Child Welfare

Post-Secondary Education Tuition Waiver

graphic of a person at a crossroadsIf you are in the care of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, were adopted from DHHS, or under permanent guardianship through DHHS, at the time that you graduate from high school or get your General Equivalency Diploma (GED), you are eligible for a "tuition waiver" to one of the University of Maine system colleges, one of the state's Vocational Technical colleges, or Maine Maritime Academy.

The tuition waiver is available by law (P.L. # 2657, and amendment P.L 2006, Ch. 407--effective 8/22/07). The law and amendment are not retroactive. The Finance Authority of Maine has been designated to administer the application of the law and has implemented rules with regard to administering the tuition waiver.

If you meet the requirements that are described below, you may attend one of the schools covered by the tuition waiver, TUITION FREE, in order to complete an undergraduate degree.

According to the tuition waiver law, you must apply for federal financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year that you attend college. You will need federal grant assistance (PELL grant, SEOG) and/or other financial resources to pay for your other expenses such as dorm room, food, books, and fees.

You must submit an application form to the Finance Authority of Maine in order to qualify for the waiver. Waivers are awarded on a competitive basis. You may obtain an application form from:

Finance Authority of Maine
5 Community Drive
Augusta, Maine 04333
Education@famemaine.com
Tel: 1-800-228-3734, or (207) 623-3263

Any questions that you have about applying for the tuition waiver should be directed to the Finance Authority of Maine. Your completed application should be submitted by mail as soon as possible prior to the beginning of the school year. Usually the application is available around Feb. 1, but you should always verify this with FAME (www.famemaine.org)

The tuition waiver is available to no more than 30 "new students" (freshman) per year. You are eligible for the tuition waiver if:

1.

a)You are in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services when you graduate from high school, or get your GED.
b)You were adopted from foster care and your adoptive parent receives a subsidy from DHHS.
c)You are under permanency guardianship from foster care and your legal guardian receives a subsidy from DHHS.

2. You are a resident of the state of Maine.
3. You have been accepted for admission to one of the schools covered by the tuition waiver.
4. You will need to submit the following documentation to the Finance Authority of Maine along with your application form:

a) A letter from your Department caseworker indicating that you were in care at the time you graduated from high school, or got your GED.
b) A copy of your Financial Aid Award letter. (FAFSA)
c) A copy of your college admissions acceptance letter.

After your freshman year, you will continue to remain eligible for the tuition waiver provided you meet the following conditions:

1. You are a full-time student in good academic standing. (i.e. not failing coursework, or on academic probation)
2. You submit a re-application form to the Finance Authority of Maine and include the following documentation:

a) A copy of a letter from Registrar's Office of the college you are attending indicating that you are a student in good academic standing.
b) A copy of your Financial Aid Award letter. (FAFSA)

POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE MAY BE AVAILABLE TO STUDENTS NOT COVERED BY THE TUITION WAIVER. The Department of Health and Human Services may be able to provide post-secondary education financial assistance to eligible students who have financial need not covered by the tuition waiver, who did not receive a tuition waiver, or who are not attending one of the colleges covered by the tuition waiver. Certain conditions apply.

If you have questions about possible financial assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services, you may contact your Youth Transition Worker or the following person:

Dulcey Laberge
Youth Transition Specialist
Office of Child and Family Services
2 Anthony Avenue, SHS 11
Augusta, ME 04333
tel: (207) 624-7928
fax: (207) 287-6156
tdd: Maine relay 711
dulcey.laberge@maine.gov