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$500 Alfond Grant

Every baby born a Maine resident will have a $500 Alfond Grant automatically invested for his or her future higher education expenses.¹ That means a head start on a bright future!

Help your child succeed- open a NextGen 529 account and see how far they’ll go!

Maine babies who have been awarded the Alfond Grant may use the grant to open a NextGen 529 account without the required initial contribution.²

New for 2020, families who open a NextGen 529 account with the $500 Alfond Grant and add $25 by December 31, 2020 will get the $100 Initial Matching Grant.

Open a NextGen 529 Account


Frequently Asked Questions About the Alfond Grant

What is the $500 Alfond Grant?+

The Alfond Grant is the grant awarded to all babies born Maine residents on or after January 1, 2013.¹ For Maine children born 2008-2012 the grant was available on a more limited basis. To learn more about the grant and eligibility, see Alfond Grant Guidelines.

For every baby born a Maine resident since 2013, the Alfond Scholarship Foundation invests a $500 Alfond Grant for his or her future qualified higher education expenses. The Alfond Scholarship Foundation invests these funds until the child is ready to use them. The Alfond Grant can be used to pay for higher education expenses at eligible higher education institutions and must be used by the child’s 28th birthday. (To learn more, see Alfond Grant Guidelines.)

The $500 Alfond Grant program is a legacy gift from late philanthropist Harold Alfond to benefit future generations of Maine children. Mr. Alfond hoped the $500 Alfond Grant would inspire families to also save for their children’s higher education.

What can an Alfond Grant be used for?+

An Alfond Grant can be used at eligible higher education institutions. These include all accredited post-secondary institutions that are eligible to participate in Federal student aid programs – public universities, private college, graduate schools and vocational schools — even some schools that are outside the United States. The funds do not need to be used at a schools in Maine.

Generally, you can use these funds to pay for qualified higher education expenses- the big ticket items like tuition, room & board (if enrolled at least half time) – even books and supplies – including computers!³

How can families save?+

Contributions by parents, family or friends cannot be made directly to the Alfond Grant. But, the Alfond Grant can be used to open a NextGen 529 account without making an initial contribution.

New and only in 2020: With an initial contribution of $25, they can also get a $100 Initial Matching Grant. Grants for Maine residents can really add up!

Once the child has a NextGen 529 account, parents, family and friends can make contributions to the account and take advantage of other matching Grants for Maine Residents4there are hundreds of dollars available!

Where can I find more information about Harold Alfond and the Alfond Scholarship Foundation?+

Visit to learn more!

¹The Alfond Grant is not automatic in all circumstances and is also available in limited other circumstances. The use of the Alfond Grant is also subject to certain restrictions – see Alfond Grant Guidelines.

²See Terms & Conditions of Maine Grant Programs for other conditions and restrictions that apply.

³To be eligible for favorable tax treatment afforded to any earnings portion of withdrawals from Section 529 accounts, such withdrawals must be used for “qualified higher education expenses,” as defined in the Internal Revenue Code. Any earnings withdrawn that are not used for such expenses are subject to federal income tax and may be subject to a 10% additional federal tax as well as state and local income taxes. Upon withdrawal, the Alfond Grant will be paid only to institutions of higher education.

4Grants for Maine residents are linked to eligible Maine NextGen 529 accounts. Upon withdrawal, grants are paid only to institutions of higher education. See Terms & Conditions of Maine Grant Programs for other conditions and restrictions that apply. Grants may lose value.