Maine Community Colleges (MCC) is currently faring better than before the pandemic, with new applications up 13.4% since last year, higher than pre-pandemic application numbers in 2019, WMTW reported.
New student enrollment increased by 15.8%. Nearly 80% of the new accepted applicants qualify for two years of free community college under a new $20 million program in Maine's supplemental budget.
“This is an opportunity to come and then go on without any college debt at all hopefully," said Dr. Paul Charpentier, Southern Maine Community College vice president and academic dean.
Maine residents with a high school diploma or equivalent 2020-2023 may be eligible. MCC is accepting applications until the start of fall semester.
The program could save students an average of $4,000 a year.
“I’m going to be a first gen college student - first generation in my family to go to a college - so when I’m looking at colleges, I’m really looking at cost, because I come a low-income family," said rising high school student Emmy Ripley.