MCCS President Daigler Praises Free College, Nursing Expansion in Budget Bill

April 20, 2022

$20M pays for up to two years tuition for HS Classes of 2020-23; $2.5M doubles nursing grads

AUGUSTA, ME – Maine Community College System (MCCS) President David Daigler issued the following statement today about Governor Janet Mills signing the supplemental budget.

“What a great day for Maine’s graduating high school students! This historic budget includes critical state support for MCCS, funding up to two years of tuition-free community college to recent high school graduates and a nursing expansion plan that will double the number of graduates from our top-ranked nursing programs,” President Daigler said.

“These high school students in particular deserve a break. The pandemic completely upended their high school experience, and many put their future on hold because of uncertainty over the pandemic. Being able to get back on track—tuition-free—is an incredible opportunity,” Daigler said. “We need more skilled workers, and students with degrees command higher salaries, particularly in a tight labor market.”

“The pandemic also highlighted and compounded the severe nursing shortage in the state. This state support will translate immediately to expanded training that will deliver more skilled nurses to our health care system.”

The budget includes $20 million for free college and $2.5 million to expand the system’s six nursing programs.

Students are eligible for the Free College Scholarship if they are a high school graduate or equivalent from the Classes of 2020-23, enroll full-time to pursue an associate degree or academic credential, live in Maine while enrolled, and accept all federal and state grants, scholarships and other funding sources.

For more information go to our Free College webpage.