Tuition waiver for eligible Indigenous students

Artistic rendering of White Pine needles

Tuition waiver for eligible Indigenous students

The University of Waterloo will waive tuition for incoming and current Waterloo students who are members of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation or Six Nations of the Grand River.  

Indigenous students who are members of these bands (on whose traditional territory the University of Waterloo is situated) and who are pursuing studies in a graduate or undergraduate program at Waterloo are eligible for this waiver. This is part of Waterloo’s active work toward reconciliation and is a response to the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 

We believe this is the first full-tuition waiver in Canada for students who are members of local bands on whose traditional territory a university is situated. This initiative continues Waterloo’s efforts to build and strengthen the University’s relationship with the Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississaugas of the Credit. 

The tuition waiver will be effective as of fall 2023; this waiver cannot be applied to terms prior to fall 2023. 

Tuition for Indigenous students outside of Ontario

To further support access to education, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students from Canadian provinces and territories outside Ontario will be able to pay the same tuition as Ontario students. In recognition of the Jay Treaty, Native American students from the continental U.S. are also eligible for Ontario domestic tuition instead of international student tuition.  

To learn more, please visit https://uwaterloo.ca/finance/student-financial-services/tuition-fee-schedules.

Requirements and validation

You must meet all of the following requirements to be eligible for the tuition waiver. 

  • You are pursuing studies in an undergraduate or graduate program at Waterloo. 
  • To qualify for the tuition waiver, you are a validated Indigenous student who is an enrolled member of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation or Six Nations of the Grand. 
  • To qualify for the domestic Ontario tuition, you are a validated First Nations, Métis, or Inuit student from Canadian provinces and territories outside Ontario or a Native American student from the continental U.S. 

Waterloo recognizes that identifying who is and who is not a member of an Indigenous community must be done by the community, not the University. For that reason, the validation process will rely on students submitting the accepted citizenship/membership cards that show they are an enrolled member of that community. 

In cases where no documentation exists, an Indigenous-led committee at Waterloo will consider tuition waiver requests on an individual basis. Students will be asked for a signed affidavit that outlines their claim and which includes a provision that if the information supplied proves false, that student’s tuition waiver, employment, award, etc. could be rescinded. Claimants for the tuition waiver may also be asked for familial references, and/or a First Nations, Métis, or Inuit-elected or traditional leader’s reference. 

Starting in June 2023, students will be able to upload their documentation into Quest, Waterloo’s student information system. Directions and information on how to submit your documentation will available to you at that time – please watch this webpage for that information when it becomes available. For general questions, please reach out to the Student Service Centre, askthecentre@uwaterloo.ca, 519-888-4567, ext. 42268. 

Bursaries, awards and scholarships

If you're like most students, you'll use multiple sources of money to pay for university. 

While scholarships are generally based on academic achievement, most loans, grants, and bursaries are based on financial need. But what does "financial need" mean? It's the difference between your costs (tuition, textbooks, housing and food, personal expenses, transportation) and what you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education.  

Learn more about the many financial aid opportunities for Indigenous students at Waterloo.