Finance Authority of Maine
Education Update
June 2010
In This Issue
College Access Challenge Grant
June Board of Directors Meeting
Opportunity Maine Reminder
Counseling Split Borrowers 101
The Harold Alfond College Challenge Enrolls 5,000th Baby
Election Update
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
Upcoming Events
July 1, 2010
Educator's For Maine Advisory Committee Meeting
July 5, 2010
FAME Office will be closed in observance of the Holiday
July 13, 2010
Advisory Committee on Dental Education Meeting
July 15, 2010
FAME Board of Directors Meeting
July 29, 2010
Advisory Committee on Medical Education Meeting
College Access Challenge Grant
Did you know that less than 40 percent of Maine high school seniors filed their FAFSA by May 1 this year? 
One of the goals of the Maine College Access Challenge Grant (MCACG) program will be to increase the number of students filing the FAFSA by May 1.  In addition, the program will focus on three major components for the 2010-2011 year: 
  1. College access and completion services, programs and outreach;
  2. Sub-grants to organizations providing college access and completion services to students and families; and
  3. Scholarships to students to enroll in college courses while pursuing a high school diploma or GED.

The federal allocation for Maine is $1.5 million per year for five years. The application is due on July 2 and awards will be made on August 14.  More information, including the application process for sub-grants, will be available on FAME's Web site in August.
If you have questions regarding the MCACG, please contact Angela Dostie.
 June Board of Directors Meeting
FAME's Board of Directors approved commercial loan insurance for two Maine companies,  AS & CB Gould and Sons, Inc. of Cornville and Wahlco Metroflex of Lewiston.  These actions helped the companies create and retain 131 Maine jobs.
AS & CB Gould, Inc. operates three mechanized logging operations in the state.
Wahlco Metroflex is a global leader in designing and manufacturing diverters, dampers and expansion joints.  
Opportunity Maine Reminder
The amendments to "An Act to Strengthen the Job Creation Through Educational Opportunity Program" become effective on July 12, 2010.
The following summarizes some of the key items in the law.  The full text of Public Law 2010, Chapter 553 is available online at:
  • The University of Maine System (UMS) and the Maine Community College System (MCCS) are required to provide the average in-state tuition and mandatory fees applicable to their respective programs on their public web sites.  In addition, UMS and MCCS are required to provide those figures to the State Tax Assessor and all accredited Maine colleges and universities by September 1 of each year.
  • The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is required to provide information about the tax credit on its public web site.
  • The DOE will refer any questions regarding the program to the financial aid office at the college or university that the student attends.
  • Maine colleges and universities are required to provide information about the tax credit in financial aid award materials, entrance and exit counseling sessions and materials listing financial aid resources. 
  • Once a student has graduated, the college or university must certify for the student the total principal amount of the loans that the student received as part of his/her financial aid package. The college or university must provide an original or certified copy to the student and keep a copy of the documentation provided in its files for at least ten (10) years after the student graduates. 
  • The student may only claim the tax credit pertaining to loans that have a term of at least eight (8) years.
  • Maine colleges and universities are required to report to the DOE in writing by February 1, 2011 and February 1, 2012 on efforts to: (1) promote and enroll students in the program; and (2) train admissions and financial aid staff about the program.
  • All state agencies engaging in education-related outreach are required to promote the tax credit in any materials as appropriate and possible.  Agencies include, but are not limited to:  DOE, Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), and the Department of Economic and Community Development.
  • The prior program rules adopted by the Maine Board of Education are repealed.
Wednesday Webinar - Counseling Split Borrowers 101
FAME's most recent Wednesday Webinar entitled "Counseling Split Borrowers 101," was held on June 9 and was presented by Mary Dyer, Default Prevention Specialist.  During this session, participants were provided with an overview of recent loan-related regulatory changes and how these changes will affect student borrowers.  An emphasis was given to techniques that can be used to counsel borrowers, along with an overview of repayment plans and the temporary loan consolidation provision.  Twenty-one members of Maine's financial aid, counselor and advisor community participated in the training. 
A recording of the webinar and other training sessions are available on the training page of the FAME Web site.

The Wednesday Webinar series will enjoy a summer vacation and will resume in September.  If you have any suggestions for any future topics, please feel free to email Mary Dyer.
The Harold Alfond College Challenge Enrolls 5,000th Baby
On June 21, 2010, the family of a six-week old baby boy from Brunswick opened his NextGen College Investing PlanŽ (NextGen) account and he became the 5,000th Maine baby to receive the $500 Harold Alfond College Challenge Grant. FAME is enrolling about 40% of all eligible babies by their first birthday and with this milestone, is creating a new generation of college savers.
All Maine's resident babies under one year are eligible for a $500 grant from the Alfond Scholarship Foundation to start a NextGen College Investing PlanŽ (NextGen) account.  For more information
 Election Update
On Tuesday, June 8, Maine voters went to the polls to decide a variety of issues.  First, in the gubernatorial primary races, Waterville mayor Paul LePage won twice as many votes as his nearest competitor, capturing the Republican nomination with 37 percent of the vote.  In the Democratic primary, Senate President Elizabeth "Libby" Mitchell won her party's nomination with 35 percent of the vote.  They will face three independent candidates in the November 2 election:  Eliot Cutler, a former Carter administration official from Cape Elizabeth; Kevin Scott, a business owner from Andover; and Shawn Moody of Gorham, the owner of a car repair chain.  Turnout in the Republican primary was the second-highest in state history, falling approximately 5,000 short of the record set in 1952.
With respect to Question 1, the people's veto, 61 percent of voters decided to overturn a tax reform law that would have lowered income taxes while expanding the meals and lodging tax and certain other sales taxes.
All four bond measures passed, however.  Three bonds passed by comfortable margins, including $26.5 million for an offshore wind energy demonstration site, related manufacturing and campus energy conservation; nearly $48 million for highways, railroads and marine facilities; and about $10 million for clean water projects.  Question 4 appears to have narrowly passed.  It authorizes nearly $24 million to stimulate job creation and the economy, including money to preserve historically significant properties and $8 million for redevelopment at the Brunswick Naval Air Station.  The Brunswick Naval Air Station bond will help redevelop the base by installing electric meters, making the properties handicapped-accessible, demolishing a few buildings and removing barbed-wire fencing.  $4.75 million will help create a Southern Maine Community College satellite campus, and $3 million will help recapitalize FAME's Economic Recovery Loan Program.  All together, the approved bonds total $108 million in spending.  The four approved bonds will draw nearly $97 million in federal and other matching funds.
In addition to the gubernatorial race, Maine voters will decide in November whether to allow a gambling casino in Oxford County.  You can view a complete list of unofficial results at the Bangor Daily News Web site.
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
On June 18, 2010, the U.S. Department of Education published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register.  The NPRM addresses 14 program integrity issues that modify existing regulations on:
  • Definition of High School Diploma for the Purpose of Establishing Institutional Eligibility to Participate in the Title IV Programs, and Student Eligibility to Receive Title IV Aid;
  • Ability to Benefit;
  • Misrepresentation of Information to Students and Prospective Students;
  • Incentive Compensation;
  • State Authorization as a Component of Institutional Eligibility;
  • Gainful Employment in a Recognized Occupation;
  • Definition of a Credit Hour;
  • Agreements Between Institutions of Higher Education;
  • Verification of Information Included on Student Aid Applications;
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress;
  • Retaking Coursework;
  • Return of Title IV Funds: Term-based Programs with Modules or Compressed Courses;
  • Return of Title IV Funds: Taking Attendance; and
  • Disbursements of Title IV Funds.     
The full text of the NPRM is available online at:
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