Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Josephine arrived six years ago in Portland, Maine, alone and on her own. As an asylum seeker, she took on a new country, a new language, and a new culture. Her immigration status made things challenging, but with perseverance, she began working as a financial eligibility specialist for the City of Portland and attending USM part […]
Scholarships & Student Support
Scholarships are at the heart of USM’s mission to widen access to a college education. While building a sustainable foundation of financial support for future generations, we are also committed to meeting essential student needs, and making extraordinary, life-changing experiences available to all students.
Grit & Determination
No single factor helps our hardworking students become successful members of their communities – it requires drive and perseverance to do what needs to be done. It demands a program of academic excellence that helps students hone critical thinking skills. And, when the financial barriers are high, it takes scholarships paired with student support programs to open the doors to a successful future.
The University of Southern Maine is nationally ranked as a top college for advancing social mobility, which means this university is the place where dreams of building a successful life get their start. With continued investment, we will continue to create pathways to higher education that are accessible and affordable for all Maine students.
Your gift will help:
- Decrease student debt and increase access and affordability by growing the resources required to support talented students with the greatest need
- Meet essential needs through programs such as the Student Emergency Fund and the Campus Food Pantries
- Provide opportunities such as fellowships, graduate research assistantships, internships, and other real-world learning experiences that open new horizons
At A Glance
About Scholarships at USM:
- Over $12 million in talent scholarships awarded annually
- Over $1 million in donor scholarships awarded annually
- Over a third of full-time undergraduates qualify for Pell Grants, with most going to students with a family income below $20,000
- Access to scholarships has dramatically increased year-to-year retention and graduation rates for our students
- Nearly half of full-time undergraduates are the first in their families to attend college
- 23% multicultural undergraduates, Maine’s most diverse college community
Your Gift At Work
Funds raised for Scholarships and Student Support programs will help USM increase funding for:
- Talent Awards to attract top students by recognizing achievements in STEM, Arts & Humanities, and Social Justice Leadership
- Promise Scholarships, a comprehensive program designed to create a path forward for financially challenged, first-generation college students
- Access to Education Scholarships supporting highly qualified students, such as asylum seekers and New Mainers, who are not eligible for federal or state aid
- Last Mile Grants to encourage students within a year of graduating who face financial barriers to completion of their degrees
- The Student Emergency Fund and the Campus Food Pantry: two programs that help meet the critical needs of our most financially vulnerable students
Stories of Grit, Perseverance, and Impact
Joshua, a graduate of Casco Bay High School in Portland,entered USM in fall 2020 planning to study Political Science and pursue a career as a lawyer. He learned about the Promise Scholarship from the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Maine, which helped him to develop a strong academic work ethic while teaching him valuable life lessons. “I struggled in math and science for […]
Josie is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Piano Performance/Collaborative Piano at USM’s Dr. Alfred and D. Suzi Osher School of Music. She supports herself as a freelance pianist/accompanist and works at Specialized Housing, Inc., a nonprofit that supports people with disabilities in home ownership settings. Commenting on her undergraduate experience, Josie says, “I am […]
Ronnie earner his BA in Leadership and Organizational Studies in May of 2020 and, just weeks later, was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army. A year earlier, Ronnie had exhausted his GI benefits and was forced to navigate the final year of his degree with the stress of financial uncertainty. To cover tuition […]
A $100,000 gift from Maine Beer Company created a unique internship & scholarship pilot program at USM to promote diversity and inclusion within the craft beverage industry.
Hear directly from two Promise Scholars in this moving video as they share what this scholarship means to them.