MEOC Summer 2017 Newsletter – Money, Money, Money!!!

​​In This Issue:
  • Tips on minimizing and managing college debt
  • MEOC Referral Program – Win prizes!
  • MEOC featured in the Bangor Daily News
  • In their own words – MEOC participants talk about their path to and through college.
  • Featured location – Machias CareerCenter

Tips on Minimizing and Managing College Debt

It’s no secret that the rising cost of college has a lot of potential college students a little worried. While most accept the fact that a college degree would help them get a better job, the worry that college debt would overwhelm any salary increases is a legitimate fear. Fortunately, among the services provided by MEOC is a comprehensive plan to help get each student on their way to a college degree, without crippling college debt. In the first part of this newsletter, we will focus on a few strategies that can help, but if you really want individualized plans, make an appointment to see the MEOC advisor in your area!

Adult Ed classes

One cost that many nontraditional students aren’t prepared for is the cost of taking classes to re-learn skills they once knew. College classes often have pre-requisite knowledge, for example, a solid knowledge of Algebra, that many nontraditional students may no longer possess. Paying by the credit hour to regain these skills can be a very expensive proposition. By utilizing the services of your local Adult Education Agency, you can build these skills in a much more cost-effective manner. Not sure what your knowledge gaps might be? Don’t worry about it! Your MEOC advisor can help you figure out what the prerequisites are to your program of interest, and help you figure out a way to identify ALL of the steps you need to meet on the way.

2+2 Programs

One of the benefits of living in Maine is the easy access to both the Maine Community College system, and the University of Maine System. Many adult learners actually utilize both, using a solution informally called 2+2. These are transfer agreements between the community college system and the University of Maine System, which can allow for a significant cost savings. More information about these options can be found on the Maine Community College website, and also by asking your MEOC advisor!

Grants and Scholarships

One of the key ingredients to every Financial Aid plan should be to work as hard as you can to minimize your loan debt. The best way to do this is to maximize your grants and scholarships. These are forms of financial aid that in most cases do not need to be paid back. For most students, the building block grant is the Pell Grant, which is based on financial need, and for the 2017-2018 year could be as much as $5,920. Completing your FAFSA will determine your Pell eligibility.

In addition to the Pell Grant, there are a slew of other scholarships that are available. In the past, we have highlighted the Finance Authority of Maine’s Scholarship Search Engine, which is a great tool for finding scholarships that may be a good fit. Another great resource is the Maine Community Foundation. They award more than $2 million each year to Maine residents! (One of their subsections of grants actually targets adult learners...)

The key to all scholarships is, you never know until you apply!

Much, much more! 

Making a good financial plan for college may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be! The first step is to take the time to schedule a meeting with your MEOC Advisor. We’ll sit down with you and make sure all of your questions are answered. By the end of the meeting, you will have a concrete understanding of your next steps!

MEOC Referral Program

New this year, MEOC participants who refer their college interested friends and/or family to MEOC are entered into a raffle. Prizes include a variety of gift certificates, and will be awarded after the conclusion of our program year in August. Know someone who might be interested in going to college, but has been dragging their feet? Refer them to MEOC today, and get add your name to the possible prize winners!

MEOC Featured in the Bangor Daily News

MEOC Project Director Karen Keim was recently interviewed for an article in the Bangor Daily News. There’s some good information on the types of services MEOC provides, as well as some analysis of the changing employment market. If you get a chance, check it out!

In their own words – MEOC Participants Talk About Their Path to and Through College

Going back to college as an adult can be intimidating! And yet, in Maine, so-called “non-traditional” students, are becoming more and more common every year. Each year, hundreds of Maine adults find success in college. Each is a little different, but one thing many have in common is that they have worked with MEOC to find success.

The following is a variety of MEOC participants, from new enrollees to college to recent graduates, telling in their own words a little bit about what college was like for them.

Background – MEOC participants come from all over the state of Maine, from ages 18 to 65, and sometimes even older! Some are single parents, some are finding their way back to the workforce after some time away.

In 2001, I found myself to be a single parent of two; ages 6 and 8. I began to recognize certain patterns and behaviors that were playing out in my life.

                                    Gail, age 44

I am a 65 year-old and hard-of-hearing woman who pretty much raised 2 children alone; I’m also a grandmother of 6, and a great-grandmother to one.

                                    Linda, age 65

I was incarcerated for a period of time before being transferred to a facility in Charleston, ME. At that time I had been eager to get an education upon my release. Due to my circumstances at that point I had not been able to take the steps to begin the process.

                                    Carmine, age 23

Read more from MEOC alums in their own words here…

Featured location – Machias CareerCenter

This fall, MEOC was happy to bring aboard James Hiers as a full-time advisor in the Downeast area. James has had a great first year, one of the highlights of which has been his partnership with the Machias CareerCenter. The CareerCenter has long been a partner of MEOC, but now we are able to be a much more regular presence there! If you’re in the Machias area, you can find James at the CareerCenter Tuesdays and Wednesdays, between 9:30 – 3 pm.

Is this not a convenient location for you? You can always call our too free number at (800) 281-3703, or check out our online schedule  to see what other sites are available.