Graduates from high schools in western New Brunswick will be able to take advantage of a unique, tuition-saving opportunity at the University of Maine at Presque Isle beginning in Fall 2016, when the University begins offering its Good Neighbor Grants program. University and New Brunswick school officials—including the Superintendent for the Anglophone West School District David McTimoney—were on hand for a press conference on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (11 a.m. Atlantic Time) in the UMPI Admissions Office, to officially announce the new program and share details about it.
Good Neighbor Grants, being introduced to 2016 high school graduates from 6 New Brunswick high schools, will allow students to pay “at par” tuition and could save them more than $12,000 over four years. Good Neighbor Grants will be available to graduating students from John Caldwell High School in Grand Falls, N.B., Tobique Valley High School in Plaster Rock, N.B., Southern Victoria High School in Perth Andover, N.B., Carleton North High School in Bristol, N.B., Hartland Community School in Hartland, N.B., and Woodstock High School in Woodstock, N.B.
“We’re very pleased to offer this Good Neighbor Grants program to the members of the Class of 2016 in nearby New Brunswick,” UMPI President Linda Schott said. “This is a first-of-its-kind program for us and takes the exchange rate out of the equation for Canadian students graduating from these six high schools, which are in such close geographic proximity to the University of Maine at Presque Isle. We very much hope to see students taking advantage of this new program and look forward to welcoming some of these Canadian neighbors to our campus.”
The cost for Canadian students to attend UMPI is $330 per credit hour, or $9,900 annually, based on a 15-credit-per-semester load. Based on the current exchange rate ($1 in Canadian currency equals $0.69 in U.S. currency), this would save a Canadian student $3,069 from their annual tuition bill, or $12,276 over the course of four years.
“Graduating high school students face a large expense as they pursue post-secondary education. For these students, finding financial support is a key component in reducing the number of stresses they face during the course of their studies,” Superintendent McTimoney said. “We are very fortunate to see an initiative such as this being offered by the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Their unique offer to graduating students of neighboring schools may offer that burst of support a student is looking for. Our organization is always appreciative when community minded efforts are made to support our students.”
Graduates who enroll at UMPI directly from any of the six New Brunswick high schools will have their tuition payments in Canadian dollars accepted at par for up to four consecutive semesters for those enrolled in a UMPI Associate’s degree program, and for up to 8 semesters for those enrolled in a UMPI Bachelor’s degree program. Good Neighbor Grants apply to the cost of tuition only.
In order to maintain the grant award, students must successfully complete at least 12 semester-hours of credit delivered by UMPI each semester, and must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 for each semester of study.
At Tobique Valley High School, Principal Trena MacDonald and Guidance Director Alanda Harrison both agree that the program is a “wonderful opportunity for our students to access quality, affordable post-secondary education while remaining close to home.”
“As an alumni student, I frequently share my university experiences with high school students,” Harrison said. “Many students are eager to spread their wings and move away from their hometown. However, some students have close family ties and community involvement and prefer staying closer to home. Personally, UMPI was the best option for me as I worked full time in Plaster Rock at the elementary school and attended night classes. I found the commute easy and was thankful to have a university near my hometown.”
At Carleton North High School, Principal Anne Senechal and Guidance Counselors Sophie Albright and Dianne Lord, all agree that the “Good Neighbor Grant” provides opportunities for students to gain access to exemplary academic programs within the local community.
“We have teachers at CNHS with Bachelor of Education training from UMPI,” Senechal said. “These teachers indicated that an additional benefit of attending a local campus was the opportunity to volunteer and work within their community while pursuing post-secondary studies. Former students said that they benefitted from the range of programs offered at UMPI including Fine Arts as well as Education programs.”
At John Caldwell High School, Principal Crista Sprague and the school’s student services team feel that the program is a great opportunity for their students. Lisa DeGooyer, one of their math teachers who received her Education degree from UMPI, had this to say: “I had previously graduated from a larger university with my first degree, but if I had known the benefits and quality of education of UMPI earlier, it would have been my first choice for my first degree. The main focus of UMPI is their students. The classes are small, the professors care about providing a positive and quality education to their students, and they will do whatever they can to accommodate each and every student. I would highly recommend the University of Maine at Presque Isle to any recent graduate from high school.”
For more information about UMPI’s Good Neighbor Grants, please contact the UMPI Admissions Office at 207-768-9532 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.