based on mutual respect, understanding and trust.

Six Nations Council has the right and authority to authorize research being conducted on Six Nations of the Grand River Territory as well as the authority to refuse a request to conduct research if it is not based on ethical principles of conducting research and preserving the integrity of our Indigenous Knowledge.
Six Nations Council therefore has a policy for conducting research at Six Nations. The purpose of the policy is to regulate and control research on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. The Six Nations Council has delegated its’ authority to implement the policy to the Ethics Committee of Council.
A request to conduct research at Six Nations must be a written proposal in the manner and form prescribed by the Ethics Committee. All research proposals are reviewed and monitored by the Ethics Committee who may require periodic reports from the researchers as well as their attendance at a possible hearing to answer questions of the Committee.
Copies of the policy for conducting research at Six Nations which include the application can be picked up at the Six Nations Band Council administration from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Source document for this student notice is "Ethics Committee:Policy for Conducting Research at Six Nations”, Six Nations Council.
SN Ethics Committee/Protocol/Application
   www.sixnations.ca/admEthicsPolicy.pdf explains conducting research at Six Nations
   www.sixnations.ca/admResearchEthicsProtocol.pdf to access the protocol/application.
If you require more information contact: Teresa Longboat at:(519)445-2201 ext. 3231 or email at: tlongboat@sixnations.ca