College of the Marshall Islands

P.O. Box 1258 Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands MH

+692 625-3394

Financial Aid Information & Scholarships

The purpose of the Office of Financial Aid at CMI, within the bounds of its own limitations, is to assist a student in meeting his/her financial need and bridging the gap between the cost of education and a student’s ability to pay. Awards may be offered singly or in a variety of combinations. Certain personal financial disclosures are required from a student in order for financial need analysis to be completed. Determination of financial need will be made based on the information a student submits. All information is kept confidential.

Although various assistance programs are available, financing a student’s education is the primary responsibility of the student and parents.

The U.S. Department of Education has varieties of federal student aid programs.

The College of the Marshall Islands administers following U.S. Department of Education Title IV financial aid and scholarship assistance programs through the Federal Pell Grant Program. 


Federal Pell Grant

A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded usually only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. (In some cases, however, a student enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program might receive a Pell Grant.) Pell Grants are considered a foundation of federal financial aid, to which aid from other federal and nonfederal sources might be added. To qualify for a Pell Grant, students must be enrolled at least One-Fourth (1/4) time. The amount of the Grant is based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the student enrollment status (whether full-time, three-quarter, half-time, or less than half-time), the period of enrollment, the cost of education, and the payment schedule issued to all eligible institutions by the U.S. Department of Education. The maximum Pell Grant for the 2015-2016 academic year was $5,775.00 and for Academic Year, 2016-17, is $5,815 for students enrolled on a full-time basis. Awards for students enrolled less than full-time are adjusted based on enrollment status.

Any Pell Grant eligible student whose parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after Sept.11, 2001 will receive the maximum annual award. You must be under 24 years old or enrolled at least part-time in college at the time of your parent's or guardian's death.

Beginning with the 2012-2013 award year, students can only receive a Pell Grant for up to a maximum of 12 semesters or the equivalent. 


Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Use (LEU)

The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student may receive over his or her lifetime is limited by a new federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding a student can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six-year equivalent is 600%.

Students who are required to take remedial courses should be aware that their financial aid eligibility is limited. Students may only receive Pell Grant for 30 credit hours of developmental coursework. Students may resume their Pell Grant eligibility once they reach credit-level coursework

Sample of Pell Awards based on “0” EFC for School Year 2016-17

Enrollment Status

Two Semesters

Per Semester

  Credits Pell Amount Credits Pell Amount

Full Time

24 and more $5,815.00 12 and more $2,907.00
Three Quarter Time (3/4) 18 - 22 $4,361.00 9 - 11 $2,180.00
Half Time 12 - 16 $2,907.00 6 - 8


One Quarter Time (1/4) 6 - 10 $1,454.00 3 - 5



Basic Eligibility Requirements for Financial Aid

Students applying for any Federal Financial Aid Program must meet the following requirements:

  1. Demonstrate financial need;
  2. Have a high school diploma or equivalent or GED certificate;
  3. Must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate program;
  4. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen; (citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and the Republic of Palau are all eligible.)
  5. Have a valid U.S. Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau);
  6. Certify that use of Federal Student Aid only for educational purposes. Students must also certify that they are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on federal student grant (which could happen if they withdraw from school, for example). See pages 17-20.
  7. Must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for an Academic Competitiveness Grant;
  8. Register (if haven’t already) with the Selective Services, if you’re male between ages of 18 and 25.
  9. Returning students must also demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress towards the completion of a degree or certificate.


Financial Aid Application

To receive financial aid, students must:

  • Apply for CMI admission. Students must be accepted for admission to the College before a financial aid award can be issued;

  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA) form, listing the College of the Marshall Islands, Code Number 030224, to receive the Student Aid Report (SAR). Students are strongly encouraged to complete the FAFSA on the Internet at . The priority filing date is March 31 of every year;

  • Sign the financial aid award letter from CMI within three (3) weeks of the date of the letter;

  • Submit to the Financial Aid Office the CMI Financial Aid Application, birth certificate, verification worksheet, and proof of income from the previous fiscal year, Valid photo ID (State ID/Driver’s License/Passport.

CMI processes financial aid applications on a rolling basis throughout the year, but the process must be started at least eight weeks in advance of the semester attended in order to prevent delays in payment. Students who submit an application after the deadlines may receive less financial aid. Assistance is offered to CMI students and high school students through Financial Aid Workshops and through individual consultations. 


Application Deadlines

Students must have a complete financial aid application with the Financial Aid Office at CMI by the following deadlines:

Semesters Deadlines for:

Fall Deadline –     March 31 – Continuing/Returning Students

June 30 - New Students/Readmitted or Transfer Students ONLY            

Spring Deadline - October 31, Continuing/Returning Students

November 30 – New/Readmitted and Transfers Students ONLY            

Summer Deadline - April 30 

Note: Aid from the federal programs is not guaranteed from one year to the next. Students must apply every year. 


Applicants Selected for Verification


Students should save all records and other materials used to prepare their applications. Applications for federal student aid may be selected for a process known as “verification.” The verification process requires students to prove the accuracy of what is reported on their application by providing verification worksheets, federal tax returns, and/or other supporting documents. Applicants selected for verification cannot be issued a financial aid award until their information has been verified. Students will be notified in writing if they have been selected for verification. They will normally have 60 days to submit the required verification documents. Failure to submit the verification documents will result in their financial aid file being closed and no award being issued. If any of the data reported on the FAFSA is found to be incorrect, the student’s financial aid eligibility will be recalculated.


Financial Aid Award Calculation

Eligibility for financial aid is determined by the following equation:


Where:   COA is the Cost of Attendance,

 EFC is the Expected Family Contribution, and

 FAN is the Financial Aid Need

The Cost of Attendance (COA) budget for the period covered by the financial aid award is comprised of the following:

  • Tuition & Fees
  • Room & Board
  • Books & Supplies
  • Transportation
  • Personal Expenses
  • Dependent Care Expenses
  • Personal Computer

The U. S. Federal Government determines a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) based on the income and family information submitted in the FAFSA. The amount of a student’s EFC determines the student’s eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant and the amount the student and/or parents are expected to contribute towards payment of the student’s budget. 


Sample FAFSA calculation:

Cost of Attendance

- Expected Family Contribution



= Financial Aid Need $9,220.00
The sample Cost of Attendance is based on an off-campus student. The Financial Aid Office at CMI will try to meet student’s Financial Aid Need, subject to student eligibility and the availability of financial aid funds.


The figures stated above reflect the estimated Cost of Attendance (COA) at CMI for a full-time student taking a minimum of 24 credits during the 2016-2017 academic year and 6 credits during the summer. 


Determination of Enrollment Status

Enrollment at the end of the add/drop period of each term determines a student’s enrollment status for that term. Enrollment for 12 credit hours or more are considered full-time; 9-11 credit hours are considered three-quarter time; 6-8 credit hours are considered half-time; and 1-5 credit hours are considered less than half-time.  During summer semester, 6 credit hours are considered full-time.


Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy


U.S. Department of Education Title IV financial aid (Pell Grant) will only be awarded and disbursed to those students at CMI who are “making satisfactory academic progress.” CMI’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy is in accordance with the U.S. Department of Education’s guidelines. This policy includes both a qualitative and a quantitative measure.


The Qualitative Measure is the student’s Grade Point Average (GPA). The standard of good academic standing is a cumulative GPA of 2.00. Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.00 will be placed on financial aid probation aid given two (2) consecutive semesters to achieve the standard. Students whose cumulative GPA is still below 2.00 after two (2) consecutive semesters will be suspended from financial aid eligibility (see Financial Aid Sanctions). The Quantitative Measure is based on the student’s credit load and time frame in which the student must earn his/her educational objective, degree or certificate. Regulations set the maximum time frame in which a student must complete his/her educational program as 150% of the normal completion time for degree/certificate the student is seeking to earn.


Quantitative Measure Example:

Credit Loads – Student must successfully complete at least 67% of all credits attempted during a semester of enrollment and all cumulative credits attempted in entire semesters of enrollments.

 (See Table 1 below)

Table 1: Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Table per Semester and Total semesters of enrollment

  Credits based on semester Credits based on History of Enrollment
Semesters of Enrollment Total Credits Attempted Per Semester

Credits Must

Complete at the end of a Semester

Total Credits Attempted during semester(s) of Enrollment Total Credits Must Earned based on semester (s) of Enrollment
Semester 1 12 8


Semester 2 12 8 24 16
Semester 3 15 10 39 26
Semester 4 15 10 54 36
Semester 5 13 9 67 45


Time Frame - Student must complete his/her educational program within 150% of the published length of educational program based on enrollment status (see Tables 2 & 3 below).


Table 2: Degree Programs

Enrollment Status Maximum Terms of Eligibility*
Full-Time * 6 semesters or 3 yrs.
Three Fourth (3/4) – Time * 8 semesters or 4 yrs
One Half (1/2)- Time * 12 semesters or 6 yrs
Less Than (1/2) – Time * 24 semesters or 12 yrs.


Table 3: Certificate Programs

Enrollment Status Maximum Terms of Eligibility*
Full- Time 3 semesters or 1 ½ yrs.
(3/4) Three-Fourth Time 4 semesters or 2 yrs.
(1/2)-One Half –Time 5 semesters or 2 ½ yrs.
Less Than Half– Time 10 semesters or 5 years.

Note: The tables above for Satisfactory Academic Progress refer to academic programs of 63 credit hours. Programs that require additional credits will have their timetables proportionally adjusted to reflect a longer expected time to completion.

*All semesters of attendance apply whether financial aid was received or not.



Financial Aid Sanctions



A student is placed on Financial Warning if:


1. His/her Cumulative GPA falls below 2.00 or on Academic Probation at the end


2. He/she fails to successfully complete a minimum of 67% of all credits attempted.  

A student who is placed on Financial Aid Warning continues to receive financial assistance for one semester and is not require to submit an appeal. If the student fails to meet the standards after the Warning Period, student will become ineligible for financial aid. However, student may petition (appeal) for reinstatement of aid, provided the College grants permission to the student to remain in school.



A student’s financial aid will be suspended or terminated if:


1. His/her Cumulative GPA falls below 2.00 after two consecutive semesters



2. He/she fails to successfully complete a minimum of 67% of credits attempted during each semester after two consecutive semesters and/or all cumulative credits attempted during all semesters of attendance.



3. He/she fails to complete program requirements for graduation within the period

of eligibility (timeframe).


4. Completely withdraws all courses enrolled during a semester.

*Letter of Suspension Notification will be prepared by the Financial Aid Office within 7-14 working days after the receipt of grades at the end of each semester.



Student(s) whose financial aid eligibility has been suspended due to lack of satisfactory academic progress may be reinstated when they have made up all prior credit(s) deficiencies and achieved the required Grade Point Average.



Appeal and Exceptions

1. Students may appeal determination of ineligibility to the Financial Aid Office and Dean of Student Services by submitting an appeal in writing stating the reasons for non-achievement of minimum academic standard measures (qualitative or quantitative) requirements, and the non-academic reasons why the student’s aid should not be terminated (i.e. illness or death in the family, personal injury or illness, or other special circumstances).

2. Appeal(s) must be received by the Financial Aid Office and Dean of Services Student within five (5) weeks upon receipt of the suspension notice.  

3. Appeal(s) will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Office to determine whether or not appeal for financial aid is valid and contains sufficient reason for reinstatement. The student will be notified in writing of the decision within ten (10) days after the receipt of the letter of appeal.

Student whose SAP Appeal has been approved will continue to receive financial aid assistance for one semester, be Placed on Financial Aid Probation and/or put on Academic Plan based on the determination that the student will not be able meet the minimum standards after one academic semester. Student whose appeal was once granted will not be allowed to submit another thereafter.




Should a student change his or her enrollment status from semester to semester (for example within an academic year attend Fall Semester full-time and Spring Semester half-time) CMI will average the full- time and part-time course load based on the above credit load requirements.


A student enrolled for only one (1) semester within an academic year will have his/her academic progress determined at the end of the academic year semester based upon the one (1) semester of attendance.   



If a student changes major(s) or graduates with an A.S./A.A. degree and re-enrolls into a new program, the above limitation may be reduced depending on the number of credits required for graduation.





Students who are required to take remedial courses may take no more than 30 credits worth of non-credit coursework




Transfer units from another institution are considered in determining the student status for federal student aid at CMI if the credits are accepted toward a degree or certificate.




The following grades will be considered as credits enrolled but not successfully completed: Incomplete grades: I; and Non-passing grades: NP, F, W and NC.


“I” (Incomplete)


“F” (Failure)


“W” (Withdrawal)


“NC” (No calculation)


“NP” (No Passing)




Courses that are repeated will count in the calculation of hours attempted and completed hours earned for the time frame. A student may attempt a course second time and still be eligible for financial aid. However, a student will not receive financial aid after the second attempt of the same course and has passed a course with a “C” grade or better.



Return of Title IV Funds

Withdrawal from all classes during a term may also result in a change in the financial aid award for that term. U.S. Department of Education policy states that students who withdraw before the 60 percent point of the term (as calculated by the number of days in the term) will have their financial aid award reduced. Upon withdrawal the Financial Aid Office will calculate the percentage of the term in which the student was enrolled prior to withdrawal. This percentage will be applied to the amount of aid received for the term, with the student retaining only the amount of aid for the percentage of the term actually completed. The unearned portion of the financial aid award must be returned.

Students considering withdrawal from classes should consult the Financial Aid Office prior to initiating the withdrawal process. Withdrawal can have a significant impact on institutional charges, the current financial aid award, and future financial aid eligibility. Complete financial aid regulations concerning withdrawals and the Return of Title IV Funds Policy may be obtained from the Financial Aid Office.


Unofficial Withdrawals

Students who cease attending all classes during a term may also be subject to the Return of Title IV Funds Policy outlined above. In all cases, official withdrawal procedures should be followed. Students who fail all classes during the semester will be reviewed to determine if the failure was due to attendance. Students who stopped attending classes before the end of the term may be administratively withdrawn.


Scholarships and Other Grant

National and State scholarships are available for students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and Palau. The Financial Aid Office at CMI provides assistance to interested applicants in filling out the State Scholarship Application forms, then completes and certifies the expense section of the forms and forwards the applications to each respective scholarship office for review and action. The Financial Aid Office can also assist students with applications for other scholarship programs, including the Australian Scholarship, Robert C. Byrd Scholarship, the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship, and the Mobil Scholarship.

Scholarship Deadlines

Australian Scholarship

March 31

RMI (Marshall Islands Scholarship, Grant, and Loan Board Program)


April 1


June 30th


November 15

Mobil Oil Scholarship

June 15

FSM States (Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, Yap)

June 30

Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship

August 15

Palau National Scholarship

August 15

Emson Makroro Scholarship

November 25


Recipients of the Australian Scholarship must continue their college education at an institution located in Oceania under the RDS program. See Financial Aid Director for further information.


Scholarship Forms:


Gainful Employment:

Beginning July 1, 2011, the U.S Department of Education requires colleges to disclose a variety of information for any financial aid eligible program that prepares students for “gainful employment” in a recognized occupation. The information below, maybe helpful as you make career and education choices.