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Maine Scholarships and Financial Aid

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Maine has eight public universities and colleges, seven community colleges, and 19 private institutions. Whether you decide to go to the University of Maine at Farmington near the lakes and foothills of western Maine or Northern Maine Community College in sparsely populated Presque Isle, you can do it with the help of the federal government, the state of Maine, and the community.

Four Types of Scholarships and Financial Aid for Maine Students

  • Federal financial aid—grants and loans
  • Maine state financial aid—grants, scholarships, and loans
  • Maine university and college scholarships
  • Other scholarships—associations, organizations, businesses

Federal Financial Aid for Maine Students

Federal financial aid is mostly offered to students with financial need. To see if you qualify, file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA application is available January 1 the year before you will use the aid. The national deadline for the FAFSA is usually June 30 the year in which you need the aid. The Maine state deadline for the FAFSA is May 1. Some schools may also have their own FAFSA deadlines, so be sure you check with your school.

Students who submit a FAFSA may be eligible to receive grants, which do not have to be paid back, and low-interest loans, which do have to be paid back. Your financial aid/scholarship office will decide how much money you need by looking at your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on your FAFSA.

If you are not offered grants and/or loans, you may still be eligible to take out federal loans through a private lender. Speak with someone at your financial aid/scholarship office to see if you qualify.

For more information on federal grants and student loans, see the Guide to Federal Grants and the Guide to Student Loans.

Maine Financial Aid Programs

Maine financial aid programs come in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and tuition waivers. Here’s a list them:

State of Maine Grant Programs
This Maine financial program is offered to residents with an EFC of $4,100 or lower. Submit a FAFSA by May 1.

Educators of Maine Program
Students who are pursuing a career in teaching, speech pathology, or childcare may be eligible for this forgivable loan. Undergraduate students may be eligible to receive $3,000 a year, and graduates $2,000 a year. The deadline is May 15. Download an application here or request one from your school’s counseling or financial aid office.

Quality Child Care Education Scholarship
This need-based program supports students pursuing a degree in a field related to child development and child care. Students receive a maximum of $2,000 a year. This grant is offered as a first-come, first-served program. Submit a FAFSA by your school’s deadline.

Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship
This $1,500 annual scholarship is offered to students who have demonstrated high academic achievement. An essay is required. Download an application here.

Doctors for Maine’s Future Scholarship
This tuition subsidy covers up to 50% of a year’s cost of attendance for qualified students attending medical school in Maine. See your financial aid/scholarship office for more information.

Maine Dental Education Loan
This loan is available to Maine residents who wish to pursue a career in dentistry. Loan-forgiveness is available for service following certification. Click here to download an application.

Maine Health Professions Loan Program
This need-based program is available to students who are enrolled in programs to become dentists, physicians, optometrists, or veterinarians. The deadline is May 30. Download an application here.

Tuition Waiver Program
Foster children, children of firefighters, police officers, or emergency medical services may be eligible to receive this tuition waiver. This is a first-come, first-served program. Download an application here.

Scholarships from Individual Universities and Colleges

Almost all universities and colleges in Maine provide scholarships to students attending their institutions. Scholarships are usually based on merit, need, ethnic background, special abilities, major, leadership/community service, or any combination of these.

Merit-based scholarships are usually offered through Maine admission offices. This means that all you have to do is submit your application for admission on time and you will be considered. Other scholarships, such as scholarships that are based on majors or special abilities, may require you to request an application from different departments. The University of Southern Maine is an example of a university that follows this procedure with their department-based scholarships.

Scholarship application procedures differ depending on the school you go to. Check with your financial aid/scholarship office to see if you are required to submit a general scholarship like the Maine Maritime Academy or separate applications like the University of Maine.

Outside Scholarships for Maine Students

Maine students may also be eligible for outside scholarships offered by professional organizations, foundations, and businesses. Here is a list of just some of the scholarships that are out there:

Mitchell Institute
Senator George J. Mitchell established this research institute to support Maine students.
Award:$2,500 for students attending a 2-year college and $5,000 for students attending a 4-year institute
Requirements: Legal residents of Maine with financial need, academic excellence, and community service.
Deadline: April 1

Maine Osteopathic Association (MOA) Scholarships
Award: Four $1,000 scholarships
Requirements: Students must be residents of Maine pursuing a related career.
Deadline: May 1 each year
Application: Download an application here.

Maine Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society
Award: up to two $3,000 scholarships
Requirements: Students who are residents of Maine and pursuing a post-secondary degree in Conservation Law
Enforcement, Wildlife Conservation, Forest Management or a related field.
Deadline: April 8
Application: Download an application here.

Maine Better Transportation Association
Award: $500-$2,000 in various scholarships
Requirements: Students who have financial need, high academic standards, and are pursuing degrees in transportation-related programs
Deadline: May 30

Maine Community Foundation
Award: Various scholarships funded by residents of Maine
Requirements: Check specific scholarships for requirements and applications
Deadline: Most MCF scholarships are due in April and May

Rainbow Business & Professional Association Scholarship Fund
Award: A scholarship between $500 and $3,000 is available
Requirements: There are no specific requirements. However, the RBPA supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youths as they pursue their post-secondary goals.
Deadline: Applications are accepted between January and March
Application: Download an application here or email scholarship@rbpa.org.

Three Things to Keep In Mind About Maine Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • If you are not offered a Maine financial aid package, see if you can borrow a government loan before taking out a private loan. Government loans have low interest rates and may offer deferment opportunities.
  • Maine offers several state-supported programs for students interested in health and education careers. If you are pursuing degrees in those areas, see if you qualify for these state-supported programs.
  • Search for scholarships in your local area. Many Maine organizations support students by offering scholarships.

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