Four UMS Campuses Launching Student Debt Reduction

Plans to Cover All Tuition and Fees for Pell-Eligible Maine Students in Fall 2018

Federal, State, and Institutional Grants will completely offset tuition and fees for eligible new Maine students enrolling next year at the Universities of Maine at Presque Isle, Fort Kent, Augusta, and Machias.

The University of Maine System announced that, starting in Fall 2018, first-year Maine students who qualify for a federal Pell grant as part of their financial aid award will be able to attend the following University of Maine System universities without paying out-of-pocket for tuition and standard fees. The initiative seeks to build on the enrollment growth system campuses have already achieved in Orono, Farmington, and in Southern Maine.

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Yes We Can!

Providing Access to Maine’s Public Universities through University College Centers (UC) and sites provide you a way to earn your degree from any of the Universities of the University of Maine System. You do not need to be limited by location or constrained by rigid schedules. Courses are offered on-site, via interactive television (ITV) at eight University College Centers and online. You also can participate in ITV and online courses at the more than 30 course sites throughout Maine.

Contact a UC Student Services Coordinator for assistance with any of your questions.

Making the commitment.

Making the commitment to cover tuition and fees and reduce debt for eligible students is made possible because of the work the public universities of the University of Maine System have done to close the gap between college costs and available aid resources.

The largest increase in financial aid in the System’s history!

Grant aid available at Maine’s public universities has been growing as the savings realized from the System’s One University Initiative created opportunities for strategic investment in academic programming and student success.  The spending plan for the current academic year increased institutional aid by $8 million.  This 11.6% increase in campus-based aid is the largest increase in financial aid in the System’s history.  The Maine State Grant Program, funded by the Legislature, was also increased in 2015 to address higher education affordability and student loan debt.  

The investments in available grant resources occurred simultaneously with the University of Maine System’s six-year tuition freeze.  The System’s nation-leading commitment to affordability, which spanned 2012-2017, reduced the inflation-adjusted cost of a Maine public higher education.   

One University Initiative.

In the spirit of our One University Initiative, the four presidents of UMPI, UMA, UMM, and UMFK are collaborating to expand the program across the State.  In time, new resources can be leveraged to expand the program to other System universities and to even more Maine residents.

Specific guidelines and eligibility.

Specific guidelines and eligibility for participation in the Pell tuition and fees programs may vary by campus, though generally students will be required to complete at least 30 credits each calendar year and maintain a 2.0 GPA.  Student loans, work study, and other forms of aid may also be available for students to help with room and board, books, and the other costs associated with college attendance.  Applicants who do not qualify for a Pell grant may still be eligible for institutional aid as well as scholarships and student loans based on estimated family need and contributions.  Every Maine resident who is considering college in the Fall of 2018 should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible to determine what levels of aid are available.

51% of Maine students who completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the academic year 2016-2017 met the initial eligibility guidelines for a federal pell grant according to the Finance Authority of Maine.

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