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Q: What is the required annual paperwork for the Higher Education Program?

A: Students are required to submit a Higher Education Assistance Application, a W-9 Form, a copy of their tribal card, scholarship essay if applying for scholarships, and their Fall semester grade report if applying for the Self-Sufficiency Incentive Award. All paperwork is available on our website www.saulttribe.com under membership services and they are located in our download folder.

Q: On the application, what does estimate credit hours mean?

A: This section is where a student writes down how many credit hours they think they will take for each semester (Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer).

Q: What if I have not decided on a major yet?

A: Students can declare their major as "Undecided" if they have not chosen their major yet. We use this information to run queries of current students to do targeted mailings to notify students of scholarships, internships, and job opportunities.

Q: Can my parents change my contact information or call on my behalf?

A: Only students can complete their annual forms or call to verify their information. A student can grant permission for someone else to contact our department on their behalf by completing the line on the application that states "I hereby give authorization to the tribe to release my education and financial information to the following individual(s)" and they will be required to write out the person's first and last name. Student information is protected by Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Q: What is a W-9 form?

A: A W-9 form is also called a taxpayer identification number request. Students are required to complete and sign this form for our program if they wish to apply for funding. This form verifies that we have student permission to award them funding and also allows us to track our funding for submission with the IRS. This form is not related to personal taxes and you still have to fill one out even if you did not file your annual taxes.

Q: Does the Higher Education Program keep our tribal cards on file?

A: No we do not keep any tribal cards on file. Students are requried to submit a copy of their card to verify their enrollment with our tribe. We can not accept a copy of another family member's card in place of the student's card. We can not accept expired tribal cards. Students can renew or replace a lost card by contacting the Sault Tribe Enrollment office at (906) 632-8552.

Q: If I applied for scholarships in June 2012, do I have to resubmit my annual paperwork later in the same year for the Self-Sufficiency Incentive Award?

A: No, the annual paperwork will be valid from February 1, 2012 until January 31, 2013.

Q: If I want to apply for more than one scholarship, do I have to submit more than one essay?

A: Students can use their essay for multiple scholarships for the same academic year. It is important that students follow the essay topic and do not use the same essay for more than one year. Students are required to write a cover letter and attach it to the top of their essays. The cover letter should include their name, academic information, and list each individual scholarship they wish to apply for. Without this list, we will not know which scholarships students are applying for.

Q: How does the Grant Program work?

A: The Grant Program is for Michigan state-supported public 2-or-4 year colleges or universities. The amounts awarded to each student are based on unmet financial need as determined by your individual college's financial aid office. Students who meet the July 1st deadline for the Fall semester grants are potentially eligible for a Winter grant. Winter grants are determined using the same criteria as the Fall semester grants.

Q: For the Self-Sufficiency Incentive Award, what if my college does not have full semesters but is broken into smaller terms, can I still apply?

A: The Higher Education Program defines FALL semester as courses that take place from August-December of that year.

Q: What are the award times for each program?

A: We hope to award scholarships by mid-September, Fall grants by mid-October, Winter grants by mid-March, and Self-Sufficiency Incentive Awards by the beginning of March.

Q: What if I move or change colleges during the academic year?

A: Students who wish to update their address with our program will be required to submit a new W-9 form. Students who change colleges will be required to submit something in writing to our office stating that they switched from College "A" to College "B."  Please ensure to include the new college's full name and address.

Q: Where will my check go once it is awarded?

A: Scholarship checks are sent directly to the student at their address listed on their W-9 form. Grant checks will be submitted directly to their college's financial aid office where they will be credited directly to the student's financial aid account. Self-Sufficiency Incentive Awards will be mailed directly to the student using the address listed on their W-9 form.

Q: What is the Higher Education Office contact information?

A: Students may contact Brandi MacArthur, Administrative Assistant, for the Sault Tribe Higher Education office. All forms and documentation maybe submitted directly to her by mail, fax, or email.

Her office is located at: 523 Ashmun Street, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783.

Her direct fax number is (906)635-7785 and her email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Phone Numbers: (906)635-6050 Ext 26312 or toll-free 1(855)635-7784.

Q: Where do I find the Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver?

A: The Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver is offered by the State of Michigan. Students must be certified by their tribe as having a 1/4 blood quantum. Although this is NOT a Sault Tribe Program, we provide the forms on our website as a courtesy to our tribal members at www.saulttribe.com. It is located under the Education tab in the membership service tab or it can be printed off the State of Michigan's website. Once students complete the forms, they must mail the forms and $15.00 fee to the Sault Tribe Enrollment office at Po Box 1628, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783 for certification. Once the Enrollment office has certified the student's blood quantum, all the paperwork will be forwarded to the State of Michigan's office in Lansing, MI. Students with questions may contact Melissa Claramount at (517)241-7748.


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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY