PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The University of Maine System says it’s going to cover the full cost of tuition and fees for more than 1,200 members of the state’s graduating high school classes next year.

The system made the announcement Wednesday as part of its “Maine Values You” outreach program. System Chancellor Dannel Malloy says the offer is evidence the state’s public universities “can proudly offer Maine students unmatched affordability” and access to higher education.

System spokesman Daniel Demeritt said students would be chosen based on more than one metric and would first have to apply for financial aid. The state covered 1,142 students this year.

Demeritt says the coverage of tuition will be available at UMaine campuses around the state, including the University of Southern Maine and the flagship campus in Orono.

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