The $500 Alfond Grant for your baby’s future education is a legacy gift from Harold Alfond to benefit future generations of Maine children. Mr. Alfond believed that all children deserved the opportunity to achieve higher education and recognized that one of the biggest barriers to attending college is cost. So he created this gift as a great start to help families prepare for college early. He believed that you could transform individual families and the State’s future prosperity by helping all Maine’s children aspire to higher education.

For every baby born a Maine resident since 2013, the Alfond Scholarship Foundation (ASF) invests a $500 Alfond Grant for his or her future qualified higher education expenses. (Maine babies born prior to 2013 were eligible for the Alfond Grant if a college savings account was opened for them by their first birthday). ASF invests these funds until the child is ready to use them.

Harold Alfond is the late business entrepreneur, founder of Dexter Shoe Company, and Maine philanthropist who established the Harold Alfond Foundation, the first private foundation in Maine, in 1950. He had a lifelong commitment to the people of Maine and was deeply committed to his charitable causes. He brought a business mindset to his philanthropy by partnering with organizations he felt were well run and had important missions, and by fostering teamwork and partnerships through his matching challenge grants. His giving focused on education and health care, especially programs for youth. His love for Maine and interest in sports and children led him to give millions of dollars to Maine people through education, sports programs and centers for children.

The Harold Alfond College Challenge is his legacy gift to every Maine baby. Learn more about Harold Alfond at haroldalfondfoundation.org.

The Alfond Scholarship Foundation is the non-profit foundation that operates the Harold Alfond College Challenge. The Harold Alfond College Challenge is a statewide program that awards a $500 Alfond Grant to every Maine resident baby to help pay for education post-high school. The Alfond Scholarship Foundation is just one of many legacy gifts to Maine from late philanthropist, Harold Alfond.

Children born as Maine residents in 2013 and later have automatically been awarded the $500 Alfond Grant. For Maine kids born between 2008 and 2012 the grant was available on a more limited basis. Click here to learn more about eligibility for the program.

The Alfond Grant, including any earnings on the Grant funds, can only be used to pay for qualified higher education expenses (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code) at any U.S.-accredited post-secondary school, which may include graduate schools, trade schools, and some foreign institutions that participate in federal financial aid programs. The Alfond Grant must be used by the child’s 28th birthday.

The child does not have to attend college in Maine in order to use his/her Alfond Grant or need to attend a four-year college in order to use his/her Alfond Grant.

What happens to the Alfond Grant if the child doesn’t pursue education beyond high school?

The Alfond Grant, including any earnings on the Grant funds, will be forfeited to the Alfond Scholarship Foundation once the child turns 28 years old if it has not been used for his/her education.

How can I add to my child’s future education funds?

You can open your own college savings account for your child – then you will be able to make your own contributions. Every little bit helps!

500ForBaby is the site developed for new parents to share information about the $500 Alfond Grant, how it works and what parents can do if they want to also contribute to their child’s future education. It is intended primarily for parents of young children.

MyAlfondGrant provides information to parents as their children grow, so that they can track the value of the Alfond Grant over time, and see it on-line. The website also grows with the child and offers information, tips and resources for kids and parents alike starting in preschool and carrying through high school.

In general, parents and kids transition from the 500ForBaby site to the MyAlfondGrant site at around age five.