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.

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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.