Do I Qualify?

You might be eligible for the HOPE Program if you:

  1. Are a parent or caretaker relative of a minor child who is living with you.
  2. Are a Maine resident between the ages of 16 through 64.
  3. Meet the financial qualifications. See below to see what this means for you.
  4. Have been accepted to or are enrolled at least half-time in a qualifying training or education program beyond high school. If you are enrolled less than half-time, the HOPE Program needs to approve this.
  5. Are not currently receiving, or someone in your family unit is not currently receiving, a monthly TANF or PaS cash benefit.
  6. Are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-U.S. citizen. Many non-citizens are eligible.
  7. Do not already have a marketable bachelor's degree.
  8. Are making satisfactory progress in your training or education program (based on your school's standards) and you are on track to graduate.

If you fit the description above, you may be eligible and want to apply. If you are unsure if you are eligible, you should contact us to find out more. We are happy to help.

Financial Qualifications

The HOPE Program uses the following guidelines to make sure you are financially eligible.

  1. You must have $10,000 or less in assets. HOPE does not count your primary house or car as assets.
  2. Your family's gross income (the amount before taxes and deductions) must be at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level for the size of your family*. Use the table below to see what this means for you.
Family Size Monthly Income Annual Income
1 $2,096 $25,141
2 $2,823 $33,873
3 $3,551 $42,605
4 $4,279 $51,337
5 $5,006 $60,069
6 $5,734 $68,801
7 $6,462 $77,533
8 $7,189 $86,266
9 $7,917 $94,997
10 $8,645 $112,461

Source: https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines
*HOPE does not count certain types of income, so you still may qualify if you have income higher than the amounts above.

Your Training and Education Program

HOPE needs to make sure that your training or education program is cost-effective and that it will help you get the job you want once you graduate. Your training and education program needs to:

  1. Award a degree or certificate beyond high school. If it is a preparatory course or program, it must be necessary for enrollment into a training or education program beyond high school.
  2. Be accredited or result in a credential recognized by trade or industry associations.
  3. Be cost-effective. If you are attending a private, for-profit, or out-of-state school, we will need to review your school to make sure it is a cost-effective option.
  4. Lead to a job with at least an average job outlook

We want to make sure you are supported while you are in school. Programs entirely online must be approved by the HOPE Program.

What Is An Average Job Outlook?

Average job outlook means identified by the Center for Workforce Research and Information within the Department of Labor as having an annual job opening rate of at least 10% (This data can be found at: https://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/outlook.html.) or as providing opportunity for employment in high-wage, in-demand jobs in the State at the time of enrollment; or otherwise approved by the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee.

Look below to see if your program of study will lead to a job with an adequate job outlook.

Jobs with an Average Job Outlook

Job Title

Annual Total Openings

Annual Openings Rate

2019 Average Hourly Wage

2019 Median Hourly Wage

Lifeguards, Ski Patrol, and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers

128

24.1%

$11.95

$11.60

Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge, and Coffee Shop

323

24.0%

$12.82

$11.80

Protective Service Workers, All Other

143

23.6%

$16.19

$14.52

Amusement and Recreation Attendants

218

23.2%

$12.48

$11.74

Locker Room, Coatroom, and Dressing Room Attendants

117

22.9%

$11.46

$11.14

Ushers, Lobby Attendants, and Ticket Takers

113

22.7%

$11.54

$11.38

Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop

1,013

21.2%

$11.08

$10.65

Motion Picture Projectionists

4

20.0%

$12.29

$11.63

Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food

1,764

20.0%

$10.78

$10.09

Waiters and Waitresses

2,618

19.4%

$14.02

$11.71

Bartenders

540

18.4%

$14.60

$11.90

Solar Photovoltaic Installers

19

18.3%

$19.09

$18.81

Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers

118

18.1%

$12.85

$11.69

Funeral Attendants

33

17.9%

$15.65

$15.51

Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

135

17.8%

$19.71

$17.62

Tour and Travel Guides

16

17.4%

$13.30

$12.48

Food Preparation Workers

1,421

17.3%

$13.30

$12.41

Agricultural Workers, All Other

5

17.2%

$16.31

$14.23

Cashiers

2,574

17.2%

$12.14

$11.63

Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors

230

17.2%

$25.02

$19.48

Cooks, Restaurant

979

16.8%

$15.33

$14.33

Recreation Workers

235

16.8%

$14.92

$13.56

Crossing Guards

103

16.7%

$12.76

$12.25

Gaming and Sports Book Writers and Runners

2

16.7%

$11.94

$11.01

Motor Vehicle Operators, All Other

74

16.3%

$13.74

$11.69

Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks

334

16.2%

$12.99

$12.50

Cleaning, Washing, and Metal Pickling Equipment Operators and Tenders

4

16.0%

$14.94

$12.64

Nonfarm Animal Caretakers

235

16.0%

$13.86

$12.00

First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers

641

16.0%

$18.75

$17.77

Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials

8

15.7%

 

 

Personal Care Aides

2,507

15.7%

$12.26

$11.85

Sewers, Hand

5

15.6%

$16.57

$16.57

Gaming Surveillance Officers and Gaming Investigators

5

15.6%

$18.48

$16.40

Hazardous Materials Removal Workers

12

15.6%

$18.86

$18.09

Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse

293

15.5%

$15.29

$15.09

Farmworkers, Farm, Ranch, and Aquacultural Animals

46

15.5%

$16.10

$16.20

Parking Lot Attendants

17

15.5%

$12.98

$11.82

Dishwashers

344

15.4%

$12.08

$11.66

Food Servers, Nonrestaurant

137

15.4%

$12.95

$12.35

Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders

12

15.0%

$15.29

$14.07

Ambulance Drivers and Attendants, Except Emergency Medical Technicians

16

15.0%

$11.55

$11.51

Forensic Science Technicians

7

14.9%

$27.80

$29.47

Personal Care and Service Workers, All Other

78

14.8%

$17.55

$14.67

Baggage Porters and Bellhops

11

14.7%

$12.83

$12.29

Residential Advisors

30

14.6%

$14.96

$14.39

Animal Trainers

24

14.5%

$22.73

$25.05

Automotive and Watercraft Service Attendants

85

14.5%

$11.88

$11.51

Physical Therapist Assistants

49

14.4%

$25.85

$26.73

Concierges

3

14.3%

$11.53

$10.08

Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors

128

14.2%

$16.07

$15.75

Childcare Workers

685

14.2%

$13.51

$12.89

Cleaners of Vehicles and Equipment

183

14.1%

$14.18

$12.84

Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria

246

14.1%

$15.71

$15.21

Coaches and Scouts

292

14.1%

 

 

Tool Grinders, Filers, and Sharpeners

10

14.1%

$22.33

$20.84

Chefs and Head Cooks

90

14.1%

$26.31

$24.10

Logging Equipment Operators

223

14.1%

$19.94

$18.43

First-Line Supervisors of Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Workers

41

14.0%

$25.10

$25.57

Shoe Machine Operators and Tenders

52

14.0%

$16.97

$17.02

Log Graders and Scalers

14

14.0%

$19.17

$19.16

Physical Therapist Aides

9

13.8%

$14.87

$14.50

Cooks, All Other

9

13.8%

$15.95

$15.46

Library Assistants, Clerical

49

13.8%

$14.09

$12.33

Helpers--Production Workers

222

13.7%

$16.31

$15.15

Food Batchmakers

39

13.6%

$16.33

$14.80

Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand

757

13.6%

$14.58

$13.71

Occupational Therapy Assistants

23

13.5%

$25.62

$24.81

Medical Appliance Technicians

5

13.5%

$20.58

$19.84

Bakers

157

13.5%

$14.87

$14.07

Pest Control Workers

30

13.5%

$17.08

$15.74

Library Technicians

102

13.4%

$17.39

$16.98

Cooks, Short Order

200

13.2%

$13.73

$12.29

Etchers and Engravers

7

13.2%

$17.91

$17.49

Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners

1,598

13.1%

$15.14

$14.21

Religious Workers, All Other

16

13.1%

$23.75

$24.73

Septic Tank Servicers and Sewer Pipe Cleaners

19

13.1%

$16.78

$16.24

Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic

14

13.1%

$24.35

$23.97

Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers

952

13.0%

$15.84

$15.03

Sound Engineering Technicians

3

13.0%

$22.22

$17.70

Ship Engineers

3

13.0%

$26.93

$24.74

Milling and Planing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

3

13.0%

 

 

Helpers--Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Workers

33

13.0%

$15.14

$13.07

Medical Assistants

554

13.0%

$17.57

$17.42

Gas Compressor and Gas Pumping Station Operators

7

13.0%

$22.40

$18.10

Tree Trimmers and Pruners

53

13.0%

$17.61

$16.76

Retail Salespersons

2,747

12.9%

$14.28

$12.27

Receptionists and Information Clerks

510

12.9%

$15.24

$14.86

Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners

778

12.9%

$13.11

$12.41

Cooks, Private Household

5

12.8%

$21.92

$18.21

Food and Tobacco Roasting, Baking, and Drying Machine Operators and Tenders

16

12.8%

$17.66

$16.69

Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Except Sawing

80

12.7%

$15.49

$14.61

Statistical Assistants

10

12.7%

$19.33

$18.92

Museum Technicians and Conservators

11

12.6%

$21.50

$20.15

Stock Clerks and Order Fillers

1,203

12.6%

$13.76

$12.17

Bus Drivers, Transit and Intercity

50

12.6%

$18.76

$17.86

Helpers--Carpenters

51

12.6%

$15.68

$16.24

Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers

137

12.5%

$13.27

$12.36

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

5

12.5%

$15.91

$14.12

Motorboat Operators

3

12.5%

$16.33

$16.13

Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

3

12.5%

 

 

Customer Service Representatives

1,470

12.5%

$17.26

$16.08

Health Educators

64

12.4%

$23.87

$22.54

Construction and Building Inspectors

64

12.4%

$26.42

$25.17

Sailors and Marine Oilers

28

12.4%

$17.50

$17.39

Curators

11

12.4%

$27.65

$25.30

Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers

105

12.4%

$15.29

$13.37

Medical Secretaries

358

12.3%

$17.21

$16.84

Cooks, Fast Food

274

12.3%

$12.28

$11.70

Massage Therapists

71

12.3%

$25.74

$23.24

Social Scientists and Related Workers, All Other

14

12.3%

$33.75

$33.36

Security Guards

242

12.2%

$15.33

$14.43

Counter and Rental Clerks

133

12.2%

$15.22

$13.69

Medical Equipment Preparers

65

12.1%

$17.88

$17.03

Sales Representatives, Services, All Other

289

12.1%

$28.73

$24.66

Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

97

12.1%

$31.65

$30.51

Home Health Aides

223

12.1%

$13.16

$12.70

Security and Fire Alarm Systems Installers

38

12.1%

$25.80

$25.91

Psychiatric Aides

69

12.1%

$14.32

$14.04

Sales and Related Workers, All Other

41

12.1%

$16.41

$13.11

Information and Record Clerks, All Other

78

12.1%

$14.45

$11.85

Interviewers, Except Eligibility and Loan

106

12.0%

$15.17

$14.89

Paralegals and Legal Assistants

168

12.0%

$25.15

$23.94

Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

3

12.0%

$19.60

$19.36

Shoe and Leather Workers and Repairers

49

12.0%

$15.02

$14.48

Bus Drivers, School or Special Client

307

12.0%

$17.03

$16.81

Dental Assistants

146

11.9%

$21.08

$21.11

Butchers and Meat Cutters

82

11.9%

$17.20

$16.68

Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other

25

11.9%

$26.49

$24.34

Phlebotomists

80

11.9%

$15.48

$15.19

Pharmacy Aides

12

11.9%

$14.18

$13.98

Helpers--Electricians

86

11.9%

$16.91

$16.48

Packers and Packagers, Hand

229

11.8%

$13.80

$12.34

Social Science Research Assistants

18

11.8%

$24.42

$23.38

Dental Laboratory Technicians

9

11.8%

$22.43

$21.17

Audio and Video Equipment Technicians

15

11.8%

$20.53

$20.09

Social and Human Service Assistants

387

11.8%

$17.03

$16.92

Highway Maintenance Workers

212

11.8%

$17.56

$17.38

Forest and Conservation Technicians

4

11.8%

$20.94

$20.68

Slaughterers and Meat Packers

2

11.8%

$15.57

$14.04

Audio-Visual and Multimedia Collections Specialists

2

11.8%

$23.54

$22.30

Healthcare Support Workers, All Other

64

11.7%

$15.89

$14.57

Textile, Apparel, and Furnishings Workers, All Other

13

11.7%

$18.10

$18.61

Directors, Religious Activities and Education

34

11.7%

$23.75

$21.67

Food Service Managers

263

11.7%

$28.77

$27.12

Interpreters and Translators

24

11.7%

$30.97

$23.53

Adhesive Bonding Machine Operators and Tenders

12

11.7%

$15.95

$16.42

Telemarketers

147

11.6%

$16.20

$14.01

Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, Including Health

10

11.6%

$17.85

$17.24

Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators

44

11.6%

$20.54

$19.91

Radio, Cellular, and Tower Equipment Installers and Repairers

8

11.6%

$18.40

$17.69

Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists

268

11.6%

$15.28

$12.25

Biological Technicians

53

11.5%

$23.77

$25.43

Financial Clerks, All Other

6

11.5%

$19.77

$20.58

Fashion Designers

16

11.5%

$34.45

$30.37

Teachers and Instructors, All Other, Except Substitute Teachers

93

11.5%

 

 

Sales Engineers

13

11.5%

$41.54

$41.83

Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners

41

11.5%

$23.19

$22.08

Nursing Assistants

1,130

11.5%

$14.79

$14.59

Miscellaneous Construction and Related Workers

14

11.5%

$17.33

$14.34

First-Line Supervisors of Housekeeping and Janitorial Workers

115

11.5%

$21.27

$20.22

Fiberglass Laminators and Fabricators

26

11.5%

$18.57

$18.39

Textile Bleaching and Dyeing Machine Operators and Tenders

8

11.4%

$14.84

$14.50

Survey Researchers

4

11.4%

$30.27

$31.16

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

91

11.4%

$26.35

$23.74

Separating, Filtering, Clarifying, Precipitating, and Still Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

55

11.4%

$22.54

$22.04

Self-Enrichment Education Teachers

276

11.4%

$20.83

$19.01

Reservation and Transportation Ticket Agents and Travel Clerks

35

11.3%

$15.06

$14.35

Soil and Plant Scientists

6

11.3%

$27.19

$25.81

Painting, Coating, and Decorating Workers

6

11.3%

$15.31

$14.53

Office and Administrative Support Workers, All Other

19

11.3%

$18.32

$16.45

Weighers, Measurers, Checkers, and Samplers, Recordkeeping

66

11.3%

$14.83

$13.01

Machine Feeders and Offbearers

41

11.3%

$14.80

$14.31

Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health

51

11.3%

$34.51

$26.79

Skincare Specialists

22

11.3%

$22.72

$15.92

Community Health Workers

16

11.3%

$18.56

$18.02

Urban and Regional Planners

12

11.2%

$33.44

$32.96

Surveying and Mapping Technicians

43

11.2%

$21.83

$22.43

Pipelayers

29

11.2%

$21.74

$21.65

Training and Development Specialists

107

11.2%

$27.69

$27.20

Conveyor Operators and Tenders

16

11.2%

$19.39

$19.00

Insulation Workers, Mechanical

35

11.2%

$23.92

$25.15

Print Binding and Finishing Workers

20

11.2%

$14.70

$13.76

Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs

238

11.1%

$13.99

$12.47

Hydrologists

6

11.1%

$38.15

$34.57

Correspondence Clerks

6

11.1%

$17.22

$16.89

Agricultural and Food Science Technicians

6

11.1%

$18.50

$18.21

Hoist and Winch Operators

3

11.1%

$35.41

$41.29

Occupational Therapy Aides

2

11.1%

$20.68

$20.06

Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators

169

11.1%

$21.25

$20.54

Electricians

287

11.1%

$26.08

$26.62

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers

121

11.0%

$28.53

$26.97

Entertainers and Performers, Sports and Related Workers, All Other

13

11.0%

$30.18

$33.87

Billing and Posting Clerks

256

11.0%

$18.14

$17.67

Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators

88

11.0%

$20.71

$19.13

Crushing, Grinding, and Polishing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

22

11.0%

$22.80

$24.37

Rehabilitation Counselors

32

11.0%

$23.69

$23.17

Structural Iron and Steel Workers

40

10.9%

$25.42

$24.78

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

1,067

10.9%

$20.13

$19.25

Parts Salespersons

140

10.9%

$16.79

$15.97

Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

254

10.9%

$24.51

$25.01

Earth Drillers, Except Oil and Gas

12

10.9%

$20.30

$19.18

Proofreaders and Copy Markers

6

10.9%

$16.13

$14.05

Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers

523

10.9%

$16.73

$14.33

Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders

241

10.8%

$17.16

$16.54

Production Workers, All Other

244

10.8%

$17.09

$15.04

Media and Communication Workers, All Other

4

10.8%

$19.51

$20.27

Transportation Workers, All Other

27

10.8%

$13.05

$12.17

Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers

199

10.8%

$23.44

$23.88

Orderlies

25

10.8%

$14.26

$13.98

Tax Preparers

43

10.8%

$19.11

$18.38

Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators

3

10.7%

$20.46

$16.73

First-Line Supervisors of Landscaping, Lawn Service, and Groundskeeping Workers

126

10.7%

$23.55

$21.87

New Accounts Clerks

35

10.7%

$19.86

$20.10

Loan Interviewers and Clerks

88

10.7%

$18.43

$18.03

Fence Erectors

29

10.7%

$17.37

$16.11

Animal Control Workers

19

10.6%

$17.52

$17.08

Transportation Inspectors

9

10.6%

$48.63

$54.53

First-Line Supervisors of Transportation and Material Moving Workers, Except Aircraft Cargo Handling

130

10.5%

$25.72

$24.00

Electrical, Electronic, and Electromechanical Assemblers, Except Coil Winders, Tapers, and Finishers

36

10.5%

$16.26

$14.93

Crane and Tower Operators

36

10.5%

$24.74

$25.68

Conservation Scientists

10

10.5%

$30.88

$29.44

Archivists

4

10.5%

$23.55

$22.61

Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks

102

10.5%

$26.21

$25.99

Molders, Shapers, and Casters, Except Metal and Plastic

19

10.5%

$17.69

$17.08

Management Analysts

151

10.5%

$38.28

$35.69

Clergy

240

10.5%

$24.82

$24.53

Public Relations Specialists

156

10.5%

$27.18

$25.84

Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers

14

10.4%

$21.02

$21.32

Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators

327

10.4%

$17.60

$17.36

Brokerage Clerks

12

10.4%

$29.30

$29.44

Fundraisers

45

10.4%

$26.04

$24.86

Mechanical Engineering Technicians

5

10.4%

 

 

Sheet Metal Workers

84

10.4%

$23.79

$25.42

Substitute Teachers

240

10.4%

$13.01

$11.99

Commercial Pilots

11

10.4%

 

 

Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary

47

10.4%

 

 

Medical Equipment Repairers

20

10.4%

$28.65

$30.32

Painters, Transportation Equipment

43

10.4%

$19.75

$18.45

Healthcare Social Workers

81

10.3%

$26.68

$26.26

Tellers

267

10.3%

$15.02

$14.79

Biochemists and Biophysicists

25

10.3%

$35.54

$34.29

Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary

32

10.3%

 

 

Lodging Managers

95

10.3%

$26.73

$25.70

Office Machine Operators, Except Computer

8

10.3%

$14.84

$14.03

Sewing Machine Operators

62

10.2%

$15.04

$14.44

Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Wood

86

10.2%

$17.45

$16.93

Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping

52

10.2%

$19.82

$19.41

Information Security Analysts

24

10.2%

$42.11

$42.44

Chemists

20

10.2%

$38.74

$33.10

Office Clerks, General

1,228

10.2%

$17.30

$16.72

Construction Laborers

468

10.1%

$16.65

$16.32

Eligibility Interviewers, Government Programs

56

10.1%

$19.41

$19.48

Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

67

10.1%

$20.58

$20.63

Human Resources Specialists

178

10.1%

$30.12

$28.90

Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Workers, All Other

143

10.1%

$20.81

$20.36

Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors

120

10.1%

$25.75

$24.84

Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers

12

10.1%

$17.98

$17.68

Logisticians

37

10.1%

$35.56

$35.28

Cargo and Freight Agents

24

10.0%

$25.65

$25.02

Food Processing Workers, All Other

37

10.0%

$13.37

$11.97

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

795

10.0%

$19.14

$18.41

Machinists

125

10.0%

$23.80

$23.15

Plant and System Operators, All Other

9

10.0%

$21.98

$21.89

First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers

243

10.0%

$28.48

$27.96