Paying for College RSS Feed
College-Based Scholarships
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Colleges often offer scholarships, in the form of merit money, to admitted students. Often, it's a combination of grades and test scores that secure a scholarship, or volunteerism or athletics. Be sure to investigate if a separate scholarship application is required. Sometimes, an admissions application is all that is required. Here are some examples.

Criteria: graduation from a Catholic high school

  1. Anna Maria College-New England Catholic High School Scholarship: $15,000 per year for four years.
  2. Assumption College 'Brother Brassard Scholarship' offers $2500 if you are admitted and graduate from a Catholic high school. Can be combined with other merit money & need based aid.
  3. Regis College Presidential Catholic Scholarship: Full tuition for 4 years, must have 3.5gpa and be nominated by High School Principal.
  4. St Michael's College of Vermont Edmundite Scholarship offers $5,000 per year for four years at St Michael's.

Criteria: graduation from a Jesuit high school

  1. All 28 Jesuit colleges' merit scholarships are here. Not all require graduation from a Jesuit high school.
  2. Loyola Chicago's Jesuit Heritage Award and Marquette's offer a half-tuition scholarship to one Cheverus senior each year, for their 4 years at Loyola or Marquette. A separate scholarship application to Marquette is required. See Guidance or Cheverus College Advising to be nominated for the Loyola half-tuition scholarship (3.5, 24 ACT or 1090 SAT CR+M required).
  3. LeMoyne College Ignatian Scholarship offers $15,000 per year for four years. No separate app required.

Criteria: graduation from Cheverus high school

Attending UMO? There is a scholarship for one Cheverus graduate who will attend UMO, the Nanovic Scholarship, for $2,000 each year for four years. See Ms. Coddaire in College Advising to put your name on the list.

Criteria: a certain major

  1. STEM Major (science, tech, engineering, math) at USM Pioneers Scholarship
  2. Computer Science majors: full tuition at Marist College in NY.
  3. University of Kansas SELF program for engineering & computer majors and leadership.
  4. UMaine Orono - full tuition Pulp & Paper Scholarship for engineering majors who are aware of and open to pulp & paper careers.
  5. Cooperative Education Scholarship at one of the 7 Co-Op Colleges (Drexel, Johnson & Wales, Kettering, Wentworth, RIT, U of Cincinnati, U of Toledo)
  6. Latin Majors: a full, 4-year scholarship to John Carroll University (Jesuit, Ohio) 
  7. Physics Majors at Marietta College (Ohio) can compete for an $18,000 award.

Criteria: High Achievers

  1. Boston University Trustee Scholarship requires a separate application & nomination from High School Principal.
  2. Northeastern's top merit award is $20,000 (& several Cheverus seniors earned it).
  3. Stonehill's top merit award is $25,000 (& several Cheverus seniors earned it).
  4. WPI's top merit award is $22,000 for #1 in the class.
  5. USM: Presidential Scholarship, $4,000. 
  6. UMO: top 5 in class rank earns the highest merit money amount of $8,000. No separate app required.
  7. University of Toledo Presidential Scholarship if 3.8GPA, 30 ACT or 1340 SAT (CR+Math): full tuition, room and board for all 4 years.
  8. Seton Hall: 27 ACT or 1200 SAT (CR+Math) and top 10% of their high school class gets reduced tuition.
  9. Simmons, a women's college in Boston, offers full tuition, room and board for 28 ACT or 1850 SAT. Competitive application process, not an automatic award.

Criteria: student from Maine or New England

  1. University of Kansas Non Resident Renewable Scholarships: KU Awards start with 3.5 GPA and 28 ACT or 1250 SAT (CR+Math).

Criteria: participation in the Junior Achievement Program

Did you participate in the JA Program at Cheverus? Some colleges offer scholarships at their school.

Criteria: participation in the FIRST Robotics Team

Worcester PolyTechnic Institute offers 2 scholarships ($20,000 and $5,000) if you compete at the New England level.


Tuition Break for New England Residents
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

If you apply to an out-of-state public university in New England for a degree not offered in the Maine state university system, you may be eligible for a tuition break. You pay less than out-of-state rates but more than in-state tuition. Example: a meteorology degree is not offered at the Maine state university system but Plymouth State in NH and Lyndon State in VT offer the degree.

Visit the site to learn more, go straight to the majors offered to Maine students, or pick up a brochure in the College Advising Office.

In the past, Cheverus students have taken advantage of the programs at UCONN for biomedical engineering and actuarial science, UMass Amherst for social thought & political theory, and URI for landscape architecture and ocean engineering, Lyndon and Plymouth for meteorology.

Scholarships for College
Monday, March 23, 2015

The following list contains scholarship notices that are sent to Cheverus. See your Guidance Counselor for more information, or visit the website associated with the scholarship. International students, please visit this site, this site, and consult this chart.

DO NOT PAY to file the FAFSA. Do not pay for someone to locate scholarships for you. There is free help available at your college's financial aid office, on the web, in Cheverus' Guidance and College Advising Offices, and at FAME (Finance Authority of Maine).   

Deadlines Vary for the following scholarships


 April 1 Deadine

April 10 Deadline

April 25 Deadline

  • Society of Women Engineers, Maine Chapter - one $500 scholarship to a student intending to major in engineering. Here is the application.
  • Law Enforcement majors-see Guidance Office for Maine Police Emerald Society Kevin Riordan Presidential Scholarship ($500).

May 1 Deadline

  • U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services Nursing Scholarship and loan forgiveness in exchange for a 2 year service agreement in a hospital with a critical shortage of nurses.
  • Engineering or architecture majors: WBRC, an engineering and architecture firm in Portland, offers a $500 scholarship after your 1st semester at college if you earn a 2.5 GPA. Info and application.
  • James V. Day Scholarship through the American Legion to descendents of a ME Legionnaire. 
  • Daniel E. Lambert Memorial Scholarship through American Legion if parent or grandparent is a veteran. 
  • American Legion Children & Youth Scholarship to a financially needy student.
  • Majoring in construction or a related trade like civil engineering, architecture? National Association of Women in Construction offer males and females scholarships ranging from $500-1500. Click here for application.
  • Guy P. Gannett Scholarship Fund for journalism majors (print or broadcast journalism majors only). 
  • Sylvan B. Phillips Trust Fund applications available in Guidance in May, due end of June. For financially needy men living in Portland.
  • Residents of Freeport, Pownal and Durham can apply for the $2,000 Rotary Scholarship based on academic achievement and financial need. Here is the application, available after Feb 15.

May 15 Deadline

  • The Portland Water District announces a $1500.00 scholarship for students who live in their area of coverage who intend to major in engineering, enviro studies, public health or related studies. Go to their website for criteria and application.
  • NECBAC Book Scholarship of $300 to minority students. Application required, and you must attend one of the 30 colleges on their list.
  • Maine Chapter of the Ruffled Grouse Society for seniors interested in careers related to wildlife conservation, conservation law enforcement, forest management. One $4,000 award.
  • Maine Graphic Arts Association awards scholarships for those interested in a graphic arts or printing technology degree.

May 22 Deadline

May 30 Deadline

  • The Maine Difference Scholarship, funded by Lamey-Wellehan, is intended to aid in the cost of attaining an education for a Maine young person studying at a Maine college or university. The focus of the student's studies should be on the ecology and economics of Maine. 
  • $5,000 scholarship: Essay Contest from Penguin Books.

 June 30 Deadline 

July 12 Deadline
  • Southern Maine Women's Golf Association Scholarship. For women who have participated in some aspect of golf.  Application is based on the applicant's involvement in golf as well as academic achievements and extra-curricular activities.
  • For males enrolling at UMO: SigEp's Balanced Man Scholarship. Two $1,000 scholarships for those of sound body and mind.

Deadlines have passed for these scholarships:

September 22

The Elizabeth Gillis Ahern and Leonard F. Ahern Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to one Cheverus senior, providing $7500 each year for four years towards college tuition. A Google form was emailed to seniors on Sept 17 inviting them to apply, and the requirements were reviewed in College Advising classes that day. 

October 2

The Catholic Foundation of Maine "Lila Grace Sullivan Amirault Scholarship", one to a Catholic student at each of the 3 Catholic High Schools in Maine. Awards range from $1,000-3,000 and are need based, as evidenced by your filing of the FACTS at Cheverus. Applications were distributed during College Advising class in Sept. and emailed to seniors.

Wendy's High School Heisman-students with a B average & participate in one school-sponsored sport

October 15

YoungArts: actors, dancers, designers, filmmakers, musicians, photographers, singers, songwriters, visual artists, and/or writers in grades 10-12, apply for scholarships, the US Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and an opportunity to be in HBO's MasterClass.

October 25

November 12

Essay Contest about George Washington.

December 1 Deadline

Elks National Foundation has a variety of scholarships

December 15 Deadline

January 7 Deadline

  • JCI Senate Scholarship Application based on grades, leadership. 
  • The Point Foundation is accepting applications for scholarships from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and allied people who are planning to enroll in some form of higher education next year.

 January 15 Deadline

January 31 Deadline

  • Maine Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers: Civil Engineering majors $2,000 scholarships for one year. See Guidance for application.
  • School Soup Scholarship - $1,000 "I am applying to a scholarship" contest

February 1 Deadline

 February 17 Deadline

March 1 Deadline

  • Maine Society of Professional Engineers: 2 $2500 scholarships. Minimum SAT scores 600 Math or 29 ACT math. Must plan to attend an ABET accredited engineering program.
  • Mainely Character Scholarship - based solely on courage, integrity, responsibility, and concern for others.
  • NIAAA Scholar/Essay Scholarship, required B+ and 24 ACT or 1500 SAT plus letter of rec from Athletic Director. See Mrs Cross in Athletics if you are interested and view the application here.

March 15 Deadline

  • Kohl's Cares - see your Guidance Counselor to be nominated if you've "made a positive impact in your community." Ages 6-18.
  • Rainbow Business & Professional Association scholarship for students who have those who have "worked to foster diversity and end bullying and discrimination in their schools and communities."
  • Poetry Contest for any Maine High School Student. More info here.
  • Thinking of attending one of these 140 Catholic colleges? Apply for a $1,000 scholarship from the Catholic College Admission Association.


Articles about Paying for College
Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Recent press about paying for college

November 2014

The best article on EFC -in depth info on how to figure it out based on your income (AGI), and info on the CSS Profile and FAFSA.

August 2014

Great FAQs about financial aid - a good place to start.

The best article I've seen about how (and if) home equity affects financial aid. Remember, FAFSA-only colleges like UMaine don't look at home equity.

Choosing a major, keeping in mind your earning potential, likelihood of an advanced degree being required, and the job outlook.

July 2014

Money Magazine's Best Colleges List. Cheverus favorites Babson & Maine Maritime top the list!

April 2014

"the goal of a financial aid package might be to persuade you not to come" and other things colleges don't want you to know

September 2013

How Divorce Affects Financial Aid (or, who files FAFSA?)

July 2013

If you like graphs, try this one out, measuring college cost based on family income.

September 2012

Kiplinger's Personal Finance has 7 great tips

April 2012

Time Magazine's '6 myths about financial aid'.

March 2012

Using the internet to search for scholarships: tips from USA Today newspaper

February 2012

NASDAQ article about paying someone to file your FAFSA & expensive FAFSA advice

January 2012

"What Do Students Pay for College?" report, a summary of average net prices at colleges and
universities across the country.

10 colleges where you graduate with little debt.

November 2011

Wall Street Journal examines how irrational we are when choosing colleges and offers tips on how to pay for it.

Fast Company has a compelling and eye-opening graphic about the cost of college & questions whether it's worth it.

FAFSA Night was held in November 2014
Friday, November 14, 2014

All families of seniors should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, even if you think you won't qualify. If circumstances change, you've already filed the one required form, and sometimes colleges ask for the FAFSA when awarding merit aid. Most colleges want it filed in February of senior year, and it only becomes available on January 1 each year.

FAME Maine performs lots of outreach like this to help families navigate the often-confusing financial aid process. They will not try to sell you anything.

Couldn't make it to FAFSA Night? Get the notes here. There's a free in-depth FAFSA Guide here.

Least Expensive Ways to Earn a Degree
Monday, September 01, 2014

The least expensive way to earn a college degree is to begin at community college, spend 1-2 years there, then transfer to the university or college of your choice to complete your bachelor's degree.

The next least expensive way to earn a college degree is to enroll in your in-state university and earn the degree in 4 years or less. See if you can test out of any courses or apply your AP Exam credit to any courses to shorten your stay at college. (the $90 you pay for an AP exam is much less expensive than an intro course at college that can cost thousands of dollars!)

Want to get out of Maine? New England state universities offer a tuition break program for some majors. You won't pay as low as in-state tuition, but you won't pay as much as an out-of-stater. 

Many students focus on colleges that will award them generous merit money for good grades and SAT/ACT scores. Merit money does not have to be repaid - it's not a loan - and is usually renewable for your 4 years of college.

In exchange for serving your country, the military will help you pay for college. You can serve now and attend college later, or go to college now and serve later. Look into ROTC if you want college first. Here are the ROTC sites:

  1. Air Force ROTC
  2. Army ROTC
  3. Navy & Marine Corps ROTC
Completely Lost? The First Thing You Should Do!
Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How do you know if a college is too expensive for your family? Where do you start?

Colleges award money in two ways: merit scholarship or need-based aid. Some colleges award a combination of both need-based aid and merit scholarships.

Let's take an example: BC, Holy Cross, Colby, Bates and Bowdoin only award need-based aid. How do you know if you would qualify for need-based aid at these colleges? There are 2 ways to find out:

  1. Complete to find out your family's EFC or estimated family contribution. That number is very important at colleges that only award need-based aid. Have a high EFC? You might not qualify for any aid at that college, and pay the full amount.
  2. The other way to find out if a college will award you need-based aid is to complete their Net Price Calculator, available on each college's financial aid page. If you cannot easily locate the NPC on any college's website, do a site search for the term.

What about colleges that award merit money? Again, complete the Net Price Calculator on each college's website to see how much merit money you might earn. The calculator will ask you about GPA (get that from your transcript from NetClasroom which has your cumulative GPA in the top right corner) and SAT or ACT scores.


Jesuit Merit Scholarships
Saturday, March 22, 2014

Many Cheverus students wish to continue their Jesuit education at the college level. There are 28 Jesuit colleges and universities. You can find the map here, and a listing of merit scholarships offered by each of the 28 colleges here. Juniors receive a hard copy of the listing in College Advising class in March.

Note: Marquette & Loyola Chicago offer a half tuition scholarship to one accepted Cheverus senior each year, for the 4 years at the college. 

Cheverus High School
267 Ocean Avenue, Portland ME 04103
Phone: 207-774-6238