Despite the discouraging economic climate into which the Class of 2009 will be venturing, there is some good news for college graduates planning to stay in Maine.
The Opportunity Maine program is a citizens’ initiative that passed unanimously in the Maine House of Representatives and by a large majority in the Senate. The program is a self-described, “ambitious, first-in-the-nation college affordability and economic development program.”
College students who received student loans as part of their financial aid packages since January 2008, and who continue to work in Maine after graduation, are eligible. Students must sign up in their college’s financial services office. For a maximum of 10 years, graduates who continue to live and work in Maine may claim up to $5,500 in income tax credit for each year in which they are repaying loans.
If a student leaves Maine, there is no penalty. They may also claim the tax credit if they leave and return to Maine a few years later.