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Updated: July 12, 2023

Making the grade: Maine extends free community college incentive

Aerial campus view File photo / Courtesy of Central Maine Community College Central Maine Community College in Auburn is part of the Maine Community College System.

Tuition-free community college in Maine was extended to two more graduating high school classes under the state budget signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Janet Mills.

The budget sets aside $15 million to allow students graduating from high school or its equivalent in 2024 and 2025 to attend any Maine community college without paying any tuition or mandatory fees, saving them more than $3,800 a year out of pocket.
“Extending Free College to the Classes of 2024 and 2025 tells today’s high school students that the State of Maine believes in them and is willing to invest in them and their future,” said David Daigler, president of the Maine Community College System.
“The scholarship means they won’t have to work multiple jobs while they study or take just one or two classes at a time because they can’t afford more,” he added. “It’s a bold move that benefits workers, employers and the entire state.”
Maine launched the program in April 2022 with a one-time state investment of $20 million, benefiting the pandemic-era high school graduates from 2020-23. In the first year, 6,400 students attended community college tuition-free.

Maine’s seven community colleges serve more than 25,000 people a year, through two-year associate degree and one-year certificate programs, short-term workforce training, early college programs, advanced certificates and other learning opportunities.

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