Maine State Grant money still available!
Good news for students who missed the 2021-2022 Maine State Grant filing deadline of May 1: the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) has extended the deadline for this academic year only. Students should immediately file the 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply, however, as grant funds are limited and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
The deadline extension includes adult learners returning to school. The action is being taken in light of the continuing pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding some students’ plans for enrolling in the fall.
“We are taking this step in order to help as many students as possible who may have missed the May 1 deadline due to the uncertainty of their plans caused by the pandemic,” stated Carlos Mello, Acting FAME CEO. “This extension includes adult learners who may find themselves wishing to return to school, as well.”
The Maine State Grant Program is the state’s need-based undergraduate grant program. It is funded largely through state appropriations. The grant is awarded annually to approximately 12,500 Maine students. Students are considered for the grant simply by filing the FAFSA. Award levels for academic year 2021-22 are $1,500 for full-time enrollment at Maine institutions (public and private) and $750 for part-time enrollment. The grant may be used at eligible Maine institutions of higher education or in association with New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) Tuition Break Programs at eligible New England institutions.
Interested students are encouraged to file their 2021-2022 FAFSA as soon as possible as funds are limited.
“The grant is an essential piece of the financial aid package for many students and families, and we are pleased to make awards available to students who are still considering college. Extending the deadline for filing a FAFSA presents a good opportunity for those students to get financial aid and enroll now,” stated David Daigler, President of the Maine Community College System and Chair of the FAME Board of Directors. “We understand that many Maine families are facing significant challenges during the pandemic and the additional time will help them to afford and attend college.”
University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel P. Malloy added: “Making sure you are eligible for as many grants and scholarships as possible is the smartest decision an incoming student or returning adult learner can make. We have been working all year to keep Mainers on track for college. There is still time for students planning to attend one of our University of Maine System universities to file the FAFSA and qualify for a Maine State Grant award to cover college and reduce future student debt.”
A study undertaken by FAME in 2016 found that Maine State Grant recipients had higher rates of degree completion than did their peers in Maine and in the nation. Students who receive the Maine State Grant to attend a four-year college complete their degree at a rate of 61% compared to an overall state completion average of approximately 48%.
“Thomas College is absolutely thrilled that FAME will be extending the eligibility timeframe for the Maine State Grant during this extraordinarily difficult year. As many in Higher Education know, FAFSA filing for the state of Maine is down this year, though less than nationally, due to the upheaval and stress of the pandemic. Since the FAFSA filing is a prerequisite for receiving this very important financial support, extending the eligibility timeframe is a critically important step towards ensuring that our shared goal of making the dream of a college degree a reality for all Maine students is met,” said Thomas College President Laurie Lachance.
Two years ago, additional Maine State Grant funding for adult learners became available thanks to support from Governor Janet Mills and the Maine Legislature. This funding provides the opportunity for Maine adult learners to return to school and obtain the skills they seek and are needed to help address Maine’s workforce needs. This effort supports Maine’s statewide goal that by 2025, 60% of Mainers will hold a credential of value to support workforce needs.
FAME is a quasi-independent state agency that provides innovative financial solutions to help Maine citizens pursue businesses and educational opportunities. FAME helps to lead the creation of quality jobs for Maine citizens by working at the nexus of economic and workforce development. To learn more about FAME, please visit www.famemaine.com.