MONTANA BOARD OF REGENTS OF HIGHER EDUCATION
 Policy and Procedures Manual

 

 ITEM 124-106-R0904†††† † Attachment

 

SUBJECT:  FINANCIAL AFFAIRS                                               

Policy 940.13 - Fee Waivers
Effective July 1, 2003; Issued May 2, 2003


Board policy: 

1.         The campuses of the Montana University System are authorized to waive fees in accordance with this policy. 

 

2.         The Commissioner of Higher Education is responsible for the general administration of this policy. 

 

3.         The objectives of this policy are to: 

 

a.         assure a uniform and equitable administration of fee waiver policies for students at the campuses of the Montana University System, 

 

b.         increase accessibility to public higher education for citizens who would not be able to matriculate or to continue an educational program without financial assistance, 

 

c.         recognize meritorious achievement or service, whether academic or through exceptional accomplishment, by students in the Montana University System, 

 

d.         maintain fiscal responsibility by insuring that other sources of financial assistance are explored and utilized prior to waiver of fees which reduces funds for the operation of the Montana University System, and 

 

e.         ensure that the allocation of fee waivers is made in accordance with federal law, specifically Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972. 

 

4.         Continuing Education programs.  No fee waivers will be granted for any course or program which is supported solely by fees generated.  A regularly enrolled student who has received a fee waiver and who chooses to enroll in a self-supporting course will be required to pay the normal fees for the self-supporting course. 

 

5.         Building fees.  No building fees may be waived. 

 

6.         Summer session.  Any category of fee waivers granted to students during summer session shall be included in computations of each unit's allowable limit.  Summer semester is considered the first semester of the fiscal year. 

 

7.         Allocation

 

a.         All fee waivers, except Honor Scholarships for National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists, High School Honor Scholarships, Community College Honor Scholarships, fee waivers for faculty and staff, graduate teaching assistants and graduate research assistants, and athletic grants-in-aid shall include financial need as a criterion whenever possible.

 

b.          campuses may authorize fee waivers on the basis of superior academic achievement, service to the campus or meritorious accomplishment. 

 

8.         Recruiting.  No representative of a campus of the Montana University System shall offer, or imply an offer, of a fee waiver as an inducement to any person currently enrolled at another campus of the Montana University System to enroll as an undergraduate student. 

 

9.         Miscellaneous waivers.  Additional miscellaneous waivers which may be appropriate for individual campuses shall be submitted to the Board of Regents for approval through the Commissioner of Higher Education. 

 

Procedures

 

1.         Authorizing official.  The Financial Aid Director at each campus shall be the official authorized to award financial assistance, including fee waivers and scholarships, to any student. 

No notice or authorization of financial assistance including fee waivers and scholarships shall be communicated to a student except by authorization from the Financial Aid Officer. 

 

2.         Reporting and review 

 

a.         Each unit of the Montana University System will report annually to the Commissioner of Higher Education concerning fee waivers on forms provided. 

 

b.         the president or chancellor of each campus, with the assistance of the financial aid director, shall annually review financial aid practices to insure that waivers are allocated in accordance with applicable policy. 

 

c.         The administration of this policy will be reviewed periodically by the Commissioner of Higher Education to insure that no inequities, misinterpretations or misapplications have occurred and to assist in alleviating any problems. 

 

3.         Continued eligibility for fee waiver 

 

a.         Undergraduate students are eligible for continued fee waivers, unless otherwise limited, provided reasonable academic progress is maintained in accordance with the campusís satisfactory progress policy generally used in administering federal financial aid.  The satisfactory progress shall include the following criteria: 

 

(1)  A minimum grade point average.

 

(2) An appropriate probationary period. 

 

(3)  A campus appeals policy. 

 

b.         The Graduate Dean at each campus will recommend the continued eligibility of graduate students for fee waivers on the basis of criteria established in cooperation with the Financial Aid Director. 

 

c.         The above policy does not apply to senior citizens and faculty and staff fee waivers. 

 

4.         Waivers.   Campuses of the Montana University System may grant the following waivers subject to specified conditions.  Institutions are not required, nor encouraged, to allocate the maximum number or value of fee waivers for undergraduate registration and incidental fee waivers, undergraduate out-of-state fee waivers, graduate incidental, registration and out-of-state fee waivers and athletic grants-in-aid. 

 

a.         Undergraduate Registration and Incidental fees.  Registration and incidental fees may be waived for undergraduate students, which for the campuses of any one unit shall not exceed 6% of the unit's total fall term FTE enrollment for the preceding year, exclusive of all other waivers. 

 

b.         Out-of-State Fee Waivers.  Campuses may waive registration, incidental and out-of-state fees for out-of-state students, which for the campuses of any one unit shall not exceed 2% of the unitís previous year's full time equivalent enrollment.  The 2% limit shall apply to all undergraduate, graduate and athletic fee waivers. 

 

c.         Graduate Incidental and Registration Fees.  Incidental and registration fees (where applicable), exclusive of building fees, may be waived for graduate students; however, the number of waivers for the campuses of any one unit shall not exceed 4% of the unitís total fall term FTE of the preceding academic year. 

 

Out-of-state waivers may be given in whole or in part to any number of students so long as the total dollar value does not exceed the dollar equivalent of the maximum authorized waivers.  The dollar value of waivable fees shall be based upon the fees for a normal credit load (15 credits). 

Limitations on numbers of students in subsections 4(a), 4(b) and 4(c) above shall not apply to students from other states who enroll under provisions of any WICHE or WWAMI sponsored state reciprocal agreements which provide for the payment, where required, of the student support fee by the reciprocal state, or to student exchange programs which the Commissioner of Higher Education may designate under the WICHE Fellows or Scholars programs.

 

d.         Indian Student Fee Waiver.  Registration and incidental fees shall be waived for any person of one-fourth (1/4) Indian blood or more.  Such person must have been a bona fide resident of the State of Montana for at least one year prior to enrollment in the Montana University System and must demonstrate financial need.  Each campus shall make rules governing the selection of these Indian students. 

 

e. Honorably Discharged Veteran Fee Waiver.

i. Veterans From the Vietnam Era and Before (i.e., served anytime prior to May 8, 1975) - Registration and incidental fees shall be waived for all honorably discharged persons who served with the United States forces in any of its wars and who are bona fide residents of the State of Montana for fee and tuition purposes. This waiver shall not apply to persons who qualify for education stipends or other veterans' educational benefits under federal law or regulation and shall apply only to those who have at some time qualified for benefits but whose benefits have expired or been exhausted.

ii. Post-Vietnam Era Veterans (i.e., service began after May 7, 1975) - Veterans serving in the armed forces subsequent to the conflict in Vietnam are eligible for a fee waiver if the following conditions are met, in addition to other eligibility conditions applicable to all fee waivers.

1. (a) The veteran has been awarded an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, or
(b) The veteran served in a combat theater in the Persian Gulf between August 2, 1990 and April 11, 1991 and received the Southwest Asia Service Medal, or
(c) The veteran has been awarded the Kosovo Campaign Medal. For purposes of this policy any of the above noted medals shall be deemed to have been "awarded" to an individual if the individual was eligible for the medal but chose to receive another medal in lieu thereof.

2. The veteran is pursuing his or her initial associate degree or initial baccalaureate degree.

3. The veteran elected to become eligible for educational benefits under Title 38, Chapter 30 or 32, of the United States Code (or a successor federal program granting educational benefits based on active duty in the regular armed forces of the United States) and has exhausted such benefits or is no longer eligible for such benefits because of the passage of time. Participants in the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) or any similar contributory program who withdraw any portion of their contribution before the expiration date for their benefits are not eligible for the waiver.

4. The veteran is a resident of Montana eligible for in-state tuition and fees under the policies of the Board.

f.          War Orphans Fee Waiver.  Undergraduate registration and incidental fees shall be waived, with the approval of the Commissioner of Higher Education, for the children aged 25 and under of members of the armed forces of the United States who served on active duty during World War II, the Korean or Vietnam conflicts.  Such members of the armed forces must have had legal residence in the state at the time of entry into service and must have been killed in action or died as a result of combat related injury, disease, or other disability while in the service. 

 

g.         Dependents of Prisoners of War Fee Waivers.  Registration and incidental fees shall be waived, with the approval of the Commissioner of Higher Education, for the spouse and children of any resident of Montana who meets either of the following tests: 

 

(1)  while serving in the armed forces of the United States is declared by the Secretary of Defense to be a prisoner of war or missing or captured in connection with the conflict in Southeast Asia after January 1, 1961; or

 

(2)  while serving the United States in a civilian capacity is declared by the Secretary of State of the United States to be missing or captured in connection with the conflict in Southeast Asia after January 1, 1961. 

 

Eligibility for this waiver shall continue until completion of the bachelor's degree or certification of completion as long as the person meets the requirements of Section 3, "Continued eligibility for fee waiver." 

 

No eligible person shall be disqualified by either the return of the prisoner of war or person missing in action or his reported death. 

 

h.         Montana Senior Citizen Fee Waiver.  Incidental and registration fees shall be waived for students classified as in-state residents for fee purposes who are at least sixty-two years of age. 

 

i.          Custodial Student Fee Waiver.  Registration and incidental fees shall be waived, with the approval of the Commissioner of Higher Education, for residents of the Riverside Correctional Facility at Boulder, the Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility at Miles City or other similar facilities.  The same benefit shall be granted to students from similar private, non-sectarian charitable institutions located in Montana. 

Such persons shall have completed high school and shall be recommended by the Department of Corrections or the administration of the private institutions, as appropriate. 

 

j.          Surviving Dependents of Montana Firefighters/Peace Officers Waiver.  Registration and incidental fees shall be waived for the surviving spouse or child of any Montana firefighter or peace officer killed in the course and scope of employment.  This waiver shall not apply to the extent that any such person is eligible for educational benefits from any governmental or private benefit program that provides comparable benefits. 

 

k.    Surviving Dependents of Montana National Guard Member Waiver.  Registration and incidental fees shall be waived for the surviving spouse or child of any Montana National Guard member killed as a result of injury, disease, or other disability incurred in the line of duty while serving on state active duty.  This waiver shall not apply to the extent that any such person is eligible for educational benefits from any governmental or private benefit program that provides comparable benefits.

 

l.          Faculty and Staff Fee Waiver.  Incidental fees may be waived for permanent University System employees who are employed at least 3/4 time during the entire period of enrollment.  Permanent employees employed at least 3/4 time for the entire academic year who are reemployed for the following academic year are eligible for a fee waiver during the intervening summer term.  Each campus may at its discretion also waive other fees, but in no case may registration and building fees be waived.  Each campus may adopt regulations to limit the amount of credit an employee or staff member may register for and to control the times at which courses may be taken.  

 

m.        Foreign Refugee Fee Waiver.  Effective November 9, 1990, registration, incidental, and out-of-state fees shall be waived for students registered with the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees for attendance at any of the units of the Montana University System, provided the student has firm assurance that the remaining costs of his or her education will be provided from some source outside the University System.  Each campus shall notify the Commissioner of Higher Education of its intent to grant such a waiver and the Commissioner shall approve such waivers for up to six incoming students each year, systemwide, and each recipient shall be eligible for such waiver for up to four years of study.  Such waivers shall be included within the limits established in sections 4(a), 4(b) and 4(c) of this policy.  The authority of the Commissioner of Higher Education to approve these waivers expires at the end of the academic year 2000-2001, but any prior recipients shall continue to be eligible for the waiver for the full four years noted above. 

 

n.  September 11, 2001 Victims Fee Waiver.  Registration, incidental, and out-of-state fees shall be waived for persons whose spouse, parent, or legal guardian was a victim of the September 11, 2001 terrorist actions at the New York World Trade Center, the Pentagon or the Pennsylvania airplane crash.  ďVictimĒ as used herein means a person killed as a direct result of physical injuries 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 individualís initial associate or baccalaureate degree.  If a person is eligible for other grants or scholarships based on the individualís 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.

 

o.         Athletic Fee Waiver.  Registration, incidental, and out-of-state fees (where applicable), exclusive of building fees, may be waived for certain athletes.  The number of full athletic fee waivers shall not exceed the total number of Full Grants Equivalent authorized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, or appropriate affiliated conferences for officially sanctioned or recognized intercollegiate sports. 

 

A campus may elect to award partial athletic fee waivers.  The total funds awarded in partial athletic fee waivers shall not exceed the dollar value of the allowable partial fee waiver equivalent (PFWE), defined as the number of Full Grants Equivalent (FGE's) minus the number of full fee waivers granted.  The dollar value of the PFWE is computed as follows:  the dollar value of the registration and incidental fees is multiplied by PFWE.  To this is added the dollar value of the out-of-state fee times PFWE times the ratio of the number of out-of-state students receiving partial athletic fee waivers. 

 

The waivers permitted by this section are in addition to any other waivers authorized by this policy other than out-of-state fee waivers as set out in subsection (b) above and shall not be included in computing limitations on the maximum allowable value of waivers of incidental and registration fees for undergraduates. 

 

p.         Late Registration Fee Waiver.  The late registration fee charged students enrolling after the regular registration period may be waived for good cause. 

 

q.         Undergraduate Special Program Fees.  Fees charged to undergraduate students on the basis of enrollment in a particular program or curriculum may be waived in a number not to exceed 6% of the students who actually paid that fee during the preceding fiscal year.  This waiver does not apply to prepaid deposits or to fees charged for enrollment in a particular course.

 

r.         Graduate Special Program Fees.  Fees charged to graduate students on the basis of enrollment in a particular program or curriculum may be waived in a number not to exceed 4% of the students who actually paid that fee during the preceding fiscal year.  This waiver does not apply to prepaid deposits or to fees charged for enrollment in a particular course. 

s.†††††††† Montana Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year.† Registration fee and tuition will be waived at any Montana University System campus or Dawson, Flathead Valley, and Miles community colleges to the individual identified as the Montana Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year.† The Youth of the Year scholarship is renewable annually provided the student maintains academic progress and demonstrates progress toward a degree by completing at least 30 credit hours after two semesters, 60 credit hours after four semesters, and 90 credit hours after six semesters.† The scholarship may be received for a maximum of 8 semesters.† A recipient must utilize the scholarship within 9 months after high school graduation.

Committees involved in the selection of the Youth of the Year recipient may not include parents or relatives of any scholarship applicant.† The Montana Boys and Girls Clubs have established rating criteria for its Youth of the Year Program.† In addition to the criteria, the scholarship recipient must be a graduating Montana high school senior who will be enrolling in an eligible MUS school that fall.† The family income of the scholarship recipient may not exceed $50,000 per year, unless unusual circumstances warrant an exception (exceptions will generally only be made for large households or multiple dependents enrolled in post-secondary education).† The scholarship recipient must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have applied and been accepted at an eligible MUS school.†† The Boys and Girls Club will also have verified family income or, if necessary, provide a written explanation if family income exceeds allowed maximums.†

If the recipient of the scholarship decides not to attend an eligible campus, the student relinquishes the scholarship.† In such cases where the scholarship is relinquished prior to August first of the award year, the club may identify an alternate recipient, but such person will be subject to the same restrictions as the original holder of the scholarship.

5.         The Board of Regents will grant the following waivers to be used at campuses of the Montana University System subject to specified conditions: 

 

a.         Montana University System Honor Scholarships.  Registration fee and tuition will be waived at any Montana University System campus or Dawson, Flathead Valley, and Miles community colleges for a recipient of a Montana University System Honor Scholarship.[1]  The scholarship must be utilized within nine months after high school graduation.  The waiver will be valid through the completion of the first undergraduate degree or 8 semesters, whichever occurs first, as long as the student maintains compliance with Policy Section 501.1(A)(2).

 

b.         Community College Honor Scholarships.  Registration fee and tuition will be waived at any Montana University System campus for a recipient of a Community College Honor Scholarship.[2]  The holder of the scholarship must enter the Montana University System within nine months after receiving the associate degree from the college.  The waiver will be valid through the completion of the first academic year (2 semesters) of enrollment, exclusive of any credits earned prior to high school graduation or community college graduation. 

 

c.         Honor Scholarship for National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists.  Tuition and registration fee shall be waived for National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists from Montana.  This scholarship (fee waiver) will be valid through the first academic year (2 semesters) of enrollment exclusive of any credits earned prior to high school graduation. The holder of the scholarship must enter one of the Montana University System campuses or Dawson Community College, Flathead Valley Community College and Miles Community College within nine months after high school graduation.  A satisfactory standard of scholarship must be maintained as prescribed in Section 3, "Continued eligibility for fee waiver."  The scholarship is not transferable to another person and becomes void three years from the date of issue.

 

Definitions

 

1.         G.P.A. means Grade Point Average.

 

2.         FTE means full-time equivalent. 

 

History

Item 5-006-R0774, Policy Regarding Fee Waivers, Montana University System, as amended June 7, 1976 (Rescinded); Item 18-005-R1077, October 28, 1977, as revised January 16, 1978, April 11, 1978, January 21, 1983, January 30, 1984, November 4, 1988, June 21, 1989, April 26, 1990, July 31, 1990, November 9, 1990, March 22, 1991, July 30, 1992, November 11, 1993, July 7, 1994, November 20, 1997, May 21, 1998, November 18, 1999 (Item 104-103-R0999), November 16, 2001 (ITEM 113-109-R1101), January 18, 2002 (ITEM 114-103-R0102 - Revisions), March 22, 2002 (Item 113-108-R1101 - Memo), May 24, 2002 (Item 114-101-R0302), and March 20, 2003 (Item discussion, Item 118-103-R0303).


     [1]  See Section 501.1, Montana University System Honor Scholarship. 

     [2]  See Section 501.2, Community College Honor Scholarship.