The University expects the student to be financially responsible. All accounts are carried in the name of the student, regardless of the source of payment. Bills and statements are mailed to the student, not the parent. All charges are payable in full two weeks before the first day of class for each semester. After that, a $100.00 late fee is assessed. After the fourth week of classes, students with accounts that have not been paid or deferred to financial aid will have their class registrations reviewed for cancellation. Financially delinquent students will be subject to the following administrative sanctions:
1. They are prevented from receiving an official certified copy of their transcript and diploma.
2. They are prevented from registration or pre-registration at any university in the University of Maine System.
3. The University of Maine System or its universities may disclose (directly or through its collection agencies) to a credit bureau organization that the student has failed to pay an assessed charge.
4. The University of Maine System or its universities may use in-house collection efforts, commercial collection firms, legal services, and the State of Maine Bureau of Taxation for collection on the accounts.
The financial requirements of the University, changing costs, state and legislative action and other matters may require an adjustment of these charges and expenses. The University reserves the right to make such adjustments to the estimated charges and expenses as may, from time to time, be necessary in the opinion of the Board of Trustees up to the date of final registration for a given academic term. The applicant acknowledges this reservation and agrees to the financial terms and conditions of the University by the submission of an application or by registration.
Invoices and Statements
Semester bills are mailed to the student’s home address approximately 30 days before the start of a semester. Charges are calculated using pre-registrations, room sign-up information, and application data.
Third Party Sponsor (Employer)Billing Process
1. The student receives a billing statement and account information card from the University. With the first bill for the fall, spring and summer sessions, the student receives an account information card, which is used to notify the University of any third party sponsorship.
2. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain authorization from the third party sponsor (purchase order/authorization form) which indicates how much the third party sponsor will be paying on the bill.
3. The student completes the account information card by noting on the bottom 1) amount due from the bill (current balance due); 2) amount of sources (i.e. how much will be paid by the third party); 3) payment enclosed (for any balance not covered by the third party).
4. The student mails the account information card, authorization form, copy of the statement and payment (if any due) to the University by the payment due date. If these items are received by the payment due date shown on the statement, no late fee will be assessed.
A $100.00 late fee will be assessed to students who register for class and/or pay their bills after the due date. To avoid being charged the late fee, students who have not received a bill should contact the Bursar’s Office before the start of classes for an estimation of charges.
Withdrawal from the University during the academic year:
Tuition. Tuition may be refunded in accordance with the scale and the provisions established by the University System, and available in the Bursar’s Office.
a. Scale. Attendance period is counted from first day of class and includes weekends and holidays. The refund will be reckoned from the date on which the student notifies the Office of Student Records.
1. In no case will tuition be reduced or refunded because of voluntary absence from classes.
2. Tuition adjustments attributed to involuntary absence (e.g., extended illness and military service) will be processed on a case-by-case basis.
Graduate Tuition and Fees*
Tuition (9 hours)
Student Activity Fee
Room and Board
NOTES: Tuition charges per credit hour are as follows:
Resident:$233.20 per credit hour
Non-Resident: $670.00 per credit hour
New England Regional: 50% above the Maine resident rate
Canadian Citizen Tuition Rate: 50% above the Maine resident rate.
1-5 credit hours - $75.00 per semester
6-11 credit hours - $228.00 per semester
12-15 credit hours - $557.00 per semester
16 or more credit hours - $572.00 per semester
*Tuition & Fees are estimated and subject to change by the Board of Trustees Action.
Room and Board: alternate meal plans available.
Insurance (annual): University of Maine insurance is available for all students. Health insurance is required for international students and dependents.
All courses at the 500 level and above will be billed at graduate tuition rates. Also, all course work taken by matriculated and non-degree graduate students will be billed at the graduate rate. This includes prerequisites and electives, regardless of the level of the course. All students receiving assistantships, scholarships, or other stipends are required to pay miscellaneous fees.
After the second week of classes, there are no refunds if a student drops one or more courses. During the first two weeks of classes, full refunds are given.
Residency Classification. There are many factors which will be considered in determining residency for in-state tuition purposes. No one factor can be used to establish domicile, rather all factors and circumstances must be considered on a case-by-case basis. A domicile or residency classification assigned by a public or private authority neither qualifies nor disqualifies a student for University of Maine System (UMS) in-state status.
A student applying for admission to a degree program is classified as eligible, or not eligible, for in-state tuition at the time of registration. The decision, made by the Graduate School, shall be made based on information and documentation furnished by the student and other information available to the University. No student is eligible for in-state tuition classification until he or she has become domiciled in Maine, in accordance with University guidelines, before such registration. If the student is enrolled full-time in an academic program, as defined by the University, it will be presumed that the student is in Maine for educational purposes, and that the student is not in Maine to establish a domicile. A residence established for the purpose of attending a UMS institution would not by itself constitute domicile. The burden will be on the student to prove that he or she has established a Maine domicile for other than educational purposes. An individual who has lived in the State of Maine, for other than educational purposes, one year prior to registration or application to a campus is considered an in-state student.
In general, members of the Armed Forces and their dependents will be granted in-state tuition during such periods of time as they are on active duty within the State of Maine or if their Military State of residency is Maine as evidenced by appropriate official documentation. A Maine resident who is absent from the State for military or full-time educational purposes will normally remain eligible for in-state tuition.
A student, or spouse of a student, who currently has continuous, permanent full-time employment in Maine before the student decides to apply for degree status at the University will be considered in-state for tuition purposes.
A student who is dependent on his/her parent(s) and/or legally appointed guardian (or to whom custody has been granted by court order) is considered to have a domicile with the parent(s) for tuition purposes.
In-state tuition is not available to anyone who holds a non-immigrant U.S. visa. If an individual is not a domiciliary of the United States, they cannot be a domiciliary of the State of Maine.
A student, who attended an out-of-state educational institution at in-state tuition rates in the immediately preceding semester, shall be presumed to be in Maine for educational purposes and not to establish a domicile. Again, the burden will be on the individual to prove that he or she has established a Maine domicile for other than educational purposes.
Change of Residency Classification. To change tuition status, the following procedures are to be followed:
1. “Request for Change in Tuition Status” cover sheet and application must be filed with the Associate Bursar at The University of Maine, Bursar’s Office, 5703 Alumni Hall, Orono, Maine 04469-5703 before the first day of classes for the summer session, fall or spring semester for which residency is requested. All applications are prospective.
2. If the Associate Bursar’s written decision, to be issued within 30 days of the first day of classes is considered incorrect by the student, the student may appeal that decision in writing within 30 days, in the following order.
a. The Bursar. After receiving a written decision from this level within 30 days, the student has 30 days to submit a written appeal to:
b. The Vice President for Finance and Administration. After receiving a written decision from this level within 30 days, the student has 30 days to submit a written appeal to:
c. The President (or designee). After receiving a written decision from this level within 30 days, the student has 30 days to submit a written appeal to:
d. The Treasurer of the University System whose decision shall be final.
In the event that the Associate Bursar, or other designated official, possesses facts or information indicating a student’s change of status from in-state to out-of-state, the student shall be informed in writing of the change in status and will be given an opportunity to present facts in opposition to the change. The student may appeal the decision of the Associate Bursar or other designated official as set forth in the preceding paragraph.
Academic courses delivered out-of-state through technology (i.e. Internet, ITV and other learning technologies) are charged at the in-state tuition rate of the originating University.
New England Regional Student Program
Expanded graduate study opportunities are made available each year to New England residents through the New England Regional Student Program, administered by the New England Board of Higher Education. When a graduate program is not offered at a student’s home state institution, a qualified student may apply for enrollment at an out-of-state institution offering that program under the Regional Student Program. Depending upon the institution in which they enroll, students qualifying for study under the Program are charged either the institution’s resident tuition or an amount 50 percent above the resident tuition.
Typically, degree programs offered under the Regional Student Program are high-cost, specialized, professional programs such as forestry, oceanography, hydrology, occupational therapy, and pharmacology, although general areas of study also are offered.
Requests for detailed information should be directed to the graduate school of participating state universities. It is essential that students read the individual catalog, since degree nomenclature differs by institution. Application for enrollment is made directly to the institution, which has sole authority over admissions. Applicants must clearly indicate, both in their initial inquiries and on their application forms, that they are seeking admission under the terms of the New England Regional Student Program. Further information is available from the New England Board of Higher Education, New England Regional Student Program, 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111, (617)357-9620. Their publication, ” The Apple Book,” is available free of charge, and lists all qualifying graduate programs for the six New England states, as well as all pertinent information about the program.
Canadian Citizen Tuition Rate
Citizens of Canada are assessed reduced tuition equivalent to 50 percent above the resident tuition rate for any course work taken as a graduate student at The University of Maine.
Financial Awards and Assistance
All students are encouraged to seek out and apply for appropriate financial assistance. The responsibility for school financing rests with the graduate student. The Graduate School office does provide general information on the sources of awards that are available to students.
Several types of awards and assistance are available for graduate students at The University of Maine. All applicants who wish to be reviewed for awards or assistance must have complete applications on file at the Graduate School by January 15. Students should contact their departments specifically to inquire about the possibilities of securing an assistantship. Most awards are based on academic performance rather than financial need. A student may hold only one assistantship per year.
Graduate Assistantships. Awarded by departments, two types of graduate assistantships are available: teaching and research. Graduate assistantships usually are available in all fields which offer a degree program, as well as in such areas as admissions, tudent aid, and residence life and programs. The tuition of graduate research assistants is usually paid by the department concerned. For teaching assistants, up to nine hours of tuition per semester is paid by the Graduate School, exclusive of audited and pass/fail courses, and courses numbered below 400-level. In some cases, a limited amount of tuition for the summer following the academic year in which the teaching assistant appointment is effective may also be paid by the Graduate School.
Graduate assistants normally devote half-time (20 hours per week) to teaching or research and are prohibited from working elsewhere in addition to the assistantship. Most graduate assistants are required to register for at least six hours of degree credit in the fall and spring semesters. Exceptions are doctoral students who have been admitted to candidacy, doctoral students in Psychology who are taking clinical internships, master’s students in dietetic internships, and graduate students in their final semester. In these instances, one credit may be considered full-time (see #3. Registration under General Policies and Regulations of the Graduate School). If an assistantship continues through the summer, the graduate assistant must register for at least one graduate credit hour.
Admission to the Graduate School is required before appointment to a graduate assistantship is made. Because these assistantships are awarded by the departments, the student should correspond directly with the department concerned regarding the availability of assistantships.
University Graduate Research Assistantships. Ten research assistantships are available annually and are awarded by the Graduate School. The stipend is at least $9,000 for the academic year depending upon the type of appointment. A tuition waiver for up to nine hours per semester is included exclusive of courses taken as audit or pass/fail or below 400 level. Some receive a tuition waiver during the summer following the academic year of the award. These awards are made on a competitive basis and involve nomination by the department of study and submission of a research proposal delineating the research to be undertaken. Nominations are sought in December-January.
Atlantic Provinces Graduate Scholarships. Three scholarships, which pay up to 18 hours of tuition per academic year, are available on a competitive basis to graduates of the colleges and universities of the Atlantic Provinces and Quebec. Applicants interested in being nominated for this award should consult their department. Nominations are sought in February.
Graduate Trustee Tuition Scholarships. Up to fifteen scholarships, which pay up to 18 hours of tuition per academic year, are available on a competitive basis to students enrolled in graduate programs. Scholarship recipients must be full-time students and may register for up to nine hours of credit each semester. The Graduate School requests nominations from the departments in February. Interested students should seek nomination through their departments of study.
Thurgood Marshall Scholarships. At least two scholarships which pay up to 18 hours of tuition are available to graduate students whose socioeconomic background, prior academic or work experience, and/or graduate educational interests would bring a unique perspective to The University of Maine community. Preference for these scholarships is given to individuals from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented at The University of Maine. Scholarship recipients must be full-time students and may register for up to nine hours of credit each semester. The Graduate School requests nominations from departments in February. Interested students should seek nomination through their departments of study.
International Student Tuition Waivers. The Graduate School offers a limited number of tuition waivers to international students. The student is responsible for all other costs related to graduate education. As with other awards, nominations are sought from departments in February and are based on academic performance. To be eligible, the candidate must have a completed application form, including financial statement, GRE/MAT/GMAT and TOEFL scores on file at the Graduate School. The award may be continued beyond the first year if the student remains in good standing.
Federally Funded Traineeships and Fellowships. Subject to the availability of federal funds, federal traineeships and fellowships are available to graduate students in some programs such as special education, social work, nursing, biological sciences, communication sciences and disorders, and clinical psychology. Students should inquire in their field of interest.
Resident Director Positions. Graduate Assistant Resident Director positions in the University residence halls are available each year. The position involves working with students, advising hall government, supervising undergraduate resident assistants, programming, interpreting and enforcing policies and procedures, counseling and making referrals, and managing the hall. Resident Directors receive a stipend, an apartment for the academic year, and board plan for themselves and their families while the university is in session, plus tuition up to 18 hours per year. The selection process begins in February so applicants are encouraged to apply early. A limited number of resident assistant positions and internship positions are also available through Residence Life and Programs. For information on application procedures, contact Residence Life and Programs, Room 158, 5727 Estabrooke Hall, Orono, Maine 04469-5727, telephone, 207/581-4801.
Other Fellowships may be available through individual departments or units. For example, the Canadian-American Center offers several fellowships for graduate students pursuing study of a regional nature involving New England, the Atlantic Provinces of Canada, and Québec. Students should inquire in their field of interest.
Student Financial Aid
The Office of Student Financial Aid administers several financial aid programs to help University of Maine graduate students finance their education. Office staff award, process, and disburse financial aid for University of Maine students, and advise students and their families, the campus community, and the general public on issues related to financial aid. Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. throughout the year. Advisors are available on a walk-in basis between 10:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, with expanded hours during peak seasons. All correspondence concerning financial aid should be addressed to the Office of Student Financial Aid, 5781 Wingate Hall, Orono, ME 04469-5781. For assistance with the application process, status updates, or answers to other questions about financial aid, contact the office at (207) 581-1324, or via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Applying for Financial Aid
To make a proper judgment as to the amount and types of assistance each student can receive, students are required to apply for financial aid. The University of Maine requires only one financial aid application: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Continuing students who applied for financial aid during the previous academic year should receive either a Renewal FAFSA in the mail from the Federal processing center, or a PIN (Personal Identification Number) to access their Renewal FAFSA on the Web electronically (see below). Students apply for financial aid each year, using either a FAFSA or a Renewal Application, but not both.
Application data can be submitted over the web (www.fafsa.ed.gov). FAFSA on the Web is available to all applicants, whether they have applied in previous years or not. To access the previous year’s financial aid application data using Renewal FAFSA on the WEB, a PIN (Personal Identification Number) is required. The federal processing automatically sends a PIN to graduate students who applied for financial aid the previous year, as well as to students who previously filed on the Web or made corrections on the Web. Anyone can request a PIN at: www.pin.ed.gov. Your PIN will be w-mailed to you within 1-5 days or mailed to your permanent address within 7-10 days if no e-mail address is provided. The student’s signature must be provided before the FAFSA/Renewal FAFSA on the Web can be processed. There are two ways in which the application can be signed: the student can use their PIN to electronically sign the FAFSA/Renewal FAFSA or a paper signature page can be printed from FAFSA/Renewal FAFSA on the Web, that then needs to be signed and mailed to the address provided. Students should note the confirmation number that is given when the application is submitted.
Priority consideration is given to the earliest complete applications for financial aid, especially for any Federal Work-Study or Federal Perkins Loan. Applications will be accepted by the federal processing center no earlier than January 1 prior to the Fall Semester for which the student wishes to receive financial assistance. To be considered an “on-time” applicant, the FAFSA (or Renewal FAFSA) must be received at the federal processing center by the March 1 deadline prior to the start of the Fall Semester. We recommend submitting the FAFSA by February 15, and use of the Response Postcard is strongly encouraged for those who file a paper application. Financial aid is still available for applicants who apply after the deadline, but may be limited.
After applying, the student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), or an e-mail that tells them how to access their SAR on the Internet, from the federal processing center. The student is expected to review the SAR and make any necessary corrections immediately, or contact the Student Financial Aid Office for assistance. As long as the University of Maine is listed on the SAR in the school section, the Student Financial Aid Office will receive the application data at approximately the same time. The application will be reviewed and the student will be notified if any additional documentation (such as tax returns, verification forms, or other information) is required.
Once the student’s file is considered complete, an Award Letter will be made available to the student. The student must follow all instructions to ensure continued processing and disbursement of funds to ensure continued processing and disbursement of funds to the student’s account at the University of Maine Bursar’s Office.
Eligibility for Financial Aid
To be eligible for most types of Federal, State and University financial aid, each student must:
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- have earned a high school diploma or G.E.D.
- be offered admission to a University of Maine degree program
- not be in default on a previous Federal educational loan program
- continue to be in good academic standing
- continue to make satisfactory progress toward a degree (see Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients).
Most types of financial aid require at least half-time enrollment (3 credit hours or more) each semester in order to be eligible. Full-time enrollment is considered to be 6 credit hours or more in any semester. Full-time enrollment for Summer Session is satisfied by registering for at least one credit, although overall financial aid eligibility is less than the eligibility for a graduate student enrolled for 6 or more credit hours due to the reduced cost of tuition and fees. Please consult the Graduate School Policies and Regulations 3. Registration, elsewhere in this catalog) for exceptions to the enrollment requirement, including Summer Session.
Financial aid is awarded based upon actual credit load each semester, regardless of official University status. Each student’s enrollment level is verified at the end of the Add/Drop period each semester; financial aid eligibility is recalculated and awards are adjusted if necessary. The student is notified any time the financial aid award changes. Students participating in cooperative employment programs, practicums, internships and field experience may not be eligible for financial aid unless they are enrolled at least half time.
Federal, State and University financial aid programs are not available for non-degree enrollment. Some lending institutions offer loan programs to students who are currently taking classes in non-degree programs. Further information is available upon request.
NOTE: early registration for classes, including enrollment for Thesis Credits, helps ensure timely processing and disbursement of financial aid funds. For example, a Stafford Loan will not be processed until the student’s actual registration matches the student’s intended enrollment level (which the student self-reports on the FAFSA and should update as necessary with our office).
Financial Aid Programs
Graduate students may be offered assistance from the following financial aid programs:
Federal Work-Study is awarded based on need to eligible students enrolled in a degree program at least half-time, giving students the opportunity to earn spending money and/or living expenses while gaining valuable work experience (job listings are available through the Office of Student Employment and Volunteer Programs).
Federal Perkins Loans are low-interest (5%) loans awarded based on need by the Office of Student Financial Aid to eligible students enrolled in a degree program at least half-time. Repayment is deferred while continuously enrolled at least half-time.
NOTE: no interest is charged until repayment begins; any break in continuous enrollment such as leave of absence, will result in the student entering into the nine-month grace period and repayment could begin before the student re-enrolls in a degree program at least half-time.
Federal Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) are funded through banks, credit unions, and other lending institutions, to students enrolled in a degree program at least half-time who have applied for federal financial aid. Graduate students are allowed to borrow up to $8,500 in a combination of subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loan per year, and up to an additional $10,000 extended unsubsidized Stafford Loan per year. Actual eligibility may be less than the annual maximum depending upon enrollment level and the amount of all other financial educationally-related assistance, if any. Students must apply for a Stafford Loan, which students can do on the back of their University of Maine Award Letter. Complete instructions are provided with the Award Letter.
NOTE: subsidized loans are made to students with need, while unsubsidized loans are made to students with partial/no subsidized loan eligibility. Repayment of principal is deferred for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans while a student is enrolled at least half time. Interest rates are variable but will not exceed 8.25%; interest begins to accrue or to be paid by the student at the time of principal repayment for any subsidized portion of Federal Stafford Loan, and immediately after disbursement on any unsubsidized portion. Any break in continuous enrollment, such as a leave of absence, will result in the student entering into the 6-month grace period, and repayment could begin before the student re-enrolls in a degree program at least half-time.
NOTE: first-time borrowers of a Federal Stafford Loan must complete an Entrance Interview before loan proceeds will be released. Entrance Interviews can be completed on the web or in person. To complete the requirement on the web, connect through the Office of Student Financial Aid’s web site, located at www.umaine.edu. Students who have borrowed previously and attended an Entrance Interview/Loan Counseling session at another college or university should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Other Sources of Funding:
Scholarships may be available from the student’s academic department or from outside scholarship agencies, to which the student applies directly, and do not have to be repaid.
Graduate Assistantship Waivers are awarded by the other offices and departments on campus and reported to the Student Financial Aid Office. These assistance programs are usually offered to full-time graduate students in return for the student’s efforts in research and/or teaching while working on a graduate degree (contact the Graduate School and/or Academic Department for more information).
Payment Plans give students the option of making periodic payments of part or all of the amount due to the University of Maine. For more information and/or an enrollment form, contact the University of Maine Bursar’s Office at 581-1521.
Credit-Based Loan Programs are available through various lending institutions throughout the United States.
Changes to Financial Aid Awards
Changes to awards can occur even after a financial aid award has been offered, and aid can be retracted even after it has been posted to a student’s account with the Bursar’s Office. Students are notified any time their financial aid award is adjusted. Changes to awards may be necessary at any time during the academic year due to any or all of the following circumstances:
- changes in enrollment level each semester
- auditing a course
- withdrawal from all classes
- discontinued attendance in classes
- corrections and updates to original application data
- receipt of additional information affecting continued eligibility
- changes in housing plans
- changes in residency status
- changes in student and/or family circumstances
- receipt of additional assistance and/or scholarships
- changes in tuition rate due to enrollment in internet courses
Students are encouraged to contact the office to discuss the impact on their financial aid eligibility before their status changes, if at all possible.
Out-of-state students should be aware that taking internet courses could impact their financial aid. Because all internet courses are charged at the in-state tuition rate, financial aid may be reduced to reflect this lower cost. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for additional information.
Financial Aid for Summer Session
Summer Session is considered to be the end of the University’s academic year. To be eligible for Summer Session financial aid, students must have applied for federal financial aid for the previous year. For example, students applying for financial aid for Summer Session 2004 must complete the 2003-2004 FAFSA. Generally, financial aid is limited to any remaining Federal Stafford Loan eligibility (subsidized and/or unsubsidized). Federal Work-Study may also be available and requires a separate application, which is available early in the Spring Semester and must be turned in prior to the deadline listed on the application. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to request further information; the best time to discuss specific eligibility is midway through the Spring semester and after the student is pre-registered.
Limits on Financial Aid Eligibility
Most University of Maine students will have enough financial aid eligibility to complete a graduate degree, but limits do exist. To maintain eligibility for financial aid, each student must make progress toward a degree according to the University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients, measured in terms of both Grade Point Average (GPA) and length of time it takes to reach completion.
Both the Federal Perkins Loan and Federal Stafford Loan programs place limits, called aggregate limits, on the total amount that can be borrowed by any student. These limits are specified in the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Guide, available for free from the Office of Student Financial Aid, or from the Department of Education’s financial aid web site (www.ed.gov/prog_info/SFA/StudentGuide/).
Withdrawal from All Classes
If a student withdraws from the university after the semester begins, financial aid eligibility must be re-evaluated and pro-rated based on the portion of the semester the student completed. Eligibility for continued deferment of any prior loans is also affected. Any potential refund of tuition and fees from the University may be retained to repay financial aid programs before any reimbursement may be made to the student. In some cases, the student may be required to repay some or all financial aid funds previously disbursed to them by the University’s Bursar’s Office. Students considering withdrawing from all classes are strongly encouraged to discuss the impact of their decision on their financial aid with the staff of the Office of Student Financial Aid before withdrawing. A copy of this policy is available in the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Institutional (Unofficial) Withdrawal
Federal regulations require that the Office of Student Financial Aid determine the last date of attendance for all students who discontinue class attendance. For those students who do not officially withdraw, the mid-point of the semester may be used as the official withdrawal date. Once a withdrawal date has been determined, charges and financial aid will be recalculated based on this date. Please be aware that as a result of this action, financial aid funds may be adjusted and money may be owed the University. You will be notified of any change. A copy of this policy is available in the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Any special circumstances, such as leaving full-time employment to pursue a graduate degree, changes in spouse’s employment, loss of a benefit or other type of income, changes in marital status due to separation, divorce or death of a spouse, or unexpected/unusual costs, should be brought to the attention of the staff of the Office of Student Financial Aid,. Students can explain their circumstances in writing, addressed to the attention of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee, Office of Student Financial Aid, 5781 Wingate Hall, Orono, ME, 04469-5781. A response is provided in the form of either a specific letter or a revised Award notification.
Satisfactory Academic Progress for Graduate Financial Aid Recipients
Federal financial aid regulations limit how long any student can continue to receive financial aid. In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid, each student must be making progress toward a degree. Students can lose eligibility for financial aid if they are not meeting academic standards for continued enrollment, if they are not completing a sufficient number of the credits they’ve enrolled for, and/or if it is taking too long to earn their degree.
Each student’s progress is reviewed annually. Students who are not meeting the minimum standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress are notified in writing of the loss of eligibility for further financial aid, effective the following Fall semester. Students who are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress, but who are allowed to continue enrollment, may have to do so without the benefit of financial assistance.
A copy of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid Recipients is available in the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Procedure
Every student has the right to appeal upon notification of loss of financial aid eligibility due to lack of academic progress. Appeals are considered by a committee. Appeals can only be made in writing and should be sent, along with appropriate support documentation, to the attention of the Chair of the Satisfactory Progress Appeal Committee, Office of Student Financial Aid, 5781 Wingate Hall, Orono, ME, 04469-5781. Students are notified of the result of the appeal by letter. Questions about the policy or the appeal procedure can be referred to the Office of Student Financial Aid 207-581-1324).
Official Records http://www.records.ume.maine.edu
The Office of Student Records in Wingate Hall maintains the official academic record of each student in perpetuity. The office also maintains each student’s accurate mailing address and contacts students regarding official academic actions taken by the University. Students living off-campus must report the address of their actual place of residence to Student Records, 100 Wingate Hall (telephone (207) 581-1290) and promptly notify that office whenever that address changes.
The University accepts no liability for failure to communicate official academic information or for inability to contact students in an emergency if up-to-date address information has not been reported to the Office of Student Records.
The University gives each graduate one complementary official transcript with the diploma. Additional official copies may be obtained free of charge from the Office of Student Records, Wingate Hall. Written requests should be sent to: Office of Student Records, University of Maine, Room 100, 5781 Wingate Hall, Orono, ME 04469-5781. Official transcripts cannot be issued to any student indebted to the university. Current students may obtain an “unofficial” transcript at any time by visiting the Office of Student Records, Wingate Hall in person. No partial transcripts or copies of transcripts from other institutions are issued.
Policies and Practices in Handling Student Records
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 protects the privacy of students. Under this Act, students have the right to inspect and review their education records and have the right to challenge records when they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights.
Application of the Act
This Act applies to students presently enrolled at UMaine, former students, and alumni, but not to applicants seeking admission to the institution.
Educational Records and Information Maintained at UMaine
The University does not maintain a single record or file consisting of all materials and information pertaining to students in any one location. Instead, various segments of the record are kept in a variety of offices. The types of records and the custodian of each record is outlined below:
The term “educational records” does not include:
- Records of faculty and administration that are in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any other individual except a temporary substitute.
- Law enforcement records maintained by the campus Department of Public Safety which are kept separate from educational records and which are created by a law enforcement unit for a law enforcement purpose;
- Medical, psychiatric, or psychological records created and used only for the care or treatment of a student. These records may be made available to other appropriate professionals at the written request of the student.
- Employment records, except for records of students employed because of their status as students.
- Records that contain information about a student which is obtained after she/he is no longer a student.
The University of Maine has designated certain information contained in the education records of its students as directory information for purposes of FERPA. Such directory information may be publicly shared by the University unless the student has taken formal action to restrict its release. Directory information includes; name, address, phone number, major and degree, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of student athletes, most recent previous college or university attended, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, photographs, enrollment status (full-time or part-time), and grade level. Students can make a request that their directory information not be released at any time while they are an enrolled student at the University. The Office of Student Records has a form to fill out for this request. The request will be honored until such time as the student requests otherwise in writing. In the event that such written notification is not filed, the University assumes that the student does not object to the release of the directory information.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
I. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records.
- A request by a student or agency to inspect a record shall be made in writing to the office which maintains the record. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student or agency of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- Every office is obligated to inform the student when the requested record will be made available. The office has up to 45 days to respond. In most instances, the response will be made promptly.
- Students are obligated to properly identify themselves (Student I.D.) before being shown their record.
- Students are obligated not to interfere with the normal operation of the office in which the record is being maintained.
- Students are obligated to examine the record during regular hours maintained by the particular office.
- Prior to giving a student his or her record for examination, all confidential data received prior to January 1, 1975, any information waived by the student, any information pertaining to other students and any financial records of parents will be removed.
- The examination of the record shall be supervised.
- Copies of records shall, upon request, be transmitted to the student after payment of established fees for such copies, unless payment of the fee prevents access.
II. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy.
After reviewing a record, a student has the right to challenge the content of the record as being inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy. For purposes of this policy, a student may not challenge the judgment of a grade which has been assigned to his or her performance in a course but may challenge the accuracy of the recording of a grade.
- The student should discuss his or her objection (submitted in writing) with the designated person in the office where his or her records are maintained and try to resolve the problem through informal discussion.
- If no agreement is reached through informal discussion the student should submit his or her objection in writing to the official to whom that person reports to be followed by further discussion.
- If the student is still not satisfied, he or she should submit his or her objection in writing to the appropriate vice president or his or her designee.
- If no satisfactory solution is forthcoming, the student should file a written request for a formal hearing with the Executive Vice President and Provost.
- Upon receipt of a written request for a formal hearing, the Executive Vice President and Provost shall appoint a panel of three members to hear the objection and advise him/her. The Executive Vice President and Provost will appoint one of the panelists to serve as chairperson. Once appointed, the panel will hold a hearing within two calendar weeks. The panel must provide an opportunity for a presentation of evidence relative to the objection stated and must render a decision in writing to the Executive Vice President and Provost within one week following the conclusion of the hearing. The Executive Vice President and Provost will inform the student in writing within ten working days of any amendment made, or of the decision not to amend the record. If the decision is not to amend, the student has the right to place a statement in the record commenting on the contested information.
III. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The University of Maine will disclose information from a student’s education records only with the written consent of the student, except for disclosures to the following:
- To school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, support staff (including Public Safety, Career Center and Student Health Services staff), or coaching position; a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, National Student Loan Clearinghouse or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; a University volunteer working under the supervision of another school official; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
- To authorized federal or state officials in connection with an audit or evaluation of federal or state supported educational programs.
- To state or local officials pursuant to state statute concerning the juvenile justice system.
- Records released in connection with the student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid.
- Organizations conducting studies on behalf of educational agencies in connection with predictive tests, student financial aid programs, and the improvement of instruction provided that the identity of students is not revealed to other than representatives of such organizations. Such information will be destroyed when no longer needed for the purpose of which it is conducted.
- Recognized accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting functions.
- Parents of a student who is dependent upon such parents for federal income tax purposes.
- Records released on the basis of judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena and on condition that every effort is made to notify the student of the subpoena or order, except where a court or other issuing agency has ordered that there be no notification.
- In an emergency, appropriate persons as determined by the custodian of the records, if the knowledge of information from the particular record is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.
- Disclosure to another educational institution where the student seeks or intends to enroll.
- Disclosure of directory information.
- Disclosure to the student.
- Disclosure of the final results of a disciplinary hearing to a victim of an alleged crime of violence or non-forciblesex offense.
- Disclosure of the final results of a disciplinary hearing involving an alleged crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense where a violation was committed.
- Disclosure in a legal action between the institution and the student.
Records released to any individual or group shall be transmitted on condition that the individual or group is informed that they may not permit any other party to have access to such information without the written consent of the student. The recipient shall also be notified in writing that if compliance with this requirement is not acceptable, all records shall be returned, unused, to the institution. The prohibition on the re-release of records does not apply in the case of disclosures of directory information; disclosures pursuant to a subpoena, court order or litigation; disclosure to the parents of a dependent student; disclosures to the student; or disclosures of the final results of a disciplinary hearing involving an alleged crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense where a violation was committed.
Each office that maintains educational records shall maintain a record for each student with that student’s education record. The record shall list all individuals (except institution officials and court or law enforcement officials described above), agencies or organizations which have requested or obtained access to and each disclosure of the student’s education record.
IV. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by The University of Maine to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC, 20202-4605
The official academic record of a student is maintained in perpetuity by the institution. The Student Records Office is the custodian of this record. No other record is officially designated as a permanent record. Other records can be expunged at the discretion of specific department heads wherein a record resides. For example, the undergraduate Admissions Office expunges records of applicants who do not enroll after two years, while records of applicants who do enroll are maintained in perpetuity. The Office of Student Financial Aid expunges records five years after the student’s last academic year of attendance. It should be noted that access rights shall be honored prior to the destruction of records where the student has requested such access.
Departments and offices which maintain educational records may have specific policies regarding access to and retention of such records which are consistent with this Policy and FERPA. Students seeking information about those specific policies should contact the particular department or office which is the custodian of the record.