Resources previously housed in the UMS Student Success Center are being reassigned to the universities during the fall 2023 semester, and the Center’s remaining staff member is retiring on November 30, 2023. For information about future scholarship opportunities, please contact your university’s Financial Aid Office. For information about small-debt forgiveness programs that might be available to you, please contact your university’s Student Business Services (or Bursar’s) Office. This website is no longer being updated and will be taken offline at the end of the fall 2023 semester. Thank you. 

How to Pay for College for Better Stability

The University of Maine System offers many scholarships, waivers and other financial aid.

Financial stability is a common worry for adult students thinking about going back to college. Your college costs will depend on what University of Maine System university you select, how many classes you want to take and for how much aid you qualify.

There are many financial aid options available for adults who want to come back to school to start or finish a degree. The University of Maine System offers many resources to help you create a plan to pay for school, including many waivers and scholarships and a financial aid frequently asked questions list. Learn more about financial resources below, including specific funds set aside for adult students.

Explore your financial aid options:

We are here to help you finance your education.

The above loans, waivers, grants and scholarships come from many sources, including federal sources, the state of Maine, private lenders and from each individual school. The University of Maine System (UMS) is committed to supporting adult learners who are seeking to improve their professional opportunities, or to expand their general knowledge. The demands of a competitive marketplace have made a college education vital to advancement in many professions.

Other financial resources:

Each University of Maine System institution has a net price calculator which will factor the cost plus what part of that cost financial aid covers, depending on your specific circumstances.

You can search for additional scholarship opportunities with Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) Maine Scholarships Search online tool (External Site).

The HOPE (Higher Opportunity for Pathways to Employment) Scholarship program is aimed to help adults with minor children complete their degree. Visit their external site here.

The Maine Community Foundation Adult Learner Scholarship (External Site) offers support for students who want to either complete a degree or a short term training/certificate of value.

Things to keep in mind:

Below are some opportunities to explore so that you can find alternative sources of funding:

  • Many employers in Maine offer tuition and education benefits for their employees. Check with your employer’s Human Resources office to determine if they offer tuition benefits or flexible options for adults looking to return to college.
  • You can also earn credit for what you know through Credit for Prior Learning—transfer credits and life experience credits can save you money at the start!
  • Apply for scholarships every year that you are in school.
  • State agencies may offer educational assistance to eligible clients of state-sponsored retraining programs.
  • Veterans and current military may be eligible for educational benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Explore options available at your college including payment plans, work and/or volunteer programs
  • Speak with an expert: Education lenders, accountants or financial planners may be able to give you specific advice based on your own particular financial situation and provide suggestions about how to tap into other resources. This may include home equity loans, lines of credit, loans against retirement funds or life insurance policies or more.
  • Consider private alternative educational loans only as a last resort. These loans are based on the creditworthiness of the applicant and may require a cosigner. Private loans generally will have higher variable interest rates than federal student aid loans and each lender sets its own interest rates, fees and terms. The Federal Government requires all private loan borrowers to complete an Applicant Self Certification Form. The lender will provide this document.