Financial Aid & Scholarship Office

Indian Higher Education Grant Program

(formerly BIA Grant)

The Bureau of Indian Education, an office of the U.S. Department of the Interior, administers  the Indian Higher Education Grant Program which provides financial aid to eligible Native American students. Funds are intended to assist students in pursuing their undergraduate baccalaureate degree at an accredited institution of higher education.

General Qualifications

Student must:

  • Be a member of or, at least, one-quarter degree Indian blood descendent of a member of a Native American/American Indian Tribe or Alaskan Native village.
  • Be admitted into an accredited college degree program.
  • Demonstrate financial need, as determined by the Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA)(opens in new window).

How to Apply for Indian Higher Education Grant

  1. File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the appropriate aid year. For each academic year for which you will need financial aid, you must complete a FAFSA. The FAFSA helps determine your Financial Need, or the difference between your educational costs and the Student Aid Index (SAI) calculated by the Department of Education. 
  2. Contact the Education Line Officer of the Tribe in which you are affiliated or possess membership. You must also file a grant application form with the Tribe, in accordance with instructions provided by the education officer or tribal contractor administering the program. For contact information for the federally recognized tribes, please refer to the BIA's Tribal Leaders Directory(opens in new window).

Award Procedure

Individual students are notified by the Area/Agency Education Program Administrator or tribal contractor, and funds are sent to Chico State, to be included in your financial aid package by the  Financial Aid & Scholarship Office. Grant funds are awarded to supplement the total financial aid package offered by the institution. Applications by students usually will be processed within 6 to 10 weeks after all required documents are submitted. Chico State students should check their Student Center for award updates and requests for additional information.

For a complete description of the Bureau of Indian Education Higher Education Grant Program (PDF), download the BIE information packet for prospective American Indian college students.