New Mainers

Maine is currently home to more than 40,000 immigrants and this number continues to grow. Many immigrants come to Maine for new opportunities, access to education and a better life for their family. New Mainers have diverse backgrounds, speak many languages and know that obtaining an educational credential or degree in the U.S. is often the key to expanded career opportunities and good paying jobs.

Are you a New Mainer? Welcome to Maine!

Are you looking to increase your opportunities by furthering your education? Are you wondering if you will qualify for student financial aid with your given immigration status? Are you looking for money to help you pay for college? Are you wondering if your foreign degree will be accepted in the United States? If so, our goal is to provide answers to your questions or direct you to those who can.

Preparing for higher education

In order to attend higher education in the Unites States, you will need to provide proof or documentation of your high school credential. If you need to earn your high school credential or equivalency, contact your local adult education center or learn more about the HiSet™.  The HiSET provides adults with an opportunity to obtain a certificate with the legal standing of a high school diploma through a pre-testing, preparation and testing program.

Paying for higher education

Higher education in the U.S. can be expensive. The good news is that there is money available to help students pay for higher education.

In order to determine how to proceed when paying for college, you should first determine if you are eligible to receive funding for education from the U.S. government. Federal student aid is available to eligible U.S. citizens, as well as eligible non-citizens, and comes in the form of federal grants, loans, and work study. Learn more about who is eligible to receive federal student aid.

If you are not eligible for federal student aid, other options exist, most commonly through scholarships and employers. If you are not eligible for federal student aid, learn more about other options that exist.


One of the most challenging aspects of a foreign-trained professional’s entry into the U.S. workforce is credential evaluation. If you have a credential, learn more about credential assessment and where to turn for credential evaluation assistance. Learn more about credentialing.

FAME resources

FAME can help recent immigrants and refugees navigate higher education in the United States. FAME offers College Access and Financial Education staff working across Maine to help students reach their higher education goals.  Floreka Malual is FAME’s dedicated College Planning Advisor working with new Mainers. Contact Floreka:

Floreka Malual

(207) 620- 3530
2 Fish Pier, Suite 204
Portland, ME 04101