Bill could waive college tuition for academically strong students living in poverty

If independent Portland lawmaker Ben Chipman’s proposed legislation passes, college tuition could be covered for high-achieving Maine high schoolers living in poverty, The Bangor Daily News reports. Under LD 962, “An Act to Increase Access to Higher Education,” students living in Maine households making less than $30,000 annually could go to college in the state without paying tuition if they graduate in the top 25 percent of their senior classes academically. “What we’re finding now is a high number of part-time students who have to take on two or three jobs while going to school, and who take seven or eight years to get a four-year degree,” Chipman said. “And then when they do get out, they’re overloaded with student loan debt.” Still many more students, the state representative said, don’t go on to higher education at all because the financial barriers are too high.

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