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Competitive Skills Scholarship Program
The Competitive Skills Scholarship Program (CSSP) is currently accepting applications.
Learn More about the Requirements of the Program (PDF)
CSSP is currently accepting applications. To apply, please click on the button below :
If you cannot fill out the online application for any reason, please contact your local CareerCenter for further information. CareerCenter Locations
CSSP Approved Occupations List
Labor Market Information
The Competitive Skills Scholarship Program (CSSP) provides funding and support services for eligible Maine residents to pursue two and four-year degree programs or employer recognized credentials leading to high-wage, in-demand jobs in Maine.
To learn more about the requirements of the program please view the CSSP Program Introduction: (PDF)
- Be at least 18 years old or have graduated from High School
- Live in Maine
- Seeking a degree or credential for a job in a high wage, in demand occupation
- Do not have a marketable post-secondary degree
- Have household income of less than 200% of the federal poverty level
- Have the ability to complete the education or training program
How to Apply
Applications for CSSP are only accepted during open application periods. The open application period and number of applicants accepted into the program is based on available funding.
- What is considered a high-wage, in demand occupation?
- The approved CSSP high-wage in-demand occupations list is developed by Maine Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Research and Information. These jobs have an average wage at or above the average wage for all occupations in Maine and are projected to have a minimum number of job openings annually.
- I wasn't the best student in high school - can I still qualify?
- You can still qualify even if you didn't have the best grades in high school. You may be assessed to see if you are able to successfully take part in the training program.
- How can the money be used?
- The Competitive Skills Scholarship pays for tuition and fees that are not covered by other sources, including federal financial aid. CSSP funding may also assist with other supports while you are in training including childcare, transportation, books, supplies, equipment, and remedial and prerequisite training
- How much can I expect to receive?
- If you are eligible, you can receive up to $6,000 per year for a full-time student or $3,000 per year for a part-time student each year you remain in your training program.
- Do I have to pay it back?
- The Competitive Skills Scholarship is a grant, not a loan, and does not have to be paid back at the completion of your program.
- How do I get started?
- If you would like to learn more about the program before completing your application, view the CSSP Program Introduction: (PDF)
- Apply using the CSSP Online Application
- If you cannot fill out the Online Application for any reason, please contact your local CareerCenter for assistance.