Native American Tuition Waiver Program

For students who are enrolled at MMA, this program covers in-state tuition charges for:

  • Maine residents whose names are included on the current Maine tribal census, or who have at least one parent or grandparent included on the current Maine tribal census, of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation, the Houlton Band of Maliseet, and Aroostook Band of Micmac, and who provide MMA with official documentation directly from the tribe, Nation or band in a sealed envelope, similar to the process used for official transcripts.

Tuition Waiver:

This program covers in-state tuition at Maine Maritime Academy.  Tuition will be waived for qualified matriculated students who are enrolled in academic, credit-bearing courses at the undergraduate level at Maine Maritime Academy.

The program will not cover room and board, fees, medical expenses, fines, and other fees that are required for enrollment in classes. The program does not cover books and supplies and other indirect costs.

NATWP Eligibility:

  1. A student must be a member and be included on the current Maine 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 Maine tribal census of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation, the Houlton Band of Maliseet, or the Aroostook Band of Micmac.
  1. All Native American applicants must be a resident of Maine. A student’s legal state of residence is established at the time of acceptance at Maine Maritime. If the student is under the age of 24, the student’s legal state of residence will be that of his/her custodial parent’s primary home and the state where their taxes are filed. (MMA follows the same regulations used by the Department of Education for determining state residency and dependency or independency of a student).
  1. Matriculating students must apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and supply all required documentation for the NATWP to the Financial Aid Office.  For the academic year and/or the fall semester, the FAFSA must be filed and the aid application completed by August 15th. For the spring semester, the FAFSA must be filed and the aid application completed and all documents for the NATWP received by December 15th

New Applicants:

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. You may obtain the NATW application packet by calling 207-326-2339 or email: kathy.heath@mma.edu

Documentation Needed:

  1. Application: You may obtain the NATW application packet by calling 207-326-2339 or email: kathy.heath@mma.edu
  1. 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 parents’ 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.
  1. 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. 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 is required.Once enrollment documentation of the parent or grandparent has been provided, documentation from the applicant showing state residency for the past twenty-four months prior to application must also be provided. Forms of documentation include rental or home ownership, utility bills, etc. Also, to trace descendancy, 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 descendancy from a tribal member.
  1. All Students Must File for Financial Aid/ FAFSAThe FAFSA must be completed each academic year in order to remain eligible for the Tuition Waiver.  It is highly recommended that you fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1st. 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 August 15th.

Students must provide an annual statement of support identifying all financial assistance provided by the tribe, Nation, or band. (This must be official documentation provided by the Tribal office responsible for assisting students with their cost of education.)  The cost of all financial assistance, including the tuition waiver, cannot exceed the cost of attendance and the amount of the waiver applied may be reduced if additional scholarship and grant aid is available to the student.

Continuing Eligibility:

To continue to receive the Native American Tuition Waiver:

  1. Students must remain academically eligible to register for classes and maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress in compliance with Title IV Federal financial aid policies (as described in the College Catalog at Affording MMA)
  1. Students must complete a FAFSA each academic year, no later than August 15th for the fall semester and/or academic year.

Policies, procedures and exclusions

  1. An eligible student’s bill will be credited with a Tuition Waiver after initial authorization from the MMA’s Financial Aid Office
  2. The total funds received by the student from all sources including the waiver may not exceed total cost of attendance.
  3. All sources of gift, grant and scholarship assistance from tribal, federal, state, institutional and outside agencies will be used to pay the student’s bill for institutional charges, prior to determination of the amount of the Tuition Waiver each semester
  4. The tuition waiver will be awarded using a program specific budget established by the Financial Aid Office. In the event of an over-award, the tuition waiver will be adjusted first.
  5. All separate charges will be the responsibility of the student.
  6. Students who are receiving a tuition waiver through a collective bargaining unit, as a dependent or as a full-time employee of the Academy, are will not eligible for this waiver.