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Updated: August 7, 2020

Maine colleges get $5M in fed funds to support disadvantaged students

University of Maine at Farmington campus with sign File photo Courtesy / University of Maine at Farmington The University of Maine at Farmington, whose campus is shown here, is part of the University of Maine System.

More than a dozen Maine colleges and universities will share $5 million in federal funds to support low-income and first-generation college students, it was announced on Thursday.

The funds, to 13 institutions of higher learning throughout the state, were awarded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Support Services Program. It works to provide opportunities for academic development, assist students with basic college requirements and to motivate students towards completing a postsecondary education.

The Student Support Services Program is one of eight so-called TRIO programs that aim to increase access to higher education for economically disadvantaged students.

“TRIO programs provide critical assistance to more than 7,400 low-income and first-generation college students throughout our state,” said U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and co-chair of the Congressional TRIO caucus, in a news release. “This funding will help to ensure that Maine’s colleges and universities have the resources they need to continue to help students graduate and reach their career goals, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, welcomed the news in a separate release.

“The coronavirus pandemic has upended the previous model of postsecondary education, and colleges and universities are scrambling to make adjustments,” he said.

“This funding will help Maine’s schools continue to offer support to low-income and first-generation college students, so these young people can continue to complete their studies and gain the tools they need for success. The TRIO programs have helped countless Maine students grow, thrive, and become community leaders, and I’m thrilled that this funding will ensure the coronavirus pandemic does not change that storied record of success.”

Last week, King participated in a teleconference with student veterans from the University of Maine System to discuss challenges they face as nontraditional students and opportunities to better support their studies.

Funding award amounts

  • Central Maine Community College: $596,999;
  • Eastern Maine Community College: $261,888
  • Kennebec Valley Community College: $338,972
  • Northern Maine Community College: $294,722
  • Southern Maine Community College: $523,776
  • Thomas College: $259,491
  • University of Maine at Augusta: $544,741
  • University of Maine Farmington: $338,971
  • University of Maine at Fort Kent: $343,051
  • University of Maine at Orono: $668,084
  • University of Maine at Presque Isle: $358,735
  • University of Southern Maine : $261,888
  • Washington County Community College: $291,262

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