BIDDEFORD — A dozen Maine high school graduates will get scholarships to study science, technology, engineering and math at the University of New England, thanks to a $620,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

Six grants will be awarded to current high school seniors, and a second round of six grants will be awarded to current high school juniors. The grants are for students demonstrating financial need.

Combined with UNE merit awards and federal Pell grants, the grants amount to a “nearly” full scholarship for all four years of study, according to UNE spokeswoman Kathleen Taggersell. The average annual tuition at UNE is about $32,000, not including room and board.

Professor Susan Hillman said she knows personally why this kind of grant is critical. “I’m a Maine native who grew up on a farm in central Maine and after my family had to sell the farm, we moved to the northern part of the state. … Without scholarships and the support and encouragement of others, I wouldn’t have been able to attend college,” she said. “These scholarships will … enable 12 promising Maine students to achieve their dreams of going to college.”

Qualified students are invited to apply. Once accepted, they must maintain a 3.0 grade point average.

The deadline for the first group of grants is Jan. 15, 2014. For more information, call 207-602-2342 or visit

Noel K. Gallagher can be contacted at 791-6387 or at: [email protected]

Correction: This story was revised at 10:40 a.m., Sept. 17, 2013, to correctly attribute a quote to Susan Hillman, correct the spelling of Kathleen Taggersell’s name and to clarify that students do not need a recommendation to apply for a grant.