How Do I Pay For School?


There is no doubt that going to college can be a major financial undertaking, and can present a daunting barrier for many people, but there are many benefits to earning your degree, including higher income potential, more employment opportunities, and greater job satisfaction.  Consider the cost of college an investment in your future.  The good news is that there are ways to mitigate the costs through loans, scholarships and grants, collectively known as financial aid.


Your number one resource for all things financial aid is FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which can be accessed here: Home | Federal Student Aid.  This online application will connect you to a wealth of information and access to aid based on your financial needs, and it will be sent directly to the financial aid office at your school of choice.  It is required in order to receive a financial aid package, it is very simple and easy to complete, and best of all, it is free.  There are deadlines to file for the academic year so watch the dates.  You will be asked to submit financial information such as your income, debts, tax status and assets, so have that handy when you fill out the application form. Contact the Maine Educational Opportunity Center for help filling out your FAFSA. 


Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships and grants are your ideal options to pay for school, since you don’t have to pay them back.  Some are federally funded, such as the Pell Grant, and others are offered by private organizations.  Your school’s financial aid office can help direct you to certain scholarship opportunities; at USM, visit : Scholarships | University of Southern Maine, and there are many websites available to help you search for scholarships you may qualify for, such as these:     

Scholarships and Tuition Waivers – University of Maine System

Maine Scholarships –

ScholarshipOwl – Apply for hundreds of (academic) college scholarships

Find Scholarships for College for FREE | Fastweb

Free-College-Grants (

Resources Home

Where Can I Learn?

How Do I Apply?

What Should I Study?

The thought of going to college may feel daunting.  Whether you are returning, or it is your first time, you undoubtedly have many questions.  Reach out to us!

Call or text us at 207-747-9578

You can also email us!

Mara Sanchez, Program Co-Director 

Swathi Sivasubramanian, Program Coordinator