Our program supports up to 100 scholars every year – approximately 25 in each class – with top-off, multi-year scholarship awards that aim to cover up to 100% of a scholar’s demonstrated need, as determined by the FAFSA, in covering the cost of tuition, fees, housing, and meals. The award amount varies by student and sits on-top of a scholar’s financial aid package including federal aid, state aid, and merit scholarships to meet a scholar’s full need. The Promise Scholarship program is equitably designed to enable students to graduate in four years with little to no debt.

To qualify for the Promise Scholarship a student: (1) must be an incoming first-year or transfer undergraduate admitted to a USM degree program, (2) must be a resident of the State of Maine, (3) demonstrate financial need, (4) must intend to enroll on a full-time basis each term, (5) demonstrate commitment to civic engagement and/or community service, (6) be a first-generation college student (preferred), and (7) be nominated by a youth serving organization, community program, or school counselor.

To be considered for the Promise Scholarship, eligible students should complete an application available on the USM scholarship page by March 15th. Applicants are notified of their award by mid April with scholarships being awarded the following academic year.

The Promise Scholarship is awarded to 25 eligible Maine students annually. Applications are reviewed by a selection committee and are selected based on demonstrated financial need, notable leadership and civic engagement activities, academic achievement, and exceptional promise for success in college.

Twenty-five (25) scholarships are awarded to eligible Maine students annually.

No, while the Promise Scholarship does partner with many youth-serving organizations across the state, we recognize that many rural communities are not served by our partnering organizations. Applicants may also be referred by their school counselors, school staff, or other community programs.

Yes, incoming first-year students are offered the award up to four years; incoming transfer students have up to three years of scholarship eligibility. To remain eligible year to year, Promise Scholars must maintain continuous, full-time enrollment in an undergraduate degree program at USM, complete a minimum of 30 credits per academic year, and maintain a cumulative grade point average of a 2.5 or higher.

Promise Scholars At-A-Glance

Identify as first-generation college students
Identify as students of color
Maine youth-serving organizations represented