The University of Minnesota, Morris will admit American Indian students qualified for admission free of charge for tuition, as mandated in federal law and state statute.
Students with American Indian heritage are admitted to the University of Minnesota, Morris on the same basis as other students. For the purposes of this tuition waiver, American Indian is defined as:
- an enrolled member of a federally recognized American Indian tribe, Alaskan Native Village, or Canadian First Nation;
- a direct descendant of a parent or grandparent who is an enrolled member of a federally recognized American Indian tribe, Alaskan Native Village, or Canadian First Nation; or
- a direct descendant of a tribally verified member of a federally recognized American Indian tribe, Alaskan Native Village, or Canadian First Nation, other than parent or grandparent.
American Indian students do not need to establish residence on trust lands, nor do they need to be Minnesota residents.
Degree seeking and non-degree students are eligible to receive the waiver. When eligibility is determined, the tuition waiver will be applied to the student’s financial aid award beginning in the current academic year. The waiver cannot be granted retroactively for enrollment in prior academic years.
Students receiving the tuition waiver are responsible for room, board, student fees, and all other charges to their student account as required by the University of Minnesota, Morris.
The value of the American Indian Tuition Waiver is included in a student’s financial aid package. An American Indian Tuition Waiver, need based grants/scholarships, and/or merit based grants/scholarships can be combined with the waiver to meet the student’s educational expenses. However, the combination of institutional, federal and state funds in the student’s financial aid package may not exceed the student’s total cost of attendance.
Students receiving the tuition waiver will be recognized as American Indian for ethnicity in institutional data collection.
REASON FOR POLICY
To comply with Minnesota Statute 137.16 (Morris Branch; Admission of Indians) The University of Minnesota Morris tuition waiver for American Indian students is rooted in the founding of the campus. The Morris American Indian Boarding School was established on the site that is now the University of Minnesota, Morris by the Sisters of Mercy, an order of the Roman Catholic Church in 1887. The US Bureau of Indian Affairs operated the school from 1896 to 1909 as the Morris Industrial School for American Indians. American Indians from the Dakotas and Minnesota attended this contract boarding school from its inception until 1909. At that time, Congress reduced the number of non-reservation boarding schools, deeding the campus and facilities to the state of Minnesota, with the stipulation that the institution of learning be maintained and that “Indian pupils be admitted free of charge for tuition and on terms of equality with white pupils.”
Applying for a Waiver
- To receive the American Indian Tuition Waiver, a student must be admitted to the University of Minnesota, Morris and submit a completed American Indian Tuition Waiver Application with documentation of their American Indian tribal affiliation, such as:
- an original or notarized copy of one of the following: the student’s tribal enrollment card or certificate or other tribally issued documentation of membership (i.e. certificate of Indian Blood – Enrolled Member, etc);
- an original or a notarized copy of the student’s parent or grandparent’s tribal enrollment card or certificate or other tribally issued documentation of membership (i.e. certificate of Indian Blood – Enrolled Member, etc) and a certified or notarized copy (copies) of the birth certificate(s) linking the student to the enrolled member; or
- a tribally issued, notarized certificate of degree of Indian Blood or verification of non-enrollee descendancy, or a notarized copy of the student’s ancestor’s tribal enrollment card or certificate or other tribally issued documentation of membership (i.e. certificate of Indian Blood – Enrolled Member, etc) as well as certified or notarized copies of each of the birth certificates linking the student to the enrolled ancestor.
- The University may request original documents for review. The University may also request validation of information from the Tribe/Nation.
- The University may communicate the student’s enrollment at Morris to their tribe(s).
- The Morris Office of Financial Aid will maintain student records related to the American Indian Tuition Waiver.
Appealing a Waiver Decision
- Students whose application for the tuition waiver is denied may appeal the decision by submitting a written appeal to the Director of Financial Aid indicating the grounds for the appeal, with relevant documentation.
- An appeal committee comprised of a staff member from the Multi-Ethnic Student Program, the Assistant to the Chancellor for Equity and Diversity, a faculty member, and the director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action will review the original application, the appeal and any supporting documentation and provide their recommendation to the Director of Financial Aid for final disposition. The committee may include University of Minnesota Equity and Diversity staff and others in their consultation and review.
- The final decision from the appeal committee will be communicated to the applicant, typically within four weeks of the filing of the appeal.