Like other state-funded universities and colleges in Michigan, Michigan State University participates in the Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver (MITW) program. This program pays MSU resident tuition for eligible American Indian students. While the tuition waiver is based on ancestral treaty negotiations between tribes and US governmental officials, the State of Michigan enacted Public Law 174 of 1976 which waives tuition costs for eligible American Indians attending public community colleges or universities within the state. The MITW waives tuition for full-time or part-time courses taken during any semester and can be waived for undergraduate and graduate courses. Eligible students are still responsible for fees and other expenses, such as room and board, books, supplies, transportation, etc.

The MITW is administered through the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, which verifies eligibility. Unfortunately, the requirements for eligibility have changed over the years. Dr. Martin Reinhardt has done research on the topic. 

At this time, students must meet the following requirements for eligibility:

  • Must be enrolled at one of Michigan’s public colleges or universities, and;
  • Must be an enrolled member of a US Federally recognized Tribe, as certified by your Tribal Enrollment Department, and;
  • Must be ¼ or more blood quantum, as certified by your Tribal Enrollment Department, and;
  • Must be a legal resident of the state of Michigan for not less than 12 consecutive months prior to beginning college or university.


  1. MSU information about the Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver.
  2. For Complete and up-to-date information on the Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver, contact the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.