Students wishing to attend college in Maine have several outstanding options, from the University of Maine to the Maine Maritime Academy. If you’re struggling to tackle the cost of college, there are several state programs that can help. Check out these valuable opportunities for grants, loans, and waivers in the state of Maine.
The state of Maine has its own deadline for state aid.
May 1st, 2020 – For priority consideration, be sure to submit your application by midnight CT.
Educators for Maine Program
This program offers forgivable loans to students pursuing careers in child care and education who plan to work in Maine after graduation. Applicants must be Maine residents with a GPA of at least 3.0. This renewable loan provides up to $3,000 per year for undergraduate students to a maximum of $12,000, and up to $2,000 each year for graduate students to a maximum of $8,000.
Alfond Leaders Program
This program helps professionals who live in Maine and work in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) occupation repay their student loans. Applicants to the Alfond Leaders program can qualify for loan repayment of up to half of their total student loan balance, not to exceed $60,000.
Doctors for Maine’s Future Scholarship
If you’re a medical student pursuing your education at a qualifying Maine college or university, you may qualify for the Doctors for Maine’s Future Scholarship. Applicants must have at least one year of residence in Maine for a purpose other than education. Priority is given to those with a high school diploma from Maine, parents residing in Maine, or a bachelor’s degree from a college or university in Maine. The reward provides the lesser of $25,000 or half of the school’s cost of attendance. This scholarship is renewable for up to four years.
Maine Dental Education Loan Program
If you’re pursuing a career as a dentist, you may receive a loan of up to $20,000 per year for a maximum of $80,000 toward your college education in Maine. The Maine Dental Education Loan Program is a specialized state program available to Maine residents who are admitted to a qualifying dentistry program, demonstrate financial need, and have an interest in practicing in an underserved area in Maine. Loan forgiveness is available for those who practice primary dental care full-time at an eligible dental care facility in an underserved area after graduation.
Maine Dental Education Loan Repayment Program
Graduates who are practicing dentistry in an underserved area of Maine may also qualify for the Maine Dental Education Loan Repayment Program to help pay off student loans. You can receive up to $20,000 per year for loan repayment for up to four years. To qualify for these funds, the dentist and dental care facility must meet the program’s terms, which include the following:
- Serving all patients regardless of their ability to pay
- Accepting MaineCare payment terms
- Providing a sliding fee scale for service payments for individuals with an income up to 200 percent of federal poverty levels
- Not limiting service based on payment sources
Maine Health Professions Loan Program
Students pursuing a program of veterinary medicine, dentistry, allopathic medicine, or osteopathic medicine can apply for the Maine Health Professions Loan Program. This loan is available to Maine residents and provides up to $25,000 per year for up to four years. The interest rate for this loan varies with the type and location of practice that recipients go into after graduation. There is no interest for those practicing in underserved areas, while those who don’t practice in Maine after graduation are subject to the highest possible interest rate of 8 percent.
The Maine Medical Education Foundation Loan
This loan, sponsored by the Maine Medical Education Foundation (MMEF), provides anywhere from $2,000 to the full cost of the applicant’s education. Applicants must be pursuing a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. Along with the loan amount, recipients will also get free membership to the American Medical Association and Maine Medical Association while in school.
Recipients can defer repayment of this loan for up to five years after graduation. Tiered interest rates are also available for up to five years while the student is in his or her residency program.
Maine Veterinary Medicine Loan Program
If you’re pursuing a veterinary education and have an interest in practicing livestock veterinary medicine in an underserved part of Maine, you may qualify for up to $25,000 per year through the Maine Veterinary Medicine Loan Program. This loan is renewable for up to four years for a total of $100,000.
You can receive forgiveness for a portion of this loan in exchange for eligible return service. A quarter of the loan is forgiven for each year of full-time practice in an area of Maine with insufficient veterinary service, provided that at least 20 hours per week are dedicated to livestock.
State of Maine Grant Program
Students enrolled at least half time at eligible institutions may qualify for the State of Maine Grant Program. The maximum award for the 2019–2020 school year was $1,500 for full-time students. Those enrolled less than full time were eligible for up to $750.
Tuition Waiver Program — Foster Care
If you were in Maine’s foster care program at the time of your high school graduation, adopted from the foster care program, or a minor ward of a guardian receiving a subsidy from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, you may qualify for a tuition waiver. The award waives the actual cost of tuition at your college or university. This waiver is renewable for up to five years of full-time college enrollment.
Tuition Waiver Program — Public Servants
Maine provides a tuition waiver program for children and spouses of law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical service providers who are killed in the line of duty. You must be a Maine resident and attend a participating institution. This program waives the cost of tuition and is renewable for up to five years of full-time enrollment.
Though the cost of college can be high, there’s no reason to give up on your education because of inadequate funds. Besides these state programs, there are several federal programs, as well. Apply and see if you qualify for a generous loan or valuable grant to help you defray some of the costs of pursuing your college education in Maine.