Jun 16, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Information

Graduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)

Semester Charges (based on 9 credit hours)






New England Regional Program Canadian Resident Tuition Rate






$6,318.00 $6,318.00
Unified Fee   400.00   400.00 400.00 400.00

Recreation Center Fee

  142.00   142.00 142.00 142.00

Student Activity Fee





45.00 45.00

Communications Fee





15.00 15.00

Room and Board









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 it may 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.



Maine Resident: $439.00 per credit hour
Non-Resident: $1,430.00 per credit hour
New England Regional: 60% above the Maine resident rate ($702.00)
Canadian Resident Tuition Rate: 60% above the Maine resident rate. ($702.00)

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.

Unified Fee:

1-5 credit hours - $131.00 per semester
6-11 credit hours - $400.00 per semester
12-15 credit hours - $980.00 per semester
16 or more credit hours - $1006.00 per semester


Recreation Center Fee:

1 to 5 Credit Hours - $85.00 per semester
6+ Credit Hours - $142.00 per semester

Room and Board: Rate shown above is based on a double room plus the graduate meal plan.  Information on the various Room and Board options and rates available for graduate students can be found at http://umaine.edu/housing/graduate-housing/
Health Insurance (annual): Health insurance is required for all graduate students enrolled in 6 credit hours or more.  For more information on student health insurance requirements go to: https://umaine.edu/bursar/insurance/
Residency Guidelines

Residency Classification. There are many factors 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.

Eligibility for in-state tuition will be determined at the time of registration; when a student applies to a degree program at any University of Maine System campus. The decision, made by the Graduate School, shall be made based on information and documentation furnished by the student as well as other sources available to the University. No student is eligible for in-state tuition classification until he/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/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.

A current member of the United States Armed Forces or a Veteran of the United States Armed Forces who has been honorably discharged will be billed at the in-state tuition rate. Veterans must supply a DD214, Certificate of eligibility for the GI bill, or Military ID card. Active duty members must supply a copy of their Military ID card.

In general, dependents of members of the Armed Forces will be granted in-state tuition during such periods of time as they are on active duty in the State of Maine or if their Military State of residency is Maine as evidenced by appropriate official documentation. Individuals who have been granted in-state tuition under these conditions, but then cease active duty would continue to be granted in-state tuition.  All dependents using the GI Bill are billed at the in-state tuition rate.

A student, spouse, or domestic partner 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/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, Rm 100, 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.
  • The Bursar & Senior Finance Officer. After receiving a written decision from this level within 30 days, the student has 30 days to submit a written appeal to the Chief Business Officer.
  • The Chief Business Officer. After receiving a written decision from this level within 30 days, the student has 30 days to submit a written appeal to the President (or designee).
  • The President (or designee) will issue a final decision within 30 days.


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.


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 on the institution in which they enroll, students qualifying for study under the Program are charged either the institution’s resident tuition or some percentage above the resident tuition. The University of Maine charges 60 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. Information about qualifying programs can also be found online at www.nebhe.org


Canadian Resident Tuition Rate

Residents of Canada are assessed reduced tuition equivalent to 60 percent above the resident tuition rate for any course work taken as a graduate student at The University of Maine.


Invoices and Due Dates

Charges are calculated using pre-registrations, room sign-up information, and data supplied by the Admissions Office. One paper bill is mailed to the student’s home address per semester. Subsequent billing statements will be available online only. Email notifications concerning student accounts will be sent periodically to the student’s @maine.edu email address. Students may view their account statements on Student Self-Service on MaineStreet.

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 by the due date on the invoice. After that, a $100.00 late fee is assessed. The initial due dates are August 15 for the Fall semester and January 15 for the Spring semester.

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.

Authorized User Access

Students may authorize parents or other third parties to view and pay on their accounts online. Instructions for adding an authorized user can be found at umaine.edu/bursar/user/.

3rd Party/Sponsor Billing

Once the student receives an invoice, he/she can use the Anticipated Resources area of Student Self-Service on MaineStreet to notify the Bursar’s Office of any third party sponsorship.

It is the student’s responsibility to provide authorization (purchase order/authorization form) from the third party/sponsor. The student sends the purchase order/ authorization form, which indicates how much the third party/sponsor will be paying and any payment due for charges not covered by the third party/sponsor to the Bursar’s Office by the due date.

If these items are received by the payment due date shown on the statement, no late fee will be assessed.

Late Payment Fee

A $100 late payment fee will be assessed to students who fail to pay their bills or fail to notify the Bursar’s Office of any third party sponsorship or anticipated resources by the due date.  To avoid being charged the late fee, students who have not received a bill should contact the Bursar’s Office.

With the first bill for the fall, spring and summer semesters, students will use the Anticipated Resources page of Student-Self-Service on MaineStreet (Path: Student Self-Service / Self Service / Campus Finances / Anticipated Resources) to notify the University of any credits from other resources that are not shown on the billing statement (i.e. third party/sponsor payments, waivers/scholarships, payroll deduction, loans). Instructions for entering anticipated resources can be found at https://umaine.edu/bursar/resources/



Financial Aid Refunds

A credit balance created by the disbursement of financial aid is normally disbursed to the student by the start of each semester, unless the student has requested that funds be held on his/her account.  Excess financial aid will be held on accounts if the financial aid award is based on full-time enrollment and current enrollment is not full-time.  Full-time enrollment for graduate students is 6 or more credits or 1 thesis credit.  For more information please visit http://umaine.edu/bursar/refunds/. Credit balance refunds are available by check through the mail or direct deposit to a US bank account. Instructions for enrolling in direct deposit are online at https://umaine.edu/bursar/directdeposit/

Refund for Tuition and Fees

Student charges will be adjusted for voluntary withdrawals from the university and for drops or withdrawals from individual classes in accordance with the schedule and provisions set forth below.

For refunding purposes the following definitions apply:

  • “Standard” full semester classes are classes which are scheduled to start during the first week of a semester and meet through the end of that semester.
  • “Non-standard” classes are classes whose starting and ending dates do not coincide with the starting and ending dates of the Fall or Spring semester, including all Summer University classes. These classes fall into two groups:
    • Classes with duration of less than 12 weeks in length.
    • Classes with duration of 12 weeks or longer.
  • The “Drop” period is the time frame a student may drop classes from their schedule without academic or financial penalties. For Standard full semester classes, the drop period ends:
    • September 17, 2018 for Fall 2018
    • February 4, 2019 for Spring 2019
  • Dropping classes is a reduction in a student’s class load during the Drop period while remaining enrolled in other classes at any of the University of Maine campuses.
  • Withdrawing from classes is a reduction in a student’s class load after the Drop period while remaining enrolled in other classes at any of the University of Maine campuses.
  • A “Withdrawal from the University,” either temporary or permanent, involves the student withdrawing from all classes at all University of Maine System campuses for which he/she is registered as well as notifying appropriate administrative officials of his/her decision to leave.
  • Students who stop attending any or all of their classes, without providing official notification are not entitled to a refund. If a student ceases attendance for emergency reasons, the University will accept a written appeal.


For Dropped Classes:

“Standard” Full Semester Classes:

Drop/Withdrawal Percent of Refund
Prior to the end of the Drop Period 100%
After the Drop Period 0%



“Non-standard” classes:
Drop/Withdrawal Percent of Refund
Withdrawal on or before the number of days equal to the number of weeks a class is scheduled. For example, for a six week course, a refund will be granted through the sixth day. 100%
After the number of days equal to the number of weeks a class is scheduled. 0%


For Withdrawals from the University:

“Standard” Full Semester classes and “Non-standard” classes of 12 weeks or more:

Withdrawal Percent of Refund
Prior to the end of the second week 100%
Prior to the end of the fourth week 75%
Prior to the end of the sixth week 50%
Prior to the end of the eighth week 25%
After the eighth week 0%


“Non-Standard” short classes - classes of less than 12 weeks in length:

Withdrawal Percent of Refund

Withdrawal on or before the number of days equal to the number of weeks a class is scheduled. For example, for a six week course, a refund will be granted through the sixth day.



After the number of days equal to the number of weeks a class is scheduled




Determination of Attendance

For “standard” full semester classes, the attendance period begins on the opening day of scheduled university classes, includes weekends and holidays, and ends on the date the student notifies the Graduate School Office in writing, that he/she is withdrawing.

For “Non-standard” classes, the attendance period begins on the start date of the class as specified on the class schedule of classes, includes weekends and holidays, and ends on the date the student notifies the Graduate School Office in writing, that he/she is withdrawing.

These policies are available on-line at https://umaine.edu/bursar/refund-policies/


Room and Board Cancellations

For information on room and board cancellation policies, please refer to the University of Maine Housing Services website - http://umaine.edu/housing/cancellation-fee/

Involuntary Withdrawals

Consideration for retroactive refunds of tuition and fees for involuntary withdrawals, e.g. extended illness or military service, will be considered by the University on a case-by-case basis. Administrative dismissals are not covered by these procedures and thus are not entitled to refunds of institutional charges.

Statute of Limitations

Appeals for the exception to the established refund practice may be made to the designated university official. Normally, appeals will be considered up to 90 days after the close of the semester/session for which the student is claiming a refund. For a typical semester/session the dates are no later than March 31 (Fall), August 31 (Spring) and November 30 (Summer). University academic appeals committees hear appeals on academic matters and have no authority to authorize refunds.


Financial Awards and Assistance

School financing is generally offered to students through their graduate programs. However, if financial support is unavailable, it is the graduate student’s responsibility to identify sources for financial assistance.
The University of Maine offers assistantships, fellowships and traineeships. A typical assistantship appointment will require students to work 20 hours a week. The benefits of these positions include a monthly stipend, a tuition waiver, and coverage of half of the cost of the group health insurance plan provided to graduate assistants, fellows and trainees by the University.  All full-time graduate students must provide proof of health insurance.  Graduate assistants, fellows and trainees on the equivalent of half-time appointments and who require health insurance must enroll in the GA health insurance plan, or the International plan (for international students).
All applicants who wish to be fully considered for nomination for assistantships, fellowships or traineeships, should have a completed application on file at the Graduate School no later than January 15th for the following summer or fall terms. Students should contact their academic unit directly to inquire about the possibility of securing an assistantship, or to be nominated for any of the authorized positions offered by the Graduate School. Most awards are highly competitive and based on academic performance rather than financial need. A student may normally hold only one assistantship or financial award per year.
The following is a description of financial support opportunities for graduate students.

Graduate Assistantships. Awarded by individual departments or offices, graduate assistantships are generally available in most academic fields which offer a degree program, as well as in such areas as admissions, student aid, and residence life. Some assistantships and fellowships are also awarded competitively through the Graduate School each spring for the following academic year. For most assistantships, up to nine hours of tuition per semester is paid, exclusive of audited and pass/fail courses, and courses numbered below 400-level. The assistantship also pays for 50% of the premium for the group health insurance plan for graduate assistants and fellows or the International plan (for international students) offered by the University. In some cases, a limited amount of tuition for the summer following the academic year in which the assistantship appointment is effective may also be paid by the sponsoring unit.
Graduate assistants normally devote half-time (20 hours per week) to work-activities. International students’ visas prohibit them from working elsewhere in addition to the assistantship. Most graduate assistants are required to register for a full-time load of 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 of study. In these instances, one credit may be considered full-time. If an assistantship continues through the summer, the graduate assistant must register for at least one graduate credit hour.
Admission to the Graduate School and enrollment in courses is required before an appointment to a graduate assistantship is processed. Because these assistantships are awarded by the departments, the student should correspond directly with the appropriate program coordinator regarding the availability of assistantships.
Announcements of many graduate assistantships are available on the Graduate School’s website and through the CareerLink site on the Career Center web page.

Selected Financial Awards and Descriptions, see The Graduate School website for full listing.

Chase Distinguished Research Assistantships (CDRA). Ten research assistantships are awarded annually by the Graduate School. The awards include a monthly stipend, a tuition waiver for up to nine hours per semester exclusive of courses taken as audit or pass/fail or below 400 level and coverage of 50% of the University’s health insurance plan. 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.

Resident Life Positions. Assistant Community Coordinator positions in the University residence halls are available each year. The position involves working with students, advising complex governments, programming, interpreting and enforcing policies and procedures, advising residents and making referrals, and assisting the Community Coordinator with managing the complex. ACC’s receive a stipend, an apartment for the academic year, and a meal plan for themselves 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. For information on application procedures, contact Residence Life Room 315, 5748 Memorial Union Orono, Maine 04469-5748 telephone, 207/581-4801.

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 higher education institutions in the Atlantic Provinces and Quebec. Applicants interested in being nominated for this award should consult their department. Nominations are sought in January-February. The award may be continued beyond the first year if the student remains in good standing and is re-nominated by his/her program coordinator.

Graduate Trustee Tuition Scholarships. Fifteen to twenty scholarships, which pay up to 18 hours of tuition per academic year, are available annually 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 January-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 in specific programs 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 January-February. Interested students should seek nomination through their departments of study.

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.

Michael J. Eckardt Dissertation Fellowships (formerly MEIF). Five research fellowships are awarded annually by the Graduate School for doctoral candidates completing their dissertations in the following MEIF targeted areas: aquaculture and marine sciences technology; biotechnology; composite materials engineering; environmental sciences technology; information sciences and technology; precision manufacturing; and forestry and agriculture. The stipend is $20,000, payable over twelve months. The Graduate School will provide 1 credit of tuition during the summer term. Student is responsible for Fall & Spring tuition, as well as health insurance. Preference will be given to students in their final year of doctoral study, and the award is non-renewable. Nominations are sought in December.

Janet Waldron Doctoral Research Fellowships (formerly UMDRF). The Janet Waldron Doctoral Research Fellowships are open to all doctoral students, regardless of discipline and designed to stimulate research and scholarship at UMaine as measured by research productivity and doctoral-degree graduation rate. Therefore, successful applicants must explicitly address how fellowship support would result in an overall increase in research productivity. The fellowship is intended to provide doctoral students with up to two years (24 months) of support with a stipend of $25,000 per year and coverage of 1 credit or more of tuition per semester and 50% of the University’s group health insurance plan to provide financial support through the completion of their degrees. Nominations are sought in December.

Susan J. Hunter Teaching Fellowships. Up to 4 Hunter teaching fellowships are awarded annually for the spring semester to doctoral students who have passed their comprehensive exams and who intend to enter the professoriate. The Hunter fellowship provides one half of the annual minimum graduate stipend, one credit of graduate tuition, and 50% of the one-semester health insurance premium for graduate assistants, if the student is not already enrolled in the insurance program. Hunter Fellows teach one undergraduate course as the sole instructor, under the mentorship of the normal course instructor, and must attend at least 3 graduate student professional development workshops. The student’s mentor or another graduate faculty member of the student’s unit must teach a 1-3 credit graduate course that otherwise would not be offered. These awards are made on a competitive basis and involve nomination by the department of study and submission of a plan delineating both the course to be taught by the student and the graduate course to be taught by a unit member. Nominations are sought in the spring semester for the following spring.

Summer Dissertation Fellowships.  Dissertation writing fellowships are open to doctoral students who have passed their comps and are actively writing their dissertations.  Depending on number of applicants, the Graduate School will consider master’s students who have completed four semesters of study and are actively engaged in writing a thesis, but preference will be given to doctoral students. Each fellow will receive an office in Stodder Hall and a $1,500 monthly stipend at the end of June, July, and August.  Offices will be equipped with desk, chair, and a large table. Fellows are expected to spend at least 5 hours a day, five days a week using the offices to work on their dissertations; however, they may not live in these rooms.

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 Quebec. 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. Our contact hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. . Advisors are available on a walk-in basis between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday. . 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 umfinaid@maine.edu.

Applying for Financial Aid

To determine 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). Students must apply for financial aid each year, using FAFSA at fafsa.gov.

The FAFSA allows students to enter application information and electronically submit their application directly to the federal processing center. Some information can be “pre-filled” from the prior year’s application when the Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) is used. An FSA ID can be created at: fsaid.ed.gov. The student’s signature must be provided before the FAFSA can be processed. There are two ways in which the application can be signed: the student can use their FSA ID to electronically sign the FAFSA or a paper signature page can be printed, signed, and mailed to the address provided. Students should note the confirmation number that is given when the application is submitted.

After applying, the student will receive an email from the federal processing center that directs them how to access their Student Aid Report (SAR) online. The student is expected to review the SAR and make any necessary corrections immediately, or contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for assistance. As long as the University of Maine is listed on the SAR in the school section, the Office of Student Financial Aid will receive the application data, generally within two to three business days. The application will be reviewed and the student will be notified on his/her MaineStreet To Do List if any additional documentation (IRS Data Retrieval, verification forms, or other information) is required.  The IRS Data Retrieval tool allows applicants to request and retrieve their tax data directly from the IRS.  Once this data is retrieved from the IRS, it can be transferred to the FAFSA application.

Once the student’s file is considered complete, a financial aid award will be made available to the student. The student should accept (or decline) each type of aid offered and follow all instructions to ensure continued processing and disbursement of funds to the students account at the University of Maine Bursars 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 in order to be eligible. Full-time registration for a graduate student is normally defined as six or more degree hours per semester; part-time status is three to five credit hours per semester. Doctoral students who have been admitted to candidacy, psychology and human nutrition students on approved internships, and students in their final semester of study may maintain full-time enrollment status by registering for a minimum of one thesis or internship credit. Students enrolled in summer session are eligible for aid.  However, for students taking one credit, 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.

Financial aid is initially awarded based upon the assumption of full time enrollment 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 by email if 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.

Financial Aid Programs

Graduate students may be offered assistance from the following financial aid programs:

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are funded through the federal government and are awarded 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 $20,500 in unsubsidized Direct Loan per year. As of July 1, 2012, graduate students are no longer eligible for subsidized Direct Loans.  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 accept the Federal Direct Loan via MaineStreet. More information is available on the Financial Aid website, located at www.umaine.edu/stuaid.

NOTE: Repayment of principal is deferred on unsubsidized loans while a student is enrolled at least half time. Interest rates are fixed at each academic year and are available on our website at umaine.edu/stuaid/loans/stafford/. Interest begins to accrue or can be paid by the student immediately after disbursement on any unsubsidized loan. 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 Direct Loan must complete Entrance Counseling before loan proceeds will be released. To complete the requirement on the web, visit studentloans.gov. Students who have borrowed previously and completed an Entrance Interview/Loan Counseling session at another college or university should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid. First time Federal Direct Loan borrowers must also complete a new Master Promissory Note (MPN) at studentloans.gov.

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 Assistant Tuition Scholarships are awarded by 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 students’ efforts in research and/or teaching while working on a graduate degree (contact the Graduate School, Academic Department, or the Office of Student Employment 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 visit umaine.edu/bursar/payment-options and click on Installment Payment Plan, or contact the University of Maine Bursar’s Office at 581-1521.

Credit-Based Loan Programs are available through the Federal Direct Plus loan program and various lending institutions throughout the United States. Please visit the Office of Student Financial Aid’s website at umaine.edu/stuaid/types-of-aid/loans for more information on Direct Plus and alternative loans.

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 by email 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 Satisfactory Academic Progress status

Students are encouraged to contact the office to discuss the impact on their financial aid eligibility before their status changes, if at all possible.

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 and enroll in a minimum of one credit.  Generally, financial aid is limited to any remaining Federal Direct Loan eligibility. 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 and eligibility is impacted by academic performance. 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 Policy, measured in three areas; Grade Point Average (GPA), successful completion of credit hours attempted, and length of time it takes to reach completion.

The Federal Direct Loan program places limits, called aggregate limits, on the total amount that may be borrowed by any student. These limits are specified by Federal Student Aid on their website (studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized).

Withdrawal from All Classes

If a student withdraws from the University after the semester begins, federal regulations stipulate that 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 Bursars Office. Students considering withdrawing from all classes must contact the Graduate School who will collaborate with the Office of Student Financial Aid to determine the impact of the withdrawal on financial aid.  A copy of the withdrawal policy is available in the Office of Student Financial Aid and on their website.

Institutional (Unofficial) Withdrawal

Federal regulations require that the Office of Student Financial Aid determine the last date of attendance for an academic related activity 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.

Special Circumstances

Special circumstances, such as leaving full-time employment to pursue a graduate degree, changes in spousal employment, loss of a benefit or other type of income, changes in marital status, or unexpected/unusual costs, should be brought to the attention of the staff of the Office of Student Financial Aid. Students may meet with an advisor or contact the office at (207) 581-1324 to explain their circumstances.

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 have 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. 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.  The Graduate Appeal Form and policy can be found at umaine.edu/stuaid/sap.  All appeals should be submitted along with appropriate supporting 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.