American Indian Tuition Waiver

The Montana Board of Regents adopted Policy 940.13 in order to increase access to higher education for resident American Indian students. The policy requires that the campuses of the Montana University System waive tuition for eligible undergraduate American Indian students.

During the 2021-22 school year, the Montana University System waived over $2.6 million in tuition for 1,270 American Indian undergraduate students. Although this policy is sometimes called a fee waiver, it allows only waivers of tuition. Fees, program fees and other charges are not waived by this policy.

Who Is Eligible for This Waiver?

Persons who have at least one-fourth (1/4) degree Indian blood or are enrolled members of a state recognized or federally recognized Indian tribe which is located within the boundaries of the State of Montana may be eligible for a waiver upon demonstration of financial need. “Financial need” is defined as having at least one dollar of remaining need after subtracting Student Aid Index, all Title IV grant aid and institutional aid from the cost of attendance. Duplication of tuition designated awards is not allowed.

The campuses follow federal financial aid guidelines in awarding and renewing tuition waivers. These rules may be obtained from the financial aid office on each campus. Students may continue to receive these waivers from year to year, if they make reasonable academic progress. Students should check each campus’s policy about satisfactory progress.

Start your American Indian Tuition Waiver application

Who Awards the Waivers?

The financial aid office at each campus is the official department that authorizes financial assistance, including tuition waivers and scholarships, to any student. To be certain of an award of waiver, students must be notified by the financial aid office.

Is All College Tuition Waived?

No. Waivers awarded under this policy cannot be applied to self-supporting courses. Some online courses and most continuing education courses are self-supporting. Students must pay the full tuition and fees for any self-supporting course.

How to Apply

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to demonstrate financial need.
  2. Complete an American Indian Tuition Waiver application form. This form is also available at each financial aid office.
  3. Provide documentation that you are at least one-quarter American Indian or more; or are an enrolled member of a state recognized or federally-recognized Indian tribe which is located within the boundaries of the State of Montana. Documentation can include: official CIB (Certificate of Indian Blood), Tribal enrollment card, and/or documentation of parent/grandparent’s degree of blood. 
  4. Provide documentation that you are a resident of Montana. Generally you must have been in residence in Montana for at least a 12-month period. See Policy 940.1.

The American Indian Tuition Waiver may not be used with other state tuition waivers. The waiver does not cover mandatory or class fees. All other fees are the student’s responsibility.

Note: The amount of the tuition waiver will vary depending on the institution and the number of credits taken. All documentation must be provided to the financial aid office at the campus to be attended.