As First Few Terms Go, So Goes Success of Students Who Get Maine State Grants, NEBHE Finds

Half of State of Maine Grant recipients completed a postsecondary certificate or college degree, according to a New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) analysis.

The NEBHE analysis reveals that the first few terms are a crucial make-or-break time for students’ success.

The analysis offers preliminary findings of NEBHE’s research on the impact of the State of Maine Grant, including who the grant serves and how grant recipients persist toward earning a degree. The report found:

  • Over 90% of students who received the state grant had enough financial need to qualify for a federal Pell Grant, a common proxy for low income;
  • The majority of state grant recipients began college at one of Maine’s public institutions; and
  • Grant recipients who did not complete a degree were most likely to drop out or have a gap in enrollment in the first few terms or semesters, signifying a critical time when these students most need financial, academic or other support.

The report is part of NEBHE’s Redesigning Student Aid in New England, a two-year project funded by Lumina Foundation to study how states might redesign their student financial aid programs and policies to increase postsecondary attainment. Next steps in the project include further research that may identify opportunities for potential policy or program improvement. Specific areas for additional study are outlined at the end of the analysis.

Budget pressures across the region have charged states to “do more with less,” and Maine is no exception. In fact, state appropriations for the State of Maine Grant program have declined 21% in the past 10 years, even as state policymakers have identified college affordability as a critical issue. At such a time when New England states face competing demands for limited funds, further study on the most effective use of dollars to achieve state higher education goals is more vital than ever.

Gretchen Syverud is a policy research analyst at NEBHE.Related Posts:RI State Grant Recipients More Likely to Graduate College, but Grant’s Purchasing Power Weakening, NEBHE Study FindsMaine Lawmakers Wrap Up Session Amid Record Number of Gubernatorial VetoesAs Maine Goes …




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