The University of Maine System’s Adult Degree Completion Scholarship is among many of the services and offerings available through Maine’s public universities to help the approximately 200,000 stranded adult Maine learners who have invested time and money into a college education without earning their degrees. The program provides up to $4,000 annually to help adults with demonstrated financial need resume their course work and earn a career-advancing college degree at any of Maine’s public universities.

Funds are still available for the spring of 2018. Scholarship aid combined with expanded credit transfer among Maine’s universities and community colleges as well as prior learning credit for work experience and military service could make the path to a college degree surprisingly fast and affordable.

Interested adults are encouraged to visit maine.edu/future-students/adult-students/ for application materials and additional eligibility information. Prospective adult learners can also call 1-800-868-7000 to get started by connecting with college navigators who are specially trained in helping adult learners find a path to a degree, including online course options, that accommodates the professional and family obligations of busy working adults.

Any Maine resident who has earned at least 30 college credits toward a first baccalaureate degree and been away from class for at least three years could be eligible for financial support to resume course work through any of Maine’s public universities.

The Adult Degree Completion Scholarship, which does not need to be paid back, is awarded based on financial need and course load. Up to $4,000 in aid is available annually.

“I know it’s scary, but take it in small steps,” advises Amy Smith, a UMaine college navigator who returned to college herself at the age of 36. "Make the call, send the email, or stop in — one action has the potential to change your life, as it did mine."

Industries and communities in Maine, the nation's oldest state, face critical workforce challenges that must be overcome as the next wave of Maine workers approaches retirement. Maine’s public universities are a leading partner in the effort to prepare the 158,000 credentialed workers needed to sustain the workforce and the state’s economy through the end of the next decade. Learn more by visiting MaineSpark.

Since its launch in the fall of 2014, Maine Adult Degree Completion Scholarships has awarded over $1.5 million in scholarship aid, helping 418 adult learners get back on track toward a degree. The scholarship has helped fund 1,136 semesters of college completion work with an average award of $1,321 per semester.

Aid has been awarded to recipients from 179 Maine communities with online programs and community-based University Centers eliminating proximity-to-a-college-campus as a barrier to earning a degree. To date 66 Maine adults have achieved their goal of earning a college degree with the help of Maine’s Adult Degree Completion Scholarship.

“Far too many Mainers have invested time and money into an education but had to stop short of their goal of graduating with a college degree. Fortunately, it is never too late to finish that degree,” said James H. Page, chancellor of the University of Maine System.

“Adult learners account for one-third of our students at Maine’s public universities, where we make it a priority to provide lifelong, affordable access to public higher education as part of our work to build a stronger Maine workforce.”