The Native American Waiver & Room and Board Grant Program of the University of Maine System
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The University of Maine System has a tuition waiver and room and board grant programs for qualified and eligible Native American students. The purpose of these programs is to encourage Native American students to participate in public higher education in Maine. The goal is to provide sustained support for all UMS Native American students who wish to pursue post-secondary study and, in particular, those who wish to obtain a certificate and/or an associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degree or some other appropriate credential that will serve them personally and professionally as they plan for the future.
Tuition and Fees Waiver:
This program covers tuition and mandatory fees (required fees charged of all students enrolled at the institution and automatically assessed at the time of registration exclusive of travel and accommodation fees related to travel courses). Tuition and mandatory fees will be waived for qualified students, both matriculated and non-matriculated, who are enrolled in academic, credit-bearing courses at the undergraduate, graduate, or continuing education level at the campuses of the University of Maine System.
The program will not cover medical expenses, fines, and other fees that are not required for enrollment in classes. The program does not cover books and supplies.
Native American Room and Board Grant
The Native American Room and Board Grant is a need based award determined by Financial Aid for qualified native 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 tenant. Room and board charges will be covered only during the traditional academic year (fall and spring terms).
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, 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.
Eligibility for the Room and Board grant is determined by Financial Aid office by completing a FAFSA.
- A student must be a member and be included on the current tribal census of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation, the Houlton Band of Maliseet, or the Aroostook Band of Micmac, or have at least one parent or grandparent who is included on the current tribal census of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation, the Houlton Band of Maliseet, or the Aroostook Band of Micmac. OR:
- A student must be a member and be included on the current tribal census of a Canadian Wabanaki Tribe or have at least one parent or grandparent who is included on the current tribal census, and must have lived in Maine for at least twelve months, for purposes other than education, immediately prior to application. OR:
- A student must be a member and be included on a current tribal census of a federally, state or provincially recognized Native American Tribe and have lived in Maine for at least twelve months, for purposes other than education, immediately prior to application.
- Proof of residency is required for all applicants with the exception of current tribal members and their direct biological descendants (e.g., parent or grandparent was a tribal member ) of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation, the Houlton Band of Maliseet, or the Aroostook Band of Micmac. The residency guidelines are the same as those employed for any student and can be located within the UMS Administrative Practice Letter found at: http://www.maine.edu/pdf/IV-G_002.pdf.
- Matriculating 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 on 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.
You will have to complete an application form and provide supporting documents such as original birth certificates and tribal verification. No tribal or status cards accepted. Upon verification of eligibility, a meeting with the Coordinator must be scheduled to go over the guidelines and sign the agreement to the program. You may obtain the NAWEP application packet by calling 207-780-5139 or
Tribal Verification: You must obtain a letter or an official document signed by a band or tribal official verifying your membership. Descendants must provide documentation of a parent's or grandparent's band or tribal membership. In addition, descendants will need to provide the appropriate birth certificates indicating the relationship to the parent/grandparent.
Application Process: Once all documentation has been obtained please contact the Coordinator in the Office Multicultural Student Affairs at 780-5138 in order to initiate the short application process.
Descendants of a Tribal Member:
An original document from a federally recognized tribal office stating that a parent or grandparent is an enrolled member to that tribe or has enrollment on the tribal census must be presented for eligibility. If your parent or grandparent is from a Canadian Reserve, you must provide an original document showing their band number. An original letter or certificate from the tribal official who certifies membership, a band card, or a certificate of degree of Indian blood issued by the US or Canadian governments is required.
Once enrollment documentation of the parent or grandparent has been provided, documentation from the applicant showing state residency for the past twelve months prior to application must also be provided. Forms of documentation include rental or home ownership, utility bills, etc. Also, to trace decadency, the applicant must present birth certificates depicting the parent and possibly another birth certificate tracing the parent to the grandparent. Your documents will be photocopied and the originals will be returned to you.
It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain clear documentation that proves discordancy to a tribal member.
All Students Must File for Financial Aid/ FAFSA with the exception of non-degree/non-matriculated students
The FAFSA must be completed each academic year in order to remain eligible for the Waiver and Room and Board Grant. It is highly recommended that you fill out the FAFSA no later than February 15th. If deadlines are not met, students would be in danger of not receiving the waiver and or grant. Students can begin filing the FAFSA after January 1st of each year. All FAFSA packages must be complete by September 1st.
Additional Requirements for the Room and Board Grant
• Be admitted into a degree program as a full-time, matriculated student.
• Maintain a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester.
• Reside is a residence hall on campus.
• Continue to show satisfactory academic progress as defined by institutional policy and/or federal guidelines.