Find Financial Aid

There is money available to help pay for school – federal aid, institutional aid, grants, loans, scholarships, savings, and military are all sources for you to investigate.

Financial aid is typically available for students attending at least half-time. Generally, the same types of financial aid are available to students who are working toward a degree or certificate, so long as the program is approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact your school to find out if they participate in the federal financial aid programs and whether federal financial aid funds are available for the program you wish to pursue.




No matter the source of funding, all students should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is used by all schools to award federal and state financial aid. Many schools also use the FAFSA to award their institutional financial aid. Make sure to find out your school’s “priority deadline“.

Most students can complete the FAFSA in less than 30 minutes.

The FAFSA becomes available each year on October 1. Students must file the FAFSA every year to be considered for financial aid. Another important date to remember: May 1 – the deadline for the State of Maine Grant.

TIP: The earlier you file, the more financial aid you may be eligible to receive.

For more information and help filing your FAFSA connect with the  Finance Authority of Maine (FAME).

Explore Maine-specific Financial Aid

Maine has a variety of programs available to help students pay for college. You can explore some of these options at the Finance Authority of Maine website.


Scholarship Search

The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) provides great guidance on other ways to save, plan for, and pay for college. Visit their website for resources for non-traditional students and explore their Maine scholarship search database and additional resources to help you save, plan for, and a pay for college.

You may be eligible for local or state scholarships that will help you pay for school. Be sure to utilize the FAME scholarship search tool.

UMS Adult Degree Completion Scholarships

Maine adults who want to return to college may qualify for as much as $4,000 per year for up to four years through a new Adult Degree Completion Scholarship Fund through the University of Maine System. The new scholarships are for adult students enrolling in a System university after an absence of three years or more from higher education, and who are completing their very first baccalaureate degree. Courses may be taken at any of the seven universities in Maine.

Application deadline for Fall semester is August 1st of the same year.  – Learn more and apply today!

Maine Community Foundation Adult Learner Scholarships

Pursuing higher education as an adult – whether for the first time or not – is stressful and full of challenges. The Adult Learner Scholarship is intended to help relieve some of the financial burden of pursuing your goals so you can focus on what is important: school.  The Maine Community Foundation Adult Learner Scholarship Fund is for nontraditional students who want to change their life for the better through education and training. The scholarship supports a range of training, including attending two- and four-year colleges and universities, completing a certificate and other non-degree programs, or attempting a self-directed learning experience with a clear goal. Find out more today!

The Competitive Skills Scholarship Program (CSSP)

CSSP is offered through Maine’s CareerCenters: It helps to cover the costs for post-secondary degrees or certificate programs for high wage jobs in industries that need skilled workers. Income eligibility – 200% of the federal poverty level.

Higher Opportunity for Pathways to Employment (HOPE)

The HOPE program, which is run through Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Family Independence (OFI), was established to help eligible parents and caretaker relatives of minor children pursue training and education beyond high school. There are openings for 500 eligible students statewide.  The HOPE Program is committed to helping you reach your educational goals by helping cover costs related to school. Whether you are seeking a short-term training certificate, or an associate or bachelor’s degree, the HOPE Program has the tools and resources to help you.  To learn more, and to see if you qualify, click here.

Maine Manufacturing Career and Training Foundation Scholarship

This scholarship is administered by the Manufacturers Association of Maine. Applicants must have a sincere desire to further their education in the precision machining technology, manufacturing technology, welding or engineering. The recipient of any scholarship award must have applied to enter a precision machining technology, manufacturing technology, welding or engineering program at a Maine college/university in the fall, and must be accepted as a student at that college or university, and also must be a Maine resident.  For more information and to apply.

Investigate Additional Local & Regional Scholarship Opportunities


Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC) Scholarship Fund offers financial assistance of up to $500 for Washington County residents attending training and/or certification courses, not covered by traditional forms of financial aid, which will increase their employability and/or career advancement potential.

Osher Scholarships are available to Maine residents of all ages. Osher Scholarship covers costs to take one course, including books and required materials for individuals who have never completed a college course.

The Maine Sea Coast Mission Scholarships for non-traditional students of all ages and HS students who are residents of the islands and coastal communities of Downeast Maine enrolling in degree programs or taking specialized courses to prepare for advancement in a variety of fields.

Other things to think about:


Get Help from Your Employer

If you have a job, your first step should be to find out what supports your employer may offer to further your education and training. Many employers offer tuition assistance, flexible scheduling, or on-site training to help increase employees’ skills & knowledge.

College Savings Accounts

Your employer may match funds you contribute to a Section 529 plan for you or your children.  To learn more about Maine’s Section 529 plan, visit NextGen 529.

Get a Loan

Returning students can use this information to help make returning to school affordable and reduce student loan borrowing. If you still have a gap between what you can pay and your financial aid package (including all federal loan options) and you can afford to borrow more, you may want to consider a private education loan. Private student loans are credit-based loans offered through banks, credit unions, and state agencies. Since federal student loans have many benefits, private student loans should be considered only after other federal financial aid has been exhausted.

Opportunity Maine

The Opportunity Maine Tax Credit reimburses student loan payments for college graduates who live and work in Maine.  Find out more!