USM Foundation Announces Gift To Help Veterans Complete Their Degrees
The University of Southern Maine Foundation has received half a million dollars to help veterans complete their degrees.
Funded by a donation from Joe and Sheri Boulos, of Falmouth, the new scholarship fund is intended to help veterans pay for classes needed to complete their degrees after federal military tuition assistance runs out, or doesn't cover the full cost of college.
"So if a student only needs one class to complete their degree, we would fund that. If they needed an entire semester, we would fund that," says Lorrie Spaulding, the director of veterans' services at USM. "It's really trying to see what is the need, how we can make the most of the funds this first year."
Tobias Adams, a USM junior and Army veteran, says those resources can help fill in the gaps and keep veterans in school after federal assistance funds run out after 36 months.
"That sort of figuring out what you want to do when you grow up -that kids get to do when they come to college? Well, veterans have a tough time doing that because we have a finite amount of benefits to use towards that," Adams says.
Lorrie Spaulding says recipients will also receive academic and career guidance. The university expects to award about five scholarships next school year, but hopes to eventually offer up to 30.