The Maine Community College System has announced a new debt forgiveness program that will eliminate up to $2,000 in student debt for former students who want to return to college.

The initiative was unanimously approved on Wednesday by Board of Trustees at their meeting in Augusta.

Former students in the Maine Community College System can take advantage of the “Return, Resume, Reward” small debt forgiveness program if they owe no more than $2,000.  They would be eligible if it has been at least two years since they attended a Maine community college, they enroll in classes totaling at least six credits and they maintain good academic standing.

“We want our students to succeed, and this is a great way to welcome them back and help them complete their degree or certificate without being burdened by student debt,” MCCS President David Daigler said. “We do everything possible to make Maine’s community college affordable. We have the lowest tuition in New England. We distribute more than $50 million a year in grants and scholarships. We provide emergency funds to students when needed. This debt forgiveness program is one more chance to show our students we believe in them and support them.”

 

During the program, a student’s past debt is set aside, and half of their past debt—up to $1,000—is forgiven after the first semester. The second half is eliminated at the end of the second semester.

“It’s time to come back and finish what you started,” said Janet Sortor, chief academic officer and vice president of MCCS. “These students have already proven they can succeed academically. They just need a little help getting over the finish line.”

 

Tuition at Maine’s community colleges is $96 per credit, and the average cost of tuition and fees for a year of full-time study is $3,700.

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