Families of certain military veterans can attend a state-supported Maine college or vocational school tuition-free. This does not apply, however, to all veterans' families.
Here is a list of veterans whose families are allowed this tuition benefit:
- The person has to have entered the military while a resident of Maine, or has been a resident of Maine for the 5 years before their family member applies for this tuition waiver, and
- The person must have a total permanent disability resulting from their military service, or
- The person was killed in action, or
- The person died from a military service-related disability, or
- The person had a total permanent disability resulting from their military service at the time of their death, or
- The person is missing in action or has been captured (for at least 90 days).
Family members of these veterans who are allowed this tuition waiver include:
- Natural born children
- Adopted children, if adopted while under the age of 18
- Children of the veteran's spouse (step-children) if the veteran and spouse married at least 5 years before the tuition waiver is used. The child must be a part of the veteran's household at the time of applying for the waiver, or at the time of the veteran's death.
- Children and step-children must be at least 16 years old and have graduated from high school.
- Spouses of the veteran, or a widow or widower who has not remarried, can also use this tuition waiver.
When can this tuition waiver be used?
- A child or step-child must start their program by the age of 22. However, if the child or step-child was unable to start because they were also a member of the armed services, they can apply for the tuition waiver anytime up to their 26th birthday.
- A spouse, or un-remarried widow or widower, can begin to use this tuition waiver at any time.
What does this tuition waiver provide?
- The tuition waiver covers all tuition, mandatory fees, and lab fees. It does not cover room and board costs. The law does not mention whether or not books are covered.
- The tuition waiver is available to any student in a certificate program or an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree program.
- The school must be a state-supported post-secondary vocational school, college or university.
- A child of a veteran can use this tuition waiver for 8 semesters, and has 6 years to complete their classes.
- A spouse can use this tuition waiver for up to 120 credit hours, and has 10 years to complete these classes.
- All students must maintain a 2.0 or "C" grade point average to continue to get this tuition waiver.
Maine's law is Title 37-B MRSA §505.
To apply for this tuition waiver, or if you have additional questions, contact Maine's Bureau of Veterans' Services. Their main office is located in Augusta:
The Bureau of Veterans' Services also has offices in many other towns in Maine. Contact the main office for the office closest to you; or go here for a list of all their locations.
More on educational benefits for veterans at Stateside Legal
Learn about the Maine National Guard Education Assistance Program.
Thanks to the Tibor and Anna Doby Veteran Support Fund for supporting our efforts to educate our military service members and veterans about their legal rights.