Not eligible for federal student aid? There are other ways to pay for higher education.

Even if you are not eligible for federal student aid, options exist. Consider the following options:


Attend a school that has policies and funding dedicated to supporting students who are not eligible for federal student aid funds. Here are some questions to ask when researching schools.

Resources to explore:

Pay As You Go

Pay as you go by attending school part-time, ideally with the help of scholarships, payment plans, and possible limited funding from the school. Most schools have payment plans that allow you to spread the cost of your course(s) over several payments throughout a semester or school year, making paying for classes easier to manage.

Employer Education Benefits

Work for an employer that provides education assistance for their employees. Some employers will cover a portion of your tuition or help support your educational goals in other ways. 

Start by contacting your employer’s Human Resource office and asking them these questions.


Employers who offer money for higher education in Maine

  1. Starbucks: All benefits-eligible United States employees of this coffee purveyor can have their full-time college tuition covered, essentially a free bachelor’s degree. One important note on this program: Employees can only study at Arizona State University’s online program.
  2. Chipotle: Both hourly and salaried employees at this fast-food chain are eligible for tuition reimbursement. To offer this benefit, Chipotle partnered with Guild Education, which offers online classes, programs, and degrees from a variety of universities.  Get more details on Chipotle’s benefits package.
  3. UPS: Part-time UPS employees who work in package handling can participate in the company’s Earn and Learn Program, covering up to $25,000 in college expenses (each year, the program reimburses a maximum of $5,250). According to the company website, employees are eligible for this perk from their start data.
  4. Walmart: Walmart partnered with an educational institution — for Walmart, its American Public University — as part of its educational assistant program. Both part-time and full-time Walmart and Sam’s Club employees, as well as eligible family members, may receive a tuition grant that reduces the cost of courses by 15 percent. Employees who have a high school degree or GED are eligible on the first day of employment. Find out more about Walmart’s Lifelong Learning Program.
  5. Home Depot: Tuition reimbursement rates for Home Depot employees vary by role — salaried employees can get up $5,000 annually, while full-time hourly employees are reimbursed up to $3,000 and part-time hourly employees can get up to $1,500. 
  6. Verizon: All employees at Verizon, the telecommunications giant, are eligible for up to $8,000 in tuition reimbursement each year. Verizon’s program requires that classes be related to the business. Learn more about benefits at Verizon.
  7. Bank of America: Employees can get up to $5,250 in job-related courses or degree programs covered each year. Get more information on Bank of America’s tuition reimbursement program.
  8. AT&T: As part of its benefits package, AT&T offers tuition assistance — employees must meet certain eligibility requirements to get the reimbursement, and the costs must be approved by the company.
  9. JetBlue: The upscale airline runs a program known as JetBlue Scholars — employees can apply to enroll, and once accepted, take approved online courses. To be eligible, employees must have worked at JetBlue for two years, and have prior college credits in place. Get more information on the JetBlue Scholars program.
  10. Anthem, Inc.: Employees at this health benefits company are eligible for up to $5,000 a year in reimbursement for tuition and textbooks. See more information on Anthem’s career-development perks.
  11. Ford Company: This car company has a generous education program that will pay for up to $6,000 per year in tuition and fees in advance of class completion. Get the details.
  12. McDonald’s: Gives $700 a year to hourly paid restaurant workers, and up to $1,050 to restaurant managers. The company’s Archways to Opportunity tuition program can be used for either an on-campus or online class. Please see site for more information. 
  13. Pizza Hut: Offers tuition opportunity to its employees please visit site for more information and requirements. 
  14. Hannaford: Education benefits offers scholarships and tuition reimbursement programs for employees. Please visit site for more information.
  15. Target: Offers tuition opportunity to its employees visit for more information.