The Finish Strong adult degree completion program is being launched in spring 2024 by the University of Maine’s flagship campus at Orono and its regional campus, the University of Maine at Machias, in partnership with the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

The program aims to empower adult students to complete their college degrees through financial support, scholarships and tailored services, according to a news release from the university. 

“There are over 280,000 individuals in Maine who began their pursuit of a college degree but never completed their studies,” Scott Marzilli, UMaine’s associate provost for student success and innovation, said in the release. “Providing a pathway for these adults to complete their bachelor’s degrees would provide them with the specialized knowledge and skills they need to get promotions, advance their careers, and earn higher incomes.”

Returning UMaine students enrolled in 2024 will receive an adult degree completion scholarship of up to $300 and may receive their second course at no charge.

The program will target adult Mainers ages 25 and older with some college or no four-year degree. Finish Strong also focuses on Maine's immigrant communities, including refugees, those granted asylum and asylum seekers.  

“There are more than 50,000 immigrants residing in the state who could benefit from the tailored enrollment and orientation services offered by this program,” the release states. “The responsive and culturally sensitive support system built into the ‘Finish Strong’ program includes intensive English language training and academic assistance.”

Each student in the program will be assigned a personal advisor.

"The program aligns with our commitment to advancing education and workforce credentials in Maine. It not only supports adult learners' aspirations but also contributes to a more diverse, inclusive, and economically resilient future for our state," John Volin, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost of UMaine and UMaine Machias, said in the release. “I hope adult learners will come back to UMaine. We can give them the education they need to make a better life for themselves and a better Maine.”

The program is funded by a $750,000 grant from the University of Maine System over two years.

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