May 15, 2020

$60,000 Student Loan Repayment Program Expands to Include New Graduates Heading into STEM Professions

Alfond Leaders Program Seeking More Applicants for Student Loan Debt Relief

Funded by the Harold Alfond Foundation, the Maine program aims to stimulate economic growth in key industries by attracting and retaining STEM graduates and professionals

The Harold Alfond Foundation and the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) opened up and expanded a new application cycle to provide student loan debt relief for Maine residents who are employed by a Maine-based business in the STEM-related fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. Applications are now being accepted through June 30, 2020. The Alfond Leaders program assists Maine employers in attracting and retaining talented STEM professionals by providing student loan debt relief of up to $60,000 per recipient. The grants are awarded through a competitive application process and, to date, 133 applicants have been selected to become Alfond Leaders. Cumulatively, awards now total just under $4.2 million and the average award is about $31,000.

New in 2020, students who will complete their degree or certificate before September 1, 2020 are welcome to apply. Awards made to graduating students, will be finalized once they have begun a STEM position in Maine and, if new to Maine, have relocated to the state. Selected awardees will have until July 1, 2021 to relocate to Maine and begin their STEM employment for a Maine-based employer.

An applicant must have a higher education degree or certificate, or be graduating by September 1, 2020 in order to apply during this current application collection period.

Applicants will be recruited from across the nation, and current Maine residents are eligible and encouraged to apply.

An Alfond Leaders Advisory Committee assists in the selection of applicants and recommends candidates. Applicants can apply by visiting

Who is eligible?

  • Maine residents or persons who will become Maine residents upon being hired by a Maine-based employer;
  • A person employed, or who will be employed, by a Maine-based employer in a designated STEM occupation;
  • An applicant must have a higher education degree or certificate, or be graduating by September 1, 2020 to apply in this current application cycle (March 15-June 30, 2020).
  • An applicant must have outstanding student loan debt;
  • Candidates must submit an application, including a written essay, an official college transcript and resume, a statement of intent to live and work in Maine for six years; an employment certification by a Maine-based employer; and disclosure of the amount, source, and terms of the student loan indebtedness.
  • Those selected to become Alfond Leaders will receive debt reduction payments made on their behalf, paid in two disbursements after three and six years respectively, of qualifying employment.

To learn more about the program or to apply, please visit:

About the Harold Alfond Foundation:

The Harold Alfond Foundation furthers the legacy of Harold Alfond by investing in education, healthcare, youth development, and other philanthropic charitable causes that hold the promise of making enduring transformative contributions to the community and state of Maine. To learn more about the Harold Alfond Foundation, please visit