Twenty-five high schools and career and technical centers from across the state, including Oceanside High School in Rockland, Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro, and Mount View High School in Thorndike, are taking part in Maine’s third annual Aspire Higher Maine Initiative. Events will be taking place throughout the fall and continue through the spring. The goal of the initiative is to assist all seniors as they prepare for education after high school.

Aspire Higher Maine is a statewide initiative coordinated by the Maine College Access Network and supported by the Finance Authority of Maine, GEAR UP-Maine and the MELMAC Education Foundation. It is a participating program of the American Council on Education’s American College Application Campaign.

During November, Aspire Higher Maine will promote College Application Month. Students will participate in a variety of college awareness activities to help them find the best fit for their education after high school. For some students, that may include entering a certificate program or apprenticeship, while others will be pursuing an associate's or bachelor’s degree.

With the help of school and community support, students will complete college admissions applications, participate in college and career fairs, and learn more about the options available to help pay for their education after high school.

After Jan. 1, the focus of the Aspire Higher Maine Initiative will be on applying for financial aid and encouraging students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA. Throughout the spring, the Aspire Higher Maine Initiative will encourage students to carefully review their admissions offers, financial aid awards and other options so that they are prepared for Decision Day, May 1. That  is the date by which students typically must officially decide which college they plan to attend.

Leeann Marin, school counselor at Mount View High School, is an enthusiastic supporter of this initiative, saying, “The Aspire Higher Maine program helped us create excitement and provide encouragement to all students as they plan their future.”

For more information visit mainecollegeaccess.org/aspire_higher.html. For more information about Aspire Higher Maine, contact Kate Leveille at kate@mainecollegeaccess.org or 653.8589.