Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver

Contact: Melissa Kiesewetter 231-439-5247
Agency: Civil Rights

As of July 1, 2010, Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver applications are processed by the Department of Civil Rights. To apply for the Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver, you must:

  1. Complete the STUDENT SECTION of the Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver (MITW) Application.
  2. Submit the MITW application (and attached documentation) to your Tribal Enrollment Department for certification.
  3. Ensure the Tribe-certified MITW application form and accompanying documentation is submitted to MDCR for verification. This will often be done by your Tribe after they complete their portion of the application, or they return the form to you. It is your responsibility to ensure the completed application and required documentation is filed.

To be eligible for the MITW, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be enrolled at one of Michigan's public colleges or universities AND
  • You must be ¼ or more Native American blood quantum as certified by your Tribal Enrollment Department AND
  • You must be an enrolled member of a US Federally recognized Tribe as certified by your Tribal Enrollment Department AND
  • You must be a legal resident of the state of Michigan for not less than 12 consecutive months.

You must provide the following documentation with your MITW application. (MDCR does not have access to documents submitted before July, 2010).

  • A photocopy of your Michigan Driver's License or State-issued Michigan Identification Card;
  • A photocopy of your Tribal ID.

Your MITW residency status does not determine your residency status at your institution. Your institution may require additional documentation as proof of residency or to determine your length of residency in Michigan.

You must submit this application to your Tribal Enrollment Department for certification and signature.

The Tribal Enrollment Department is certifying that the applicant (you), is ¼ or more Native American blood quantum and is a certified member of a US Federally-recognized Tribe. The Tribal Enrollment Department may submit this form and accompanying documents on your behalf to MDCR for verification.

The statute does not limit tuition waiver eligibility based upon full/part-time status, degree track, academic performance, or similar criteria - and such information will not affect MDCR verification.


  • If the student has never applied with MDCR, they must complete the entire application, including tribal certification, and submit all materials to MDCR according to the instructions.
  • If the student has previously applied and been verified by MDCR, the student should complete only the Student Section of the application. The tribal certification does NOT need to be completed.
  • All applications and transfer requests must be sent to the MDCR address.


Download our Frequently Asked Questions document.

Download the Policies and Procedures memo which explains why the Department of Civil Rights currently administers this process and how we determined who is eligible for the waiver. 

Download a Letter on student eligibility verification sent to universities to confirm that the Department of Civil Rights does not require recertification and educational institutions should not determine eligibility. 

Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver information updated:
Recent updates to the MITW information page include a statement on the recent Sixth Circuit Court opinion finding Proposal 2 unconstitutional, and a revised application form that should be used for all applications dated July 1, 2011 or later.

Related Documents
6th Circuit Court MITW memo PDF icon
List of Michigan public colleges and universities PDF icon
MITW Policy and Procedure PDF icon
MITW Student Eligibility Verification Letter PDF icon
Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver Application PDF icon
Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver Frequently Asked Questions PDF icon