TO: Board of Regents
FROM: LeRoy H. Schramm
Chief Legal Counsel
RE: Sept. 11 Victims Fee Waiver
DATE: November 15-16, 2001
At the last meeting the Regents adopted an amendment to the fee waiver policy extending the benefits of that policy to the survivors of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist actions. Because the item was presented orally some of the clarity present when policies are amended in writing was lacking. Therefore, I have been requested to incorporate the spirit of the amendment into a formal written amendment to the fee waiver policy. That amendment reads as follows:
September 11, 2001 Victims Fee Waiver. Registration, incidental, and out-of-state fees shall be waived for persons whose spouse or parent was a victim of the September 11, 2001 terrorist actions at the New York World Trade Center, the Pentagon or the Pennsylvania airplane crash. “Victim” as used herein means a person killed as a direct result of physical injury suffered on or about September 11 directly related to the above noted terrorist actions and includes rescuers, relief workers or fire and police personnel. It does not include any individual identified by federal law enforcement personnel as likely perpetrators of the terrorist activities. This waiver shall apply only to persons enrolled in a program leading to the individual’s initial associate or baccalaureate degree. If a person is eligible for other grants or scholarships based on the individual’s relationship to a victim, which assistance may be used for attendance within the Montana University System, the fee waiver shall be available only if the individual has fully pursued this alternative source of student assistance and only to the extent that the alternative aid does not cover charges otherwise waivable under this policy.
This amendment defines precisely who is eligible. It also adopts some of the same restrictions applicable to our veterans’ fee waiver. That is, it can only be used up to the first bachelor’s degree and other available types of aid must first be used. This latter restriction means that every needy recipient will get the waiver but that the state won’t be absorbing a cost that could be paid for from other sources at no cost to the recipient. Finally, by incorporating this fee waiver into the general fee waiver policy it means that the recipient will have to continue to make “satisfactory academic progress” in order to remain eligible. This is a requirement we make for the continuing receipt of virtually any kind of student assistance.