Native American Waiver and Education Program
The Native American Waiver and Education Program pays all tuition and mandatory University fees for eligible students.
- Tuition for any regular credit-bearing course (graduate or undergraduate level) during the fall and spring semester is waived whether or not the student is enrolled in a degree program.
- Only mandatory campus fees are waived.
Unlike the Fall and Winter/Spring semesters, summer course fees are not automatically waived from a student’s account when the student signs up for a summer course(s). It is the responsibility of the student to contact their campus’ financial aid office to inform them they are utilizing the Native American Waiver and have signed up for a summer course(s). It is the student’s responsibility to follow up with the financial aid office if the student notices that their Native American Waiver was not applied to their account after the course(s) has started. If a student fails to do this, the student may be responsible for a late fee or the entire course fee.
- Completed Native American Waiver and Education Program Application
- Original tribal membership document – We do not accept tribal cards as proof of tribal membership. Documentation must be less than two years old. Faxed or emailed directly from the Tribal Office to 207-581-4760 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Mailed/delivered from applicant to Native American Programs, 5717 Corbett Hall, Room 208, Orono, Maine 04469-5717
- Original birth certificate (see one of three options below)
- If applicant is the enrolled tribe member, no birth certificate is needed.
- If applicant is a direct descendant with a parent enrolled in a tribe, the applicant’s original birth certificate is needed.
- If applicant is a direct descendant with a grandparent enrolled (no parent enrolled) in a tribe, the applicant’s original birth certificate AND the original birth certificate of the parent who is the biological son/daughter of the enrolled tribal member is needed.
We do not follow-up on applications that lack these original documents. It is the applicant’s responsibility to acquire/arrange for these documents to be sent to us. Upon completion, the applicant’s application is reviewed.
This program will NOT cover:
- Medical expenses
- Other fees not required for enrollment in classes (i.e. travel fees, equipment fees, individual course fees, program fees)
- Books and supplies
- On-campus parking passes
- Classes taken while under suspension
The Coordinator of The Native American Waiver and Education Program and Room & Board Grant administers the Program for all University of Maine campuses.
To be considered, interested applicants must:
- Be accepted for enrollment at one of the University of Maine campuses; and
- Provide proof of eligibility as outlined in the following Eligibility Requirements.
- It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain clear original tribal documentation.
- Be a biological child of a tribal member/citizen. A non-native son or daughter who has been adopted by a tribal member/citizen – does not qualify for the Native American Waiver and Educational Program.
Members of Maine Tribes:
You are considered a Maine tribal member if your name is included on the current tribal census of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation, the Houlton Band of Maliseets or the Aroostook Band of MicMac.
Descendant of a Maine Tribal Member:
It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain clear documentation that proves descendancy from a Wabanaki member. All originals will be photocopied and returned to you. Proof can be provided in the following manner:
- An original document from a Wabanaki recognized tribal office stating that a parent or a grandparent is an enrolled member of that tribe, or has enrollment on the tribal census.
- If your parent or grandparent is from a Canadian tribe, you must provide an original document showing their band number.
- Original birth certificate(s) documenting Wabanaki descendancy.
Members of Other North American Indian Tribes:
To be considered a tribal member of another tribe, for the purposes of this program, you must be enrolled in a federally recognized tribe. If you belong to a Canadian tribe, you must provide an original document showing your band number of a tribe that is provincially recognized by the Canadian government. (A band card does not fulfill this requirement).
Additionally, documentation of Maine State residency for twelve months immediately prior to application must be provided to your campus admissions office.
If you have been academically suspended, your Tuition Waiver will not be re-applied until your suspension is revoked and you will be financially responsible for classes taken while under suspension.
Room and Board Grant
The Native American Room and Board Grant Program is a need based award for qualified Native American students living in a residence hall of the campus where they are matriculating. Students will be subsidized at the double occupancy rate for the student’s residence. Charges for single, double single, or computer or telephone devices, for which there is a separate charge, will be the responsibility of the student. Board charges will be subsidized at the rate associated with the standard meal plan, not to exceed the cost of the maximum meal plan. Room and board charges will be covered only during the traditional academic year (fall and spring terms) and are not covered for breaks between semesters. Exceptions may be granted in cases where a student’s major requires enrollment in an academic session outside the traditional academic year.
- Students must meet all eligibility requirements of the Native American Waiver and Education Program and be certified as eligible by the Wabanaki Center at the University of Maine.
- Students must be matriculating in an undergraduate or graduate degree program within the University of Maine System, enrolled in a minimum of twelve (12) credit hours for undergraduates or nine (9) credit hours for graduate students at USM, or six (6) credits hours for graduate students at UM at the end of add/drop, and living in a residence hall of the campus where they are matriculating. Full time enrollment for graduate students working on their thesis or dissertation, and/or on a campus other than UM and USM, will be classified as full time in accordance with the policies on their campus of matriculation. Exceptions to the minimum enrolled hour requirement may be granted in cases where educational accommodations are required. Room and board charges will be covered ONLY during the time period when the student is actively enrolled.
- Students must apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and supply all required documentation to the Financial Aid Office at the campus at which they are matriculated. For the academic year and/or the fall semester, the FAFSA must be filed and the aid application completed by September 1st. For the spring semester, the FAFSA must be filed and the aid application completed by January 1st. In order to qualify for the full range of financial aid available to qualified applicants, students are strongly encouraged to file their FAFSA by the priority financial aid filing date specified at their institution.
- Students must meet all of the general eligibility requirements of the Federal Title IV Financial Aid programs, including Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
- Students who maintain a permanent private residence, other than the parent’s home, within commuting distance of the university are NOT eligible for room and board grants.
- Persons employed by the University of Maine System on a half-time or greater basis and who are carried on the University employee payroll are NOT eligible for the room and board grant.
The maximum eligibility for the Room and Board Grant will not exceed the cost of the standard room and board charges, less all federal and state gift aid the student may receive for the purpose of funding education expenses, as well as other assistance specifically identified as paying for room and board charges. For the purposes of this calculation, 50% of a Federal Pell Grant will be considered. During the award process, the maximum eligibility is then compared to the students remaining need and reduced if necessary so that an over award situation is not created.
The total amount a student receives from the Native American Room and Board Grant and from all other sources of financial support for the same purpose, whether from the institution or from outside agencies, may not exceed the student’s calculated financial need. The receipt of other aid may, in some cases, reduce or eliminate the receipt of the room and board grant.
An eligible Native American student’s university bill will be credited with a waiver of tuition and mandatory fees and/or room and board grant after initial authorization from the campus staff member serving as Coordinator/Director of the Native American Waiver and Education Program and the financial aid office.
A student dissatisfied with a decision regarding the waiver and/or grant may, within six months of the date of the decision, ask the Native American Waiver and Education Program Coordinator for a statement of reasons for the denial. The applicant may then respond to what s/he contends are the factual or legal errors in the statement of reasons. If the Native American Waiver and Education Program Coordinator does not change the decision regarding the applicant based on the applicant’s response, the applicant may submit all materials to the UMS Chief Student Affairs Officer for final review. The UMS Chief Student Affairs Officer may change the decision only upon a showing of clear factual error or a misapplication of the governing Program Agreement. For other appeals (e.g., academic issues, financial aid, housing, billing, etc.), Native American students will use the appropriate campus appeals processes.
The Native American Waiver and Education Program Coordinator has the authority to investigate improprieties in the use of the Native American Waiver and Education Program. If the Coordinator determines misuse of the Program, s/he has the authority to suspend, temporarily and/or permanently, an individual’s eligibility for the Native American Waiver and Education Program.