Financial Aid Policies

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 form 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.


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 toward 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 the Vice President of Academic Affairs 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 needed 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, if you enroll in a degree program that requires 120 credit hours, you can attempt up to 180 credit hours and remain in compliance with this policy.  If more than 180 credit hours are attempted, the standards 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 their degree, those accepted hours will be included as attempted and completed hours for the purpose 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.