MyAlfondGrant (the Harold Alfond College Challenge)
The Harold Alfond Foundation funded the launch of the Alfond Scholarship Foundation in 2008. Since 2008, the Alfond Scholarship Foundation, in partnership with the Finance Authority of Maine and Educate Maine, has overseen the MyAlfondGrant program (formerly the Harold Alfond College Challenge), a first-in-the-nation program which awards a $500 grant to every Maine resident baby for education beyond high school. This program represents a long‐term strategy by the Foundation to increase aspirations and access to higher education among Maine’s young people. The program has four goals:
- To increase awareness of the $500 grant so that Maine families know they have it and why it matters (“Awareness”);
- To increase the ways and frequency with which families engage with the program (“Engagement”);
- To raise aspirations of Maine families and students to continue education after high school (“Aspirations”); and,
- To encourage Maine families to save and invest alongside us for their child’s future education by opening and contributing to a State of Maine NextGen 529 Investment Plan (“Family Savings”).
More information as provided by our partner:
Before his passing in the fall of 2007, Harold Alfond supported the creation of the Alfond Scholarship Foundation, a non-profit organization whose goal is to increase Maine’s educational attainment and which administers MyAlfondGrant (the Harold Alfond College Challenge), the program through which a $500 Alfond Grant is awarded to eligible Maine resident babies. The program began as a pilot in 2008 and was made available on a limited basis throughout the state in 2009. Starting in 2014, all Maine resident babies born on or after January 1, 2013 are automatically awarded the $500 Alfond Grant to help pay for college, trade school or other post-secondary education.
The Alfond Scholarship Foundation helps kids start their postsecondary journey by providing a $500 grant that sends a signal about the importance of higher education and a very practical benefit to help kids get there. That $500 is just a first step, and the Alfond Scholarship Foundation works closely with our many partners, including the Finance Authority of Maine and Educate Maine, to encourage families to make their own investments in their child’s future.
Thanks to Harold Alfond’s hard work and generosity, the Alfond Scholarship Foundation has awarded over $72 million in Alfond Grants to nearly 145,000 Maine children, as of March 2023. We hope that this investment in Maine’s future will have both practical and aspirational benefits for these children – and for our state.