Graduating Students

Opportunity Maine

  • Refers to a tax Credit for Educational Opportunity offered by the State of Maine to students who completed all coursework at and graduated from a Maine institution, who live, work and pay taxes in Maine and have student loans taken out after January 1, 2008.
  • Students who graduated in 2008 & 2009 were required to complete and submit to the Office of Student Financial Aid an Opportunity Maine Contract prior to graduation. A contract is no longer required.
  • To claim the tax credit graduates, including those who graduated in 2008 and 2009 (who previously were required to sign a contract)  need only to complete a worksheet and submit when filing a tax return.
  • The 2017 Credit for Educational Opportunity Worksheet is now available on the Maine Revenue Service’s website. When completing the worksheet, you will need to know the Benchmark Loan Payment.
  • Upon review of this worksheet, Maine Revenue Services may request supporting documentation for any or the following: degree received; date of degree; academic credit hours earned for the degree prior to January 1, 2008 and after December 31, 2007; the institution(s) from which the degree was earned; the educational loans that qualify for the credit; the educational loan payments made by you or your employer during the tax year that qualify for the credit; any other information necessary to substantiate the credit claimed.

Bachelor’s Degree

Graduation Year:          Benchmark Loan Payment:                                   

2008*                                                       $360

2009*                                                       $368

2010^                                                       $343

2011^                                                       $344

2012^                                                       $342

2013^                                                       $356

2014^                                                       $363

2015^                                                       $377

2016^                                                       $373

2017^                                                       $364

* The benchmark loan payment for 2008 and 2009 was calculated by the Office of Student Financial Aid.

^ The benchmark loan payment was calculated by the State of Maine.


Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession.

  • Under this program, individuals who teach full time for five consecutive, complete academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools that serve low-income families and meet other qualifications may be eligible for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 in principal and interest on their FFEL and/or Direct Loan program loans.
  • As of August 14, 2008, an otherwise eligible borrower may qualify for forgiveness if the borrower has provided qualifying teaching services at one or more locations that are operated by an educational service agency.

Federal Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation

You qualify for cancellation (discharge) of up to 100 percent of a Federal Perkins Loan if you have served full time in a public or nonprofit elementary or secondary school system as a

  • teacher in a school serving students from low-income families; or
  • special-education teacher, including teachers of infants, toddlers, children, or youth with disabilities; or
  • teacher in the fields of mathematics, science, foreign languages, or bilingual education, or in any other field of expertise determined by a state education agency to have a shortage of qualified teachers in that state

Exit Counseling

Once you graduate, you will need to complete exit counseling if you have received any Federal Stafford or Federal Perkins Loans.

National Student Loan Data System

Access to data regarding your Federal loans and Federal grants.

Graduate School at UMaine

For information on the University of Maine Graduate School.