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State Tuition Assistance Program FAQ

State Tuition Assistance Program FAQ

Updated 13 JUN 2019


Q: When am I eligible to use the program?

A: At the completion of basic training or upon receiving a commission. This includes Servicemembers who are currently not eligible for a federal program due to not having one year of service after completing AIT (in the case of the ARNG), those members ARE eligible for the waiver.

Q: Can I use the program to pay for a Bachelor or Associate degree if I already possess a Bachelor degree which I paid for out of pocket?

A: No, if you already possess a Bachelor degree you are ineligible for the program regardless if the military paid for it or not.

Q: What is considered an “unsatisfactory participant?”

A: A member who has accumulated 9 or more unexcused absences from unit training assemblies or who within a 12 month period, without proper authorization, fails to attend or complete the entire period of annual training.

Q: Can I use the program if I am flagged for Fitness Assessment/Army Physical Fitness Test or HT/WT failure but still attending drill and annual training as required?

A: Yes, the program does not take into account HT/WT and FA/APFT flags.

Q: Does the state program cover fees?

A: No, the assistance only covers tuition.

Q: Does the program cover 100% of tuition costs?

A: No, at public institutions the program DOES cover 100% of tuition costs (minus a portion covered by Federal Pell grants if applicable). Private institutions are capped at UMO’s tuition rate from the previous academic year, currently $388.00 per credit hour.

Q: Can the assistance be used at any school in Maine?

A: No, the waiver is only authorized for use at Husson University, Maine Maritime Academy, University of Maine System schools, and Maine Community College System schools such as: UMPI, UMFK, UMO, UMA, USM, UMF, UMM, NMCC, EMCC, CMCC, KVCC, SMCC, WCCC, YCCC, and MMA.

Q: Does the one year obligation at the end of my course get added to any current service obligation?

A: No, the one year obligation is concurrent with any previous obligations you may have incurred.

Q: If I fail to maintain a 2.0 cumulative average and am suspended from the program can I have the suspension lifted?

A: Yes, once you have raised your GPA above 2.0 paying for courses from a source other than the state program you may be reinstated.

Q: Instead of a Bachelor’s degree can I use the waiver to pay for 2 Associate’s?

A: No, the benefit may only be used to earn one credential at the following levels, certificate/licensure, associate, and baccalaureate.

Q: Is there maximum credit limit to the program?

A: Yes upon completion of a Bachelor’s or upon 130 semester hours. There is no minimum number of credits required to qualify for the waiver.

Q: May I use my GI Bill in conjunction with the waiver?

A: Yes, the use of CH 1606, CH 30, and the Post 9/11 is authorized for use in conjunction with the assistance program. The only GI Bill which may have direct contact with the benefit is the Post 9/11, due to the tuition piece in that bill. In a case where a Servicemember uses both the benefit and Post 9/11 the GI Bill at less than 100%, per federal law the tuition assistance will pay first and the GI Bill will kick in after to pay fees. All other GI Bills are paid directly to the Servicemember and can be used to offset the cost of attending school.

Q: If I am eligible to use Federal Tuition Assistance, must I use that before applying for the waiver?

A: Yes, Servicemembers who are eligible for FTA must exhaust their FTA benefit completely before applying for the state program.

Q: Am I required to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

A: Yes you must apply for FAFSA each year and provide proof to the Education Office.

Q: Must I accept Pell Grants or Loans awarded by my FAFSA application?

A: A portion of any Pell Grant awarded will be used by your school and will be applied towards your tuition balance prior to state tuition assistance paying the remainder. The remaining Pell Grant award will be paid to the member or towards fees depending on your school’s policy. Members are under NO OBLIGATION to accept ANY loans offered.