Policies and Procedures

Issuing Financial Aid

Maine Maritime Academy’s Financial Aid Office strives to meet the financial needs of our students. Financial aid award offers are issued in date order of when the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was submitted to the Department of Education. Financial aid funds are issued on a first-come first-serve basis based on financial need.

Independent Student Status

To qualify for independent status, a student must be able to meet the Department of Education Criteria for Independency.

If a student answers yes to any one of the following questions, the student IS automatically independent. If the student answers No to all of the following questions, the student is NOT independent:

  1. Will you be 24 years of age prior to January 1 of the academic year you are going to enter college?
  2. Will you be working on a Masters Degree?
  3. Are you married?
  4. Do you have dependent children that receive more than half of their support from you?
  5. Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you?
  6. Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces? (Served two years of active duty?) A DD-214 will be required.
  7. Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
  8. At any time since you turned 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
  9. Are you or were you an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
  10. Are you or were you in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
  11. At any time on or after July 1, 2017, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
  12. At any time on or after July 1, 2017, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
  13. At any time on or after July 1, 2017, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?

Documentation may be required for any yes answers.

The Director of Financial Aid, using professional judgment, may consider a student with documented unusual circumstances as independent. A parent’s unwillingness to contribute to his/her child’s education is not grounds for independent status.

Falsification

Parents and students must supply accurate and complete information on all financial aid applications. Willful falsification or omission of information is a criminal offense punishable under Maine and federal laws. Intentional omission or falsification may result in withdrawal of all financial assistance or repayment of any assistance granted by the Academy’s Financial Aid Office.

Director of Financial Aid Discretion

In some cases, the Director of Financial Aid may adjust the expected family contribution derived from the federal methodology system if the officer has documented reason to believe that the original contribution calculated does not accurately reflect the student’s or parents’ current ability to contribute to the cost of attendance. This is called a Request for Review and will require full documentation.

Financial Aid and Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Students attending Maine Maritime Academy and receiving financial assistance are expected to maintain academic progress towards a degree. The Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is in compliance with Federal Student Aid Regulations.

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy?

Federal financial aid regulations require financial aid recipients to make progress toward earning their degree, stay above specific GPA minimums and to complete the degree within a maximum time-frame.  You can lose eligibility if you are not doing well in your classes and/or frequently withdraw from classes and/or if it is taking you a very long time to earn your degree.  If you are not meeting the minimum standards, even if you are allowed by our academic dean to continue your enrollment, you will have to do so without the benefit of financial aid.

What is Expected?

Your progress is measured at the end of the spring semester.  If you are not making satisfactory progress, you will be notified, with a letter, from the Financial Aid Office, regarding the loss of your eligibility for financial aid effective the following semester or for the semester in which you have applied for aid.

The Expectations are:

Qualitative Measurement
Degree seeking students are required to maintain a cumulative grade point average based on the number of credits earned.

Credits Earned Minimum GPA
0-24 1.80
25-48 1.90
49+ 2.00

Quantitative Measurement
Degree seeking students are required to complete a specific percentage of credits that are attempted.

Credits Attempted Percentage Earned
1-24 50%
25-54 55%
55-84 62%

Maximum Time Frame – Cumulative Credit Hours Limit
The maximum time frame allowed for you to complete your degree is defined as 150% of the credits need for your degree.  Attempting more than 150% of the credits needed without completing your degree will result in you failing to meet the academic progress standards.  For example, you enroll in a degree program that requires 120 credits, you can attempt up to 180 and remain in compliance with this policy.  If more than 180 hours are attempted, the stands of the policy are no longer being met.

Transfer Students
If a student earned credits at a previous institution(s) that will be accepted toward his/her degree, those accepted hours will be included as attempted and completed hours for the purposed of satisfactory progress.

Attempted Hours
For the purpose of this policy attempted hours include:  withdrawals, audited classes, incompletes, repeats, failed classes and classes taken for credit.

Appeal Process
Students have the right to appeal a financial aid decision if they believe they have special circumstances that have impacted their academic progress.    Students may submit the SAP Appeal Form, along with supporting documentation to the Financial Aid Office, Leavitt Hall, Castine, ME 04420.

Governance

The above and all other policies governing the administration of financial aid at Maine Maritime Academy are in accordance with federal and state laws regulating federal and state aid programs which were current at the time of publication.

Students have the right to appeal any financial aid decisions to the Financial Aid Review Committee which is comprised of the Director of Admissions, the Director of Financial Aid, the Registrar, the Director of Residential Life, and a faculty representative. Appeals must be made in writing and submitted to the Director of Financial Aid.

Code of Conduct

  1. The Financial Aid Office has adopted the following Code of Conduct for its employees that work with the federal and private student loan programs.
  2. MMA is prohibited from receiving anything of value from any lending institution in exchange for any advantage sought by the lending institution.
  3. Academy employees are prohibited from taking anything of more than nominal value from any lending institution. This includes a prohibition on trips for financial aid officers and other college officials paid for by lenders.
  4. MMA employees are prohibited from receiving anything of value for serving on the advisory board of any lending institution.
  5. MMA’s preferred lender lists will be based solely on the best interests of the students or parents who may use the list without regard to financial interests of the college.
  6. Maine Maritime Academy will clearly and fully disclose the criteria and process used to select preferred lenders. Students will also be told that they have the right and ability to select the lender of their choice regardless of the preferred lender list.
  7. MMA will ensure that employees of lenders never identify themselves to students as employees of MMA. No employee of a lender may ever work in or provide staffing to a college financial aid office.

Code of Responsibility

The Financial Aid Office has adopted the following policy pertaining to the Code of Responsibility for its employees. Any deviation in policy must meet with the approval of the Director of Financial Aid. For security and confidentiality of records and/or date files, the Financial Aid Office has a policy of administering and maintaining student records in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. Each Financial Aid Office employee holds a position of trust relative to maintaining the security and confidentiality of these records and must recognize the responsibility entrusted to him/her. Because conduct on or off the job may threaten the security and confidentiality of these records in any form, each student employee of the Financial Aid Office is expected to adhere to the following:

  1. No one may make or permit unauthorized use of any information in files maintained, stored or processed by the Financial Aid Office.
  2. No one is permitted to seek personal benefit or allow others to benefit personally by knowledge of any confidential information which has come to him/her by virtue of work assignment.
  3. No one is to exhibit or divulge the contents of any record or report to any person except in the conduct of his/her work assignment and in accordance with the Financial Aid Office and Academy policies.
  4. No one may knowingly include or cause to be included in any record or report a false, inaccurate or misleading entry.
  5. No official record or report, or copy thereof, may be removed from the office where it is maintained except in the performance of a persons duties.
  6. No one is to abet or act in conspiracy with another to violate any part of this code.
  7. Any knowledge of a violation of this code must immediately be reported to the supervisor in the Financial Aid Office.

Violation of this code will lead to a reprimand, suspension or dismissal consistent with the personnel policies of the Academy. Additionally, judicial sanctions may be considered according to the student judicial policies of this Academy.