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Competitive Skills Scholarship Program

The Competitive Skills Scholarship helps workers learn new skills and Maine businesses access a qualified workforce to succeed in the changing economy. The program is open to eligible Maine residents with access to post-secondary education – including certificate programs and two- and four-year degrees – training for industry recognized credentials, and support leading to skilled, well-compensated jobs with anticipated high employment demand.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be at least 18 years old and live in Maine
  • Are legally eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Are seeking education or training for a job in a high wage, in demand occupation
  • Do not have a marketable post-secondary degree
  • Have household income of less than 200% of the federal poverty level
  • Have the ability to undertake and complete the education or training program

How to Apply

Applications for CSSP are accepted at Maine CareerCenters either during a Statewide open application period or as openings occur in specific counties. The number of new CSSP applicants accepted into the program is based on available funding and allocated by County.


What is considered a high-wage, in demand occupation?
The Department of Labor developed a list of jobs considered high-wage, in demand occupations. These jobs have a average wage at or above the average wage for all occupations in Maine and are projected to have a minimum number of job openings annually.
I wasn't the best student in high school - can I still qualify?
You can still qualify even if you didn't have the best grades in school. You may be tested to see if you are able to successfully take part in the training program.
How can the money be used?
The Competitive Skills Scholarship pays for tuition and fees that are not paid from other sources, including federal financial aid. The grant may also pay for other supports while you are in training including: childcare, transportation, books, supplies, equipment, and remedial and prerequisite training
How much can I expect to receive?
If you are eligible, you can receive up to $6,000 per year for a full-time student and $3,000 per year for a part-time student. You can qualify for a grant each year you remain in your training program.
Do I have to pay it back?
The Competitive Skills Scholarship is a grant, not a loan, and does not have to be paid back at the completion of your program.
How do I get started?
Contact your local CareerCenter to apply for the Competitive Skills Scholarship or to learn more.