March 2020
5 Education Programs You May Not Be Aware Of
There are a number of programs and organizations in Maine that are committed to making higher education within reach for Maine families, especially those with fewer financial resources. Here are five programs you may not know about that can help you achieve your educational goals.
1. Parents as Scholars (PaS)
Administered by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Parents as Scholars is a program that helps low-income parents enrolled in two- or four-year college programs. To be eligible for PaS, parents must be eligible for (but not necessarily receiving) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Benefits of PaS include: monthly cash assistance, child care, transportation reimbursement, books and supplies, and support services both on and off campus. A detailed program description is available from Maine Equal Justice Partners .
2. Maine State Grant for Adult Learners
Recently, the Maine Legislature approved a $3 million expansion over two years for the Maine State Grant (MSG) program. To receive the Maine State Grant for Adult Learners , students must file a FAFSA, meet the criteria to be considered “Independent” and have an eligible Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Additionally, student must not have received the MSG in the last three aid years, must have listed one eligible Maine institution on the FAFSA, and missed the May 1 deadline. This is a one-time extension; students must meet May 1 deadline to be eligible in subsequent years.
3. Head Start
Head Start promotes school readiness for children from birth to age five from low-income families. In addition to educational and cognitive development services, Head Start provides comprehensive programs including health, nutrition, and social services. The family is the focus, with emphasis on the role of parents as the child’s most important teacher and encourages family learning, literacy, and advocacy. There are part-time and full-time Head Start options throughout the state, placing children in capable hands while parents pursue their own educational and career goals.
4. Tuition Waiver Programs (Foster Care & Public Servant)
Administered by FAME, the Tuition Waiver Program (Foster Care) is available to certain Maine students who are or were in the Maine Foster Care system at the time of high school graduation and attend an eligible Maine institution. The application is available each year on March 1 and is highly competitive. Visit our website for more information. The Tuition Waiver (Public Servant) is available to children or spouses of Maine firefighters, law enforcement officers or emergency medical services providers killed in the line of duty and attending a Maine public college or university. There is no deadline. Information & the application are available on our website .
5 . Hope Program
A brand new program from the DHHS Office of Family Independence, Higher Opportunities for Pathways to Employment (HOPE)  offers financial assistance to low-income students pursuing a qualified training or education program. Recipients cannot already be receiving TANF or PaS benefits, must have or be the caretaker for a minor child, and must not have a marketable Bachelor’s Degree. In addition to providing a wide variety of financial support, the HOPE program comes with a navigator to help with all things related to the college process such as navigating campus services, choosing classes, and more. For a deeper dive into the HOPE program, register for FAME’s Wednesday Webinar on HOPE and PaS, Wednesday March 11, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.
Want more information on Financial Aid?
Join us for this month's FREE Wednesday Webinar:

HOPE and Parents as Scholars: Programs for Family Success

Wednesday, March 11, 2020
New Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

 Educational success is a challenge for students experiencing poverty, and in particular, those with children. Financial strain and lack of resources can make it seem almost impossible to earn a credential of value. In this webinar, we will discuss two programs designed with families in mind: HOPE (Higher Opportunity for Pathways to Employment) and PaS (Parents as Scholars). We’ll discuss each program in detail including who is eligible, how to apply, and how to encourage your students to participate.
For additional helpful information and resources, find  previous issues of 5 on the 5th on our website.

FAME's College Access and Financial Education Team:

Mary Dyer , Financial Education Officer
Maria MacDougal , College Access Counselor
Floreka Malual , College Planning Advisor
Nikki Vachon , College Access Counselor
Jessica Whittier , College Access Counselor 
Mila Tappan , College Access and Outreach Manager
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