Learn More About the Opening Doors Scholarship

The Opening Doors Scholarship (External Site) offers assistance to newly enrolled students pursuing their degree or workforce credentials. It is a renewable scholarship supporting adult and independent students attending one of the campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS) in pursuit of higher education.


Must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a resident of the state of Maine.
  • Must be enrolled in a UMS institution.
  • Must be a newly enrolled student pursuing a first bachelor’s or associate degree; OR seeking a credential in a high demand field as identified by the Maine Department of Labor (External Site).
    • The Opening Doors scholarship accepts new applicants for Fall and Spring semesters.  Matriculation or enrollment prior may impact eligibility for this scholarship.  For any questions or to obtain information specific to you, please contact our team at successcenter@maine.edu.
  • Must demonstrate financial need as determined by a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Must be registered at least part-time or higher: six to eight credits.
  • Maintain continuous enrollment and GPA of 2.5 or higher for renewed funding.
  • Must be considered an independent student, as identified by FAFSA. You must meet at least one of the following criteria (Learn more: Independent Student Worksheet (External PDF)):
    • Be 24 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year.
    • Be an orphan (both parents deceased), ward of the court, in foster care or was a ward of the court when 13 years or older.
    • Be a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States or serving on active duty for other than training purposes.
    • Be a graduate or professional student.
    • Be a married individual.
    • Have legal dependents other than a spouse.
    • Be an emancipated minor or in legal guardianship.
    • Be a homeless youth.
    • Be a student for whom a financial aid administrator makes a documented determination of independence by reason of other unusual circumstances.

Scholarship Amounts:

Multiple awards available:

  • Six to eight credits – $500 per semester
  • Nine to 11 credits – $750 per semester
  • 12+ credits – $1000 per semester

Application Process:

  • New applications are due by September 1 and January 1 for priority consideration.
  • Renewal certifications (due annually) are due by September 1.

The electronic application takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. Before submitting your application, we recommend contacting your campus navigator to discuss your academic plan.

Application: Opening Doors Scholarship Application (External Site)

Have questions about your eligibility? Please contact the Student Success Center team at successcenter@maine.edu.