About Educators for Maine
The Educators for Maine Program is a competitive, merit-based, forgivable loan for Maine students enrolling in or pursuing undergraduate or graduate education degrees. Applicants must demonstrate an interest in careers in education or child care and are planning to work in Maine after graduation.
How Do I Apply?
Applications are available online in February of each year. Applications for the 2023-2024 year are no longer being accepted.
Who Is Eligible?
- Students must be Maine residents.
- Students must be graduating high school seniors, undergraduate, or graduate students accepted into postsecondary degree programs.
- Students must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- Undergraduate students must be enrolled full time in an accredited U.S. college or university. Graduate students must be enrolled at least half time in an accredited U.S. college or university.
- Students must be pursuing initial certification as a teacher, including speech pathology, or child-care-provider qualifications.
How Are Students Selected to Receive the Loan?
New applications are reviewed based on:
- Academic performance
- Grammar, style, and content of a 500-word essay
- Preference is given to those enrolled in underserved subject-area programs. Underserved subject areas and underserved geographic areas are determined by the Maine Department of Education and may change each year.
- Awards and special honors
- Relevant activities
What Are the 2023-2024 Academic Year Loan Amounts?
- For undergraduate students, the loan amount is $5,000.
- For graduate students, the loan amount is $4,000.
- Award amounts are subject to change annually, but not less than $3,000 for undergraduate students and not less than $2,000 for graduate students.
Is This Loan Renewable?
Yes, for up to eight full-time semesters for undergraduates and four full-time-equivalent semesters for graduate students! To receive renewal funding, the completed renewal application must be completed on or before May 1. The FAFSA must be filed by May 1. You must continue to be a Maine resident and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
The renewal loan amount is not guaranteed to be the same amount received previously. FAME will email current recipients a link to the online renewal application by the end of February.
How Are the Loan Funds Paid to the School?
FAME pays loan funds directly to the college/university for credit to your account.
What Else Should I Know?
If you do not perform eligible work at an eligible Maine school or child care facility, you must repay the loan to FAME with interest. Interest is calculated based on the rate disclosed in your promissory note. Currently, the interest rate for new loans is fixed at 5.0%.
For your convenience, you can manage your loan account on line using FAME’s Loan Repayment Portal. To set up your online account, visit the FAME Loan Repayment Portal and click the green “Register” button. Be sure to have your loan account number, your contact information (email and phone number), and your phone handy, as these will be required to set up your online loan account.
Educators for Maine loan recipients may be eligible for loan forgiveness.
Borrowers may have one year of their loan forgiven for each year of eligible return service as a teacher, including speech pathologist, or child care provider.
In addition, certain borrowers may have two years of their loan forgiven for each year of eligible return service teaching, including speech pathology, in an underserved subject area or underserved geographic area.
More information about forgiveness eligibility can be found in the Educators for Maine – Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Options brochure.
Who Is Eligible for Loan Forgiveness?
You are eligible for loan forgiveness if you are an Educators for Maine loan recipient who is also one of the following:
- Educators who are:
- Certified by the Maine Department of Education
- Employed at a qualifying school
- Employed as an elementary or secondary teacher, specialized subject teacher, vocational or industrial arts teacher including the following:
- Classroom teacher
- Itinerant teacher
- Guidance counselor
- Librarian-media specialist
- Special education teacher
- Special teacher of reading
- Speech pathologist/therapist
- Chapter 1 tutor
- Jobs for Maine’s Graduates specialists with appropriate certification
- Child care providers who:
- Received a degree or certificate from a child care development program.
- Are employed at an eligible child care facility.
Return service must be performed within ten years of graduation or completion of certification coursework.
How Do I Apply for Loan Forgiveness?
Once you are employed:
- Submit documentation to FAME:
- Proof of teacher certification from the state of Maine.
- Teachers and Jobs for Maine’s Graduates specialists must provide a signed school employment contract.
- Child care providers must provide a letter of employment and a copy of their college transcript showing evidence of an appropriate degree or certificate.
- FAME will review for eligibility and let you know if you have been approved. You will not need to make payments while you are employed in a return service position.
- At or near the end of your first year of return service, FAME will send you an employment verification form which must be completed and returned to FAME in order to process forgiveness of the eligible portion of your loan.
How Do I Apply for Additional Loan Forgiveness?
Two years’ worth of your loan may be forgiven for each year that you are a full-time teacher, including speech pathologist, in an eligible Maine school in an underserved subject area or underserved geographic area.
Underserved subject areas and underserved geographic areas are determined by the Maine Department of Education and may change each year.
What If I Am Not Eligible for Forgiveness and I Have to Repay My Loan?
If you do not perform eligible work at an eligible Maine school or child care facility, you must repay the loan to FAME with interest. Repayment must be completed according to the terms specified in your promissory note. Loan repayment will begin six months following the month you graduate, complete your coursework, or withdraw. Interest is calculated based on the rate disclosed in your promissory note. Currently, the interest rate for new loans is fixed at 5.0%.
For your convenience, you can manage your loan account online using FAME’s Loan Repayment Portal. To set up your online account, visit the FAME Loan Repayment Portal and click the green “Register” button. Be sure to have your loan account number, your contact information (email and phone number), and your phone available, as these will be required to set up your online loan account.
What If I Am Having Difficulty Making My Monthly Payments?
Contact FAME to discuss alternative payment arrangements. We may also grant a deferment in certain circumstances. You can download a Request for Deferment form here. We typically require interest payments during periods of deferment and do not grant more than a total of 36 months of deferment.
If you have additional questions, please contact a FAME education program specialist Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
207-623-3263 | Toll-free: 800-228-3734 | TTY: 207-626-2717
This program is governed by Maine law as set forth in 20-A M.R.S.A. §12501 et seq. and Chapter 610 of the Rules of the Finance Authority of Maine.