In response to increasing college costs, the University of Southern Maine will be awarding an additional $1 million in new scholarships to high school students who demonstrate academic achievement and promise. USM is funding the scholarships through internal reallocation of resources.
The $1 million in new aid will allow USM to provide scholarships to approximately 83 high school seniors who enroll at USM in the fall of 2012. The additional $1 million represents a more than 15 percent increase in the $7 million of university financial aid available for current students. In the last two fiscal years, USM also has attracted more than $1 million in private donations for new scholarships.
The undergraduate scholarships, which will be awarded for a total of four years as long as recipients meet academic standards, range anywhere from $2,000 to $13,000 per year for Maine students and out-of-state students.
Criteria include class rank, and SAT or ACT scores, and financial need. Two of the awards also are intended for members of a minority or first-generation college students.
“As a public university, we must demonstrate a commitment to affordability so that more students enroll at USM and stay though graduation,” said USM President Selma Botman in announcing the scholarships.
Approximately 85 percent of USM’s first-time, full-time students receive financial aid, including grants, loans, work-study funds and scholarships. “We are making a concerted effort to reduce our students’ reliance on loans through the availability of more university and privately funded scholarships,” said Botman.