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Maine Technical College System

News Release
Osher Scholarships—Two Tuition-Free

Courses—Now Available at Maine Technical Colleges

FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, March 13, 2002
CONTACT: Alice Kirkpatrick
Tel: (207) 767-0116, ext. 3

Augusta, ME -- Over 300 Maine high-school seniors and adults will be able to take two courses tuition free at a Maine Technical College this coming fall, if they qualify for the Osher Scholarship for Associate in Arts students.

The scholarships are being offered to new students who apply and are accepted for the upcoming fall term in the Associate in Arts transfer program — a standard offering of two-year colleges.

This is the second year the Osher Scholarships have been made available at the Technical Colleges. Last year, the scholarships were targeted to adults who had been out of school for at least a year. This year, that restriction has been lifted so high school seniors can qualify.

"This scholarship is a great opportunity for those who are considering college to give it a try without a large financial commitment," said Maine Technical College System President John Fitzsimmons. "For those individuals who are unsure of their career goals, or for those with financial constraints, the Associate in Arts is a flexible, low-cost option for getting started on that college degree," he said.

The Osher Scholarship is made possible by a gift made in 2000 from The Bernard Osher Foundation. The gift was matched by the State, creating a $2 million endowed scholarship fund. This year, 314 scholarships will be available through the seven Technical Colleges. The scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

At a tuition rate of $68 per credit hour, the Osher Scholarship has a value of $408 -- covering two three-credit courses. Students are responsible for fees and books associated with the courses.

The Associate in Arts program -- which was launched at the Technical Colleges in 1999 -- has grown to over 1,000 students in just three years. The program provides the core general education requirements for most baccalaureate programs as well as for associate degree career programs. Transfer agreements are in place with Maine's universities and several private four-year colleges.

To be eligible for the Osher Scholarship, applicants must be Maine residents, may not currently be enrolled in a program at any college or university, and cannot have accumulated more than 24 college credits. For more information, interested applicants can contact their nearest Technical College, or visit the Maine Technical College System (MTCS) web site at

Maine's Technical Colleges are located in Wells, South Portland, Auburn, Fairfield, Bangor, Presque Isle and Calais. Off-campus centers are located in South Paris, Bridgton, Ellsworth, East Millinocket, Dover-Foxcroft, Belfast, Caribou, Houlton, Van Buren and Machias.

The seven Technical Colleges enrolled about 6,400 degree students last fall, and thousands more in credit and noncredit courses, workshops and seminars. Systemwide, the colleges reported a placement rate of 95 percent last year - either in jobs or continuing their education.