Governor Janet Mills wants to give Maine students two years free tuition for community college.

Who is Eligible for the Free Tuition?

The announcement was made during the Governor's State of the State Address. The offer would apply to students whose education has been affected by the pandemic, specifically those who graduate high school between 2020 and 2023. Mills said the education would help more students train for jobs that are currently seeing staffing shortages. The offer also includes students who have already started their education in the Maine Community College system.

There are so many good-paying jobs in health care, engineering, the trades, construction, in clean technology, and many other industries that are just waiting for you. As your Governor, I want you to know that the future is yours, and that we will help you embrace it.

There's an Added Incentive for Students to Remain in Maine after Graduation?

In addition, she has proposed funding that would transform the Opportunity Maine Tax Credit into a nation-leading debt-relief tool. Mills says the aim would be to attract college graduates to live in Maine, consistent with the goals of legislation sponsored by Senator Matt Pouliot of Kennebec.

School debt is a heavy burden that prevents young people from starting a business, affording a mortgage or paying their bills, and achieving their full potential.

The proposal would make up to $25,000 in debt relief available, provided the graduate maintains a job and lives in Maine.

Do These Need Further Approval?

Both proposals are built into Governor Mills' supplemental budget, as well as her intention to return half of the state's supplemental budget to taxpayers. Each Maine resident would receive a one-time payment of $500, if the measure is approved.

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