Alfond Leaders: FAQ

Alfond Leaders | FAQ

What if I am moving to Maine based on an offer of employment? How will I certify that I have an eligible position?

Your employer can certify your future employment as long as you will commence your new position on or before July 1, if you are part of the spring application selection, or, on or before January 1, if you are part of the fall application selection.

Can I receive credit for time I have already worked in my Maine-based STEM-designated occupation prior to being selected as an Alfond Leader?

No, the eligibility period begins after acceptance into the Alfond Leaders program.

What if my position is terminated by my employer?

If your position is terminated, you will have 60 days to secure a new STEM position without losing your Alfond Leaders debt reduction award. However, your time out of work will not count as qualifying employment and you may need to provide two employer certifications to document one year of eligible employment.

What if I choose to leave my position?

If you choose to switch employers, it is your responsibility to ensure that your new position is a qualifying STEM position in order to keep your Alfond Leaders award.  Additionally, your employment must be continuous with a gap of no more than 60 days when transitioning between the two qualifying positions. You will most likely need to provide two employer certifications in that year to document one year of eligible employment.

What if I take Family Medical Leave from my employer due to illness or parental leave?

As long as your employer considers you to be employed during your Family Medical Leave, this will be reflected in your annual employment certification provided to FAME to document your eligible employment.

What if I move out of state?

If you move out of Maine you will no longer be eligible for any future debt reduction payments nor will debt reduction payments be pro-rated based on employment of less than five years. Previous debt-reduction payments made for completion of the initial five years of qualifying employment will be considered final and a return of funds will not be required.

If I am not selected as an Alfond Leader, will my application automatically be considered in the next application cycle?

No, a new application must be submitted for each application cycle in which a person wants to be considered for selection as an Alfond Leader. If an applicant has previously applied but not been selected as an Alfond Leader, he/she must submit a new application for consideration in the next application cycle.

What if I’m self-employed, can I still apply to be an Alfond Leader?

A person who is a self-employed STEM professional may apply to be an Alfond Leader.

Will I be taxed on the debt reduction payments I receive as an Alfond Leader?

Many loan repayment program payments are considered taxable to the beneficiary.  However, neither FAME nor the Harold Alfond Foundation can provide tax guidance to Alfond Leaders; therefore, we recommend that applicants consult their own tax professional for an answer to this question as it applies to their tax situation.

I’m a Maine employer; how can I use this program to retain or recruit employees?

Get the word out about Alfond Leaders to your current employees and be sure to send them to AlfondLeaders.org for more information and/or to apply for the program. Additionally, encourage your talent recruitment staff to become familiar with the Alfond Leaders program as they look to bring in STEM workers from out-of-state who may be eligible to apply to be an Alfond Leader. Click here for an information sheet about Alfond Leaders that you can share with existing and potential employees.