BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
TAHLEQUAH – The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians Housing Department is accepting applications for its College Student Rental Assistance Program until Feb. 8 at 5 p.m.
The program awards $2,000 per semester to exclusive UKB students taking at least 12 semester hours at an accredited institution.
Awards are operated on a first-come, first serve basis that is subject to the availability of funds. It is currently only for students who live within the UKB’s nine-county jurisdiction, with members of other federally recognized tribes being assisted after all UKB members are served.
The Housing Department increased its funding to $2,000 per semester in fall 2018 and the funds can be used for either on or off-campus housing.
“One of the reasons why we wanted to raise the limit from last year’s funding of $1,200 to $2,000 is because the cost of living is getting more expensive each year and some of our members go to bigger schools, which cost even more to live on campus,” said Charles Deason, UKB assistant housing director. “We are trying to help our members with as much of that housing cost as we can.”
The increase uses monies from the Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act and students must maintain a 2.0 GPA to remain eligible.
Upon approval into the program, funds will be dispersed quickly and payments will be made directly to the student’s college or university in one lump sum if they choose to live on campus.
For students who reside off campus, monthly payments will be made directly to the landlord.
If a student moves during the semester, the institute or landlord must return a prorated amount to the Housing Department.
CSRAP funds can also be used by students who attend colleges or universities out of state.
“Last year we opened it up to schools nationwide,” said Deason. “Not all of our
Keetoowah members go to school in Oklahoma, so this gives an opportunity for funding to our members who are out of state.”
Students must submit a completed application with copies of their tribal membership card, social security card and driver’s license. Financial aid and income verification of all household members, a class schedule and an official transcript are also required.
Applicants who are re-applying for funding must provide a copy of their previous semester grades.
Applicants who are living off campus will also need to supply tax returns, a property lease agreement and a W-9.
For more information or to receive an application, visit the Housing Department at 18263 W. Keetoowah Circle or call 918-871-2773.