It is always great to see and talk with someone that is so nice, like Elizabeth Vanderweide.  I first met Elizabeth a few years ago because of the Harold Alfond College Challenge. Personally, I think she has one of the coolest jobs around. She helps people be aware and take advantage of money for secondary education.

Elizabeth works for the Finance Authority of Maine. FAME helps Maine businesses AND Mainers address the cost of higher education.  Both things work to help the economic engine of Maine.  When I talked with her, we were focusing on education.

Elizabeth talked to us about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid also known as the FAFSA. The form can open a student up to the most opportunities for grant and federal loans. Even if the student is not sure about going to school, the form is free, so there is no reason not to do it, just in case. It is also import to get that form in by May 1 to be considered for $1000 Maine State Grant!

FAME is also the place that handles the NextGen accounts and the $500 Alfond Grant for Maine babies. OK, the $500 Alfond Grant for Maine babies is one of those rare things that sounds too good to be true, but it is true! If your Maine born baby is under one, you have check it out. Both of these are about saving money for your kids to pay for education after high school.  The NextGen accounts can be opened for students of all ages. Even adult learned like me!

Elizabeth was also telling us about some changes on the way for the GED system in Maine.  If you don’t get the work done for you GED by the end of the year you will need to start over!  IKES! There are about 6000 Mainers who have started but not finished their GED. Maine also has over 136,000 people who do not have a GED. Now is the time. There is time and help you get your GED if that is what you want!

FAME one of those groups that you hear about and when you check them out. FAME is doing a lot for Maine!  Check out what Elizabeth had to say about FAME and the good stuff they are doing. Oh you can also learn how I, as an adult student, lost out on a lot of money by not opening a NextGen account for myself.  Don't be like me, take the five minutes and help yourself or your kids.