Maine students who complete the HiSET exam to earn their high school equivalency between 2020-2023 and enroll full-time in a Maine community college are eligible for 2 years of free community college. Recently, the program was extended through 2025.
The Office of Adult Education of Maine’s Department of Education has launched a campaign to encourage all adult learners that don’t hold a high school or equivalent credential to complete the HiSET® exam.
The HiSET is used in Maine for High School Equivalency testing and replaced the GED® some years ago.
Students that complete their high school curriculum or earn the HiSET diploma are now eligible in Maine for two years of community college fOR FREE!
Throughout Maine, the campaign “It’s time for HiSET” was launched, and you’ll see yard signs across the state to point people’s attention to the initiative, and local education programs will be present on various social media using the hashtag #HiSET4ME.
Additionally, there will be sponsored community events and mail postcard programs to promote the state’s free HiSET completion program and other educational opportunities across the state.
Free College Education
The program offers students that live in Maine and graduate from high school or earn a HiSET diploma between 2020 and 2023 the opportunity to enroll in one of Maine’s seven community colleges on a full-time basis and receive two years of tuition for FREE. As said before, the program was prolonged through 2025.
In 2014, Maine decided to replace the GED with the HiSET exam for the purpose of high school equivalency testing.
Adult learners who left high school prematurely can earn a Maine High School Equivalency Credential if they successfully complete the five HiSET sub-exams that cover Math, Language Reading, Language Writing, Science, and Social Studies.
Free HiSET Testing
In Maine, state residents can sit for the HiSET exam at no cost, and preparatory classes are offered free of charge as well. There are also some very good and accredited online HiSET programs available that allow you to study where and when you want.
HiSET subject test results are still valid, so learners who already took some of the HiSET exams over the past years can just go back to a local adult education program and complete the remaining sections.
So by completing the HiSET exam, adult learners can unlock the chance to attend a community college for two years at no cost. This is, therefore, the time to contact a local adult education center and get ahold of your HiSET diploma!
In Maine, there are many locations that offer free HiSET prep programs. Holders of the credential qualify for a college education, and a secondary education degree is required for just about any job these days, also at the entry-level.
So the program offers adult learners the opportunity to receive a range of instructional services for free and develop the skills for job training, better employment, or further educational opportunities.
All students that graduated from high school (or earned an equivalent diploma, GED or HiSET) in the years 2020 through 2023 are eligible. That’s how simple it is.
So starting immediately, Maine residents who recently graduated from high school qualify for free tuition at all of the state’s community colleges. If this isn’t the best deal ever, what is?
Maine’s Free College Scholarship gives recent HiSET and high school grads a leg up as they want to enter the workforce or continue their education in college. The HiSET exam can be taken at state-certified test centers or in an online format, the HiSET-At-Home option.
What Does It Cover?
The Free College Scholarship will pay for (up to) two years of college tuition and fees after state and federal aid has been applied.
Students that qualify for maximum state and federal grant aid can use the additional scholarship funds to cover the cost of supplies, books, or any other educational expenses.
Again, high school grads from the Maine classes of 2020 through 2023 and HiSET recipients are all eligible for a Free College Scholarship. This will pay 100 percent of tuition and fees at any of Maine’s seven community colleges. Check here to learn more about how the HiSET exam is scored.
How To Sign Up
You can simply apply to one of Maine’s community colleges. The schools have study advisors who will be working with you to fill out your application, complete your FAFSA (financial aid application), and pick out an academic program that will suit you best.
You don’t have to fill out any scholarship application. The college will be reaching out to award the scholarship. So all you have to do is go ahead and apply to the school to get started.
Which Schools Participate?
All of the seven Maine Community Colleges participate. The colleges are
- Central Maine Community College (CMCC) – Auburn and Damariscotta
- Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC) – Bangor, Dover-Foxcroft, East Millinocket
- Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) – Fairfield, Hinckley
- Northern Maine Community College (NMCC) – Houlton, Presque Isle
- Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) – Brunswick, South Portland
- Washington County Community College (WCCC) – Calais
- York County Community College (YCCC) – Wells
In 2022, Maine launched the state’s “Free Community College” program with a 1-time $20 million state investment benefiting pandemic-era high school and HiSET graduates from 2020-2023. In 2022, almost 6,500 students used this great option to attend one of Maine’s community colleges tuition-free. In July 2023, the program was extended for two more years.
Part-Timers May Also Qualify
You can choose from any of the schools’ certificate or degree programs, and the colleges offer hundreds of options. The Free Maine College Scholarship program is intended for full-time students, but part-time students may still be eligible for grant aid which will cover most (or perhaps all) of the tuition and fees.
Non-US citizens may also qualify for this interesting initiative if they completed high school or a HiSET-GED diploma in 2020, 2021, 2022, or 2023. College students that earned a secondary education degree earlier (so in 2020 or 2021) also qualify for the free college scholarship, even in case they are already enrolled.
For these students also counts that they don’t need to apply for the scholarship themselves. The colleges’ financial aid offices will work with them to award the support.