Managing Student Loans

Single parents who are contemplating a return to education in order to pursue a college degree in Maine have some excellent opportunities available to them. These can substantially reduce the level of debt which is generally associated with a obtaining a degree. Students in the State of Maine are well served by educational finance programs which can be utilized by those students wishing to remain in state after graduation.

Maine offers one of the best loan forgiveness programs in the country which is ideal for single parents who are interested in teaching after graduation. Single parents can often match a career in education to the needs of balancing their own work load with the responsibility of raising children, and should give consideration to the available programs as a way of financing college.

The Educators for Maine program is not targeted at single parents and is merit based rather than needs based, but that should be no deterrent to potential applicants. It is administered by FAME which is the independent state agency of the finance authority of Maine. The Educators for Maine program awards up to $3000 annually in loans for those who plan public sector careers in teaching, speech pathology and child development.

Where it differs to other loan forgiveness programs is that it offers 2 years loan forgiveness for each year spent teaching in an underserved subject as identified by the state of Maine, as well as a one year loan forgiveness program for those who choose to teach within public sector schools in Maine. Those students who do not go on to teach within the public sector need to repay the loans.

In addition to the excellent Educators for Maine program the State of Maine also offers a grant program which is needs based to resident students from Maine. Any student who completes the standard FAFSA application and submits it by May 1st is automatically considered for the State of Maine grant program which awards annual amounts ranging from $500 to $1250.

Other state scholarships and grants can be researched through the Maine government state education web site, and further information can be obtained directly from the financial aid officers at the individual colleges and universities within Maine.

Not everyone is interested in a career in the public sector but the opportunities which Maine affords are excellent ones. They are certainly worth considering as a means to finance college without the burden of taking on loans which need to be repaid. Single parent college students who do combine the state programs on offer with the federal education loans available through the FAFSA could find themselves graduating with a level of college debt way below the national average.