5 Ways FAME Can Help
Maine Students
FAME helps Maine students reach their higher education goals by providing free information on planning, saving and paying for college. Here are five FAME services, tools and upcoming events available to help Mainers prepare and pay for higher education.
1. Statewide Financial Aid Presentations
FAME Financial Aid and College Financing presentations are held at high schools, career and technical educational schools, Adult Education centers, and other community-based organizations throughout Maine. These presentations provide an overview of the financial aid process, including step-by-step tips to help families navigate and simplify the process and maximize financial aid eligibility. Visit to find a presentation near you. Can’t make it to an event? Check out our Financial Aid and College Financing video .
2. In-Person FAFSA Help Sessions
In October, FAME will hold 15 In-Person FAFSA help sessions located throughout Maine. At each of these sessions, FAME staff and other financial aid professionals will be available to help students and families complete the FAFSA online and receive information on the next steps in the financial aid process. Additionally, students who attend an event can be entered to win a scholarship. Click here to find a session near you.
3. Online Tools and Resources
Having the right “tools” makes any job a little easier. For example, trying to compare award letters from multiple colleges to get an “apples to apples” comparison can be difficult. To help, we’ve developed a Comparing Costs & Financial Aid Awards online tool – and it will even do the math! Other tools include a Student Loan/Salary Debt Calculator , FSA ID Information Tracking Sheet , and Get Ready to File the FAFSA Checklist . A list of our most used tools can be found on in the Quick Links section. 
4. Videos and Online Tutorials
Videos have become the way many people prefer to learn, with YouTube being a primary source of information. To help people learn about a variety of topics related to paying for college, FAME has its own YouTube channel – FAME Maine . Subscribe to FAME’s YouTube channel and gain easy access to videos that range from filing the FAFSA to tips on paying the tuition bill. An added advantage of these videos is that they are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
5. New Scholarship Opportunity—The Invest in ME Sweepstakes!
Scholarships are a great way to help pay for college and can even help reduce student loan debt. FAME recently announced that it will award sixteen (16) $1,000 Scholarship Prizes to sixteen (16) NextGen® 529 plan accounts, randomly selecting one winner from each of the 16 counties of Maine. The Invest in ME Sweepstakes began on August 1, 2017 and continues through October 31, 2017.

Visit for details and Official Rules. No purchase necessary to enter . Winners will be required to have or open a NextGen account (initial minimum contribution to open an account will be waived). Sweepstakes is not open to residents of Florida, New York and Rhode Island and void where prohibited by law.

NextGen is a Section 529 plan administered by the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME). Before you invest in NextGen, request a NextGen Program Description from your Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor or Maine Distribution Agent or call Merrill Edge at 1-877-463-9843 and read it carefully. The Program Description contains more complete information, including investment objectives, charges, expenses and risks of investing in NextGen, which you should carefully consider before investing. You also should consider whether your or your designated beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state’s Section 529 plan. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, a registered broker-dealer, member SIPC , is the program manager and underwriter.
For additional helpful information and resources, check out  previous issues of 5 on the 5th.

FAME's College Access and Financial Education Team:

Mila Tappan, College Access and Outreach Manager
Jessica Whittier, College Access Counselor 
Nikki Vachon, College Access Counselor
Maria MacDougal, College Access Counselor
Floreka Malual, College Planning Advisor
Mary Dyer, Financial Education Officer
Jennifer Lanphear, Education Programs Officer
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The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) does not discriminate in the administration of any of its programs or in its employment practices on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, gender, religion, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, marital status or sexual orientation. FAME is an equal opportunity employer, provider and lender.

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