Promise Scholarship


The Promise Scholarship program is designed to help students overcome financial and academic barriers, remain in school, and graduate in four years with less debt, prepared to make their own contributions to Maine’s social and economic well-being.

The Promise Scholarship program is a partnership with Maine’s youth development organizations, which often serve Maine's underserved and low-income youth, and looks to them to recommend and refer strong candidates for admission to USM and for The Promise Scholarship.

The Promise Scholarship is a "top-off" scholarship that ensures up to 100% of tuition and fees are covered. Awards are multi-year and vary based upon a student’s eligibility for other federal, state, and institutional aid. Additional limited funding for room, board, books and other educational expenses may be considered on a case-by-case through the Promise Emergency Fund.



Applicants Shall:

  • Demonstrate financial need,
  • Be an incoming first year or incoming transfer undergraduate Maine resident,
  • Be enrolled full-time with a minimum 15 credit hours per semester or 30 credit hours per year; some exceptions may be made with professional judgment;
  • Maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA until graduation in order to be eligible for annual renewal for up to 3 years; some exceptions may be made with professional judgment, and

Preferences include:

  • Referral from a Promise Partner Youth Development Organization
  • First-generation college student

Recipients are highly encouraged to give back to the community through volunteer service, mentoring or supporting USM activities.

Award Amount

Awards will ensure any gaps are met to cover the full cost of tuition and fees.


March 15th

How to Apply


  1. Complete the scholarship application form on or before March 15th. The application will be available on December 15th at
  2. File electronic FAFSA application by the priority filing date of Jan. 15th (if eligible) or provide documents that show demonstrated financial need (ex. TANF, SSI, SNAP)
  3. Recommendation from a Youth Development Organization (optional)
  4. Resume (optional)

How to Renew

Recipients will receive renewable awards for up to four years as long as they:

  • Participate in Promise Scholars events, services and workshops
  • Maintain a 2.5 GPA (some exceptions can be made with professional judgement). First-year, first-time Promise Scholars may earn a 2.0 GPA during their first year and still maintain eligibility for the Promise Scholarship. Promise Scholars would be required to raise their cumulative GPA to a 2.5 in subsequent years.
  • Enroll full-time at USM with 15 credits per semester or a total of 30 credits per year.
  • Recipients are highly encouraged to give back to the community through volunteer service, mentoring, or supporting USM activities.


Promise Scholarship Program Coordinator
102 Bedford Street
Disclaimer: Be sure to read the criteria for individual scholarships carefully. Most scholarships have enrollment and GPA requirements. Award amounts may vary each year and are subject to fund availability. As an NCAA Division III school, USM is prohibited from awarding scholarships based on athletic participation.