The University of Maine announced Nov. 20 that it would be matching financial aid offers from fellow New England land-grant universities to in-state students. The program, called Maine Matters, will be implemented for the Fall 2016 semester.
UMaine will review competing offers from other land-grant universities, such as University of Vermont, University of New Hampshire, University of Massachusetts, University of Connecticut and University of Rhode Island. They will then match the net cost of attendance, which is the cost of tuition and room and board. However, the university cannot match federal aid or scholarships to these universities.
“The Maine Matters program is a demonstration of the university’s commitment to serving and supporting Maine students and their families,” Joel Wincowski, UMaine’s interim vice president for Enrollment Management, told Bangor Daily News. “Cost will not be a factor for any college bound Mainers considering attending a land-grant university outside of the state.”
Every in-state student admitted to UMaine is guaranteed at least a $500 reward through this program, or other merit scholarships, according to the Maine Matters page of UMaine’s website.
Merit scholarships, which in-state students are automatically considered for when enrolling, fall under five different categories. Early action students, who enroll by Dec. 15, are given first priority for these scholarships.
These scholarships are based on 15-credit semesters, and are awarded in incremental amounts based on grade point average and SAT score. Students can renew the scholarship for four years, and transfer students can renew it for two.
“Educating our Maine students in the state allows them to set their roots here and build the foundation for a successful career in Maine,” Wincowski said. “We are excited to offer these awards to Maine students and look forward to welcoming them to the University of Maine next fall.”
Students interested in this program must submit applications before Feb. 1. Students who filed for a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March could be eligible for an increased Maine Matters Award based on financial need.