Opening Doors Scholarship


The University of Maine System has a new Opening Doors Scholarship that offers assistance to newly enrolled students pursuing a bachelors degree. It is a renewable scholarship supporting adult and independent students attending one of the campuses of the University of Maine System.

Multiple Award Amounts are available:

  • 6 to 8 credits – $500 per semester
  • 9 to 11 credits – $750 per semester
  • 12+ credits – $1000 per semester


  • Must be a resident of the State of Maine in a UMS institution pursuing a bachelors or associates degree
  • Must demonstrate financial need as determined by a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Must be registered at least part time or higher: minimum 6 credits per semester
  • Maintain continuous enrollment and GPA of 2.5 or higher for renewed funding
  • Must be considered an independent student, as identified by FAFSA. You must meet at least one of the following criteria:
    • Be 24 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year
    • Be an orphan (both parents deceased), ward of the court, in foster care or was a ward of the court when 13 years or older
    • Be a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States or serving on active duty for other than training purposes
    • Be a married individual
    • Have legal dependents other than a spouse
    • Be an emancipated minor or in legal guardianship
    • Be a homeless youth
    • Be a student for whom a financial aid administrator makes a documented determination of independence by reason of other unusual circumstances

Award Amount

Varies: $500 to $1000 per semester based on enrollment


Applications are due by September 1 and January 1 for priority consideration

How to Apply

Students can apply by using the online application process found on the scholarship website.

How to Renew

Renewal applications are due by September 1. Recipients must maintain continuous enrollment and GPA of 2.5 or higher for renewed funding.


University of Maine System Student Success Center
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.