Still in its infancy, USM program ‘makes a world of difference’ to 1st-generation students

Daniel Barton,the program coordinator for Promise Scholars and a USM graduate, said Promise Scholars is more than just a regular scholarship or grant. The program is specifically designed to help low-income Maine residents who will be the first in their families to attend college. But Barton said it’s important that this program be more than just waiving tuition because there are so many added challenges facing the first person in a family to go to college. “It will help them, once they come through those doors, by offering them a full circle of support and networking, and will connect them with peers,” he said. He said it’s not uncommon for a first-generation student to get derailed by circumstances beyond their control. A family member might get sick or laid off, or another emergency requires the student to take on a bigger financial role in their family by getting a job. It is currently in its third year and will eventuallyprovide 100 percent tuition and fee coverage to 100 students at any given time. #education #Maine

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