Anyone looking to continue their education understands the struggle to pay for tuition, books, fees, and living costs. The good news is that Maine has scholarships for learners of all ages. But getting scholarships takes work and foresight, so plan ahead. Each funding source has different requirements and deadlines, and it’s important to understand what makes an excellent application. Sit down with a friend or advisor to help choose the best scholarships for you. This list will get you started.
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
These scholarships are very competitive and are only for the highest achievers.
The Cooke Young Scholars Program offers some of the most personalized educational and college preparatory support to promising students across the nation who have financial need. Cooke Young Scholars receive comprehensive educational advising and financial support, from the eighth grade through high school graduation, to help them pursue their unique academic and talent goals. Application period opens February 9, 2023, and closes May 11, 2023. Only seventh-grade students are eligible to apply.
The Cooke College Scholarship Program is an undergraduate scholarship program available to high-achieving high school seniors with financial need who seek to attend the nation’s top four-year colleges and universities. Cooke College Scholars receive up to $55,000 per year for four years, college planning support, ongoing advising, and the opportunity to network with the thriving Cooke Scholar and alumni community. Application period opens August 25, 2022, and closes November 17, 2022. Only twelfth-grade students are eligible to apply.
The Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is a highly selective scholarship for the nation’s top community college students seeking to complete their bachelor’s degrees at selective four-year colleges or universities. The foundation provides up to $55,000 per year for up to three years, making it among the largest private scholarships for community college transfer students in the country. Application period opens October 6, 2022, and closes January 12, 2023. Open to community college sophomores or recent community college graduates.
Maine Community Foundation (MCF)
www.mainecf.org/find-a-scholarship/available-scholarships/. Maine Community Foundation scholarships provide financial assistance for Maine residents attending accredited colleges, universities, and technical and career schools. Some funds also support students attending private high schools, camps, and experiential learning programs. Some scholarships are available by region. Some are available for adult learners only. Others are available statewide. For details, seemainecf.org. Any questions about the application process or requests for more information or assistance should be sent to [email protected]. Deadlines vary; see website. The following are a sampling of the numerous scholarships offered through MCF:
MCF Adult Learner Scholarship
www.mainecf.org/find-a-scholarship/available-scholarships/for-adult-learners. The Adult Learner Scholarship is specifically aimed at supporting adults returning to school. Applicants may be enrolled full time or part time. For more information, contact Jackie Shannon, [email protected]. Deadlines are June 15 and November 15 of each year.
MCF Short-term Adult Learner Credential award
www.mainecf.org/find-a-scholarship/available-scholarships/for-adult-learners/. Up to $1,500 is available for short-term credential awards. Applicants must apply at least one month before the program begins. Applicants are eligible for a short-term award for programs lasting less than a full semester. Rolling deadlines are the first day of each month. See website for additional criteria. Contact Jackie Shannon [email protected].
MCF Long-term Adult Learner scholarship award
www.mainecf.org/find-a-scholarship/available-scholarships/for-adult-learners/. Between $1,500 and $5,000 is available through this renewable award. Applicants are eligible for a long-term award for programs lasting more than a full semester. Deadlines are June 15 and November 15 of each year. Contact Jackie Shannon [email protected].
MCF Francis X. Langlois Scholarship Fund
The Francis X. Langlois Scholarship Fund was established through a bequest to provide scholarship assistance to those studying in the healthcare field, and includes two types of awards: to students from anywhere who are attending any college or university (including a technical college) located in Maine and to students from Maine who are attending any college or university (including a technical college), in any location. All students pursuing a degree in healthcare, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, are strongly encouraged to apply. Deadline June 1. Contact [email protected].
Maine Career Center Competitive Skills Scholarship
www.mainecareercenter.gov/cssp.shtml The Competitive Skills Scholarship Program (CSSP) provides funding and support services for eligible Maine residents to pursue two- and four-year degree programs or employer-recognized credentials leading to high-wage, in-demand jobs in Maine. Deadlines vary.
Worthington Foundation Scholarship
The Worthington Scholarship Foundation provides renewable scholarships of up to $16,500 for eight semesters at a four-year college. Scholarship is for students graduating from participating high schools in Hancock, Knox, Lincoln, Waldo, and Washington counties for study at various colleges and universities in Maine. Scholarships are awarded based on merit and financial need. A student who is enrolled in a three-year program (example: nursing) may receive $9,000 in support over 3 years. Visit the website for a list of participating high schools and colleges. Contact [email protected]. Application (www.worthingtonscholars.org/scholarship.html) opens January 1.
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
www.ptk.org. The official honor society for two-year colleges, PTK offers two types of scholarships to help students complete an associate degree and prepare for transfer to a four-year college. They offer scholarships for: transfer students; associate’s degree candidates; bachelor’s degree candidates; career tech students; nursing students; veterans; dual enrollment students. The application process is open year-round with two deadlines. For more information, email [email protected].
www.prosperityme.org/scholarships. ProsperityME awards PROSPER scholarships of up to $5,000 per school year ($10,000 maximum per student). To be eligible, candidates must not be eligible for federal financial aid, must live in Maine, must sustain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher, must either plan to enroll or be currently enrolled in a Maine college or university, and must demonstrate financial need. For associate’s degrees, the PROSPER scholarship is open for applications between December and March every year. Applications for short-term certificate programs are accepted year-round. For more information, contact Byron Bartlett,
Scholarships for Maine Immigrants
www.smischolarships.org/smi-scholarship-application/. Offers English and career skill courses for immigrants. Applications must be received at least two weeks before a class or program begins. This scholarship helps build language and professional skills for higher education. Applicants must be able to legally work in the United States, have a high school diploma or graduate equivalency diploma (GED), live in York, Cumberland, or Androscoggin county, demonstrate financial need, and be seeking skills necessary to achieve post-secondary education or career goals. See website for requirements and further information.
Unitil Scholarship Fund
unitil.com/our-community/unitil-scholarship-fund. For high school students who plan to pursue a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). Six $5,000 scholarships are awarded to students who live in and attend high school in one of Unitil’s service territories in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. See website for list. Applications are now being accepted for the 2022-2023 school year.
Selected Maine college- and university-based scholarships
All colleges offer scholarships. Here are a few offered in Maine. Ask an admissions counselor or advisor for more information about what is available.
Community Colleges Maine has seven community colleges, and some of these colleges have more than one campus, and/or satellite locations. Tuition at all community colleges is free for recent high school graduates. To be eligible, students must live in Maine while enrolled, have a high school diploma or equivalent earned between 2020 to 2023, and enroll full time in an associate’s degree program or a one-year certificate program at one of Maine’s community colleges. See www.mccs.me.edu/freecollege/. Here is information about other scholarships offered at some of Maine’s community colleges. For information about scholarships at the other campuses, consult the individual websites for Kennebec Valley Community College, Northern Maine Community College, Presque Isle Community College, Washington County Community College, and York County Community College; see www.mccs.me.edu/our-colleges/.
Central Maine Community College (CMCC)
www.cmcc.edu/admissions-aid/paying-for-college/aid-programs/. Ask about foundation scholarships and other external scholarships.
Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC)
www.emcc.edu/emcc-foundation/emcc-foundation-scholarships/. EMCC has over 70 annual scholarships available, which are often based on academic merit, a program of study, financial need, and/or enrollment status. Scholarships are awarded on a monthly basis. One form allows applicants to apply to all eligible scholarships, then the college will match applicants to the appropriate award. Find the application form at www.emcc.edu/scholarship-application/ or contact [email protected] to apply.
Southern Maine Community College (SMCC)
www.smccme.edu/admissions-aid/scholarships. The SMCC Foundation administers a variety of scholarships with a range of criteria including financial need, academic merit, and donor-specific requirements. One single form lets a qualifying student apply to all foundation scholarships. After enrolling at SMCC, the application can be found in the “MyMoney” tab in the MySMCC student portal. Application period for scholarships generally runs from March to early September; scholarships usually are awarded in October or November.
SMCC – Path to Graduation (P2G)
www.smccme.edu/academics/success-programs/p2g/. P2G is designed to help first-year college students plan for success and achieve their goals. The program helps new college students connect with peers and offers one-to-one guidance. Contact [email protected] for more information.
TRIO Student Support Services
www.smccme.edu/academics/success-programs/trio/. TRIO provides support for low-income, first-generation, or disabled students from the first day of college through graduation. Supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the program includes individualized advising, peer mentoring, and other support services aimed at student success. TRIO is also offered at University of Southern Maine (see below). Apply online. Contact [email protected] for more information.
University of Maine System
www.maine.edu/. The University of Maine System has seven universities – some with multiple campuses – located across the state, plus a law school, an additional 31 course sites, and multiple Cooperative Extension programs. The University of Maine’s flagship campus is located in Orono, near Bangor; the University of Maine School of Law is in Portland. The other campuses are University of Maine at Augusta, University of Maine at Farmington, University of Maine at Fort Kent, University of Maine at Machias, University of Maine at Presque Isle, and University of Southern Maine.
For adult scholarships, see www.ums-scholarship.fluidreview.com. Deadlines for both are August 1 and December 1 for priority consideration. All other applicants will only be considered if funds remain.
Adult Degree Completion Scholarship fund supports students returning to school to complete their academic studies.
Opening Doors Scholarship offers assistance to newly enrolled students pursuing their degree or workforce credential.
University of Maine, go.umaine.edu/apply/scholarships. Offers first-year and transfer merit scholarships. All undergraduate applicants for admission are considered for the awards. Also offers more selective, specialized scholarships, which may require separate applications. Apply for admission by December 1st to be considered for the maximum possible amount of merit award.
University of Southern Maine (Portland)
Offers a variety of merit, need-based, and interest-specific scholarships. Deadlines vary. See usm.maine.edu/scholarships for more information.
Maine also has a number of private colleges, including Bates College, Bowdoin College, and Colby College, among others. See individual college websites for scholarship and aid information. U.S. News and World Report annually ranks colleges throughout the U.S. by a number of factors. See www.usnews.com/best-colleges/me.
www.husson.edu/financial-aid/scholarships Offers a variety of scholarships granted based on academic merit and financial need. Some scholarships offered for specific paths of study. No additional application needed for merit based awards; scholarships are awarded at the time of acceptance. Must apply for admission to Husson by January 1 to be considered for merit-based scholarships.
University of New England
www.une.edu/sfs/undergraduate/financing-your-education/grants-and-scholarships All incoming, full-time undergraduate students receive merit based scholarships from $5,000 to $22,000 per year. Renewable for all four years of study, as long as the student upholds a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above. Contact Student Financial Services [email protected] for more information.