Connect Aspirations To A Plan

A college degree is directly related to an individual’s economic success. In fact, over a lifetime, a college graduate will earn over $1 million more than a high school graduate.

College Access programs help students to achieve economic prosperity by raising their aspirations and by showing them ways to connect those aspirations to a plan which leads to a successful transition from high school to college. The Foundation defines college broadly to include 4-year colleges, 2-year colleges, certificate programs and the military.

Since 2003 the MELMAC Education Foundation has provided funding to assist Maine high schools (public and private), vocational centers, adult education programs and non-profit organizations in adopting best practices from proven college access programs. The Foundation only considers related grant requests as part of the Request for Proposal process.


In August 2003, the Foundation announced the first round of grants to Maine high schools and communities. The 2003 initiative funded school- and community-based programs designed to increase students’ aspirations for higher education and to help students connect those aspirations to a plan that ensures enrollment in college immediately following high school graduation. In August 2005, the Foundation completed a second round of grants to Maine high schools, communities and adult education programs in continued support of this mission. High school and community grants are for four years.


The Connect Aspirations to a Plan grants have been wide in scope
  • Over $5.8 million in awards since 2003


Grants to assist Maine high school students
  • 69 High schools and technical centers reached
  • 51% of all Maine high schools
  • 52% of all Maine high school students reached
  • The most needy Maine high schools and students targeted – MELMAC grantee high schools have an initial lower high school graduation rate and lower college going rate than those Maine high schools not receiving MELMAC grants


Grants to assist Maine adult education students
  • 25 Adult Education programs reached
    • 11 Transitions-based grants (2005 only, two-year grant)
    • 6 Community-based grants working with high schools and adult education partners
  • 23% of all adult education programs reached


For more about MELMAC high school awards, visit the High School Awards page.