PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Harold Alfond Foundation announced Thursday that every child born in Maine since January 2013 will now automatically be awarded the $500 college grant.
"We wanted really to get everybody. So, we came up with a way to make sure that everybody got the grant. That's really exciting because it means every Maine baby will have that head start," said Colleen Quint of the foundation.
Previously, the foundation required parents to open a NextGen college savings account by the child's first birthday in order to receive the money. Now, if parents do not enroll in the program, that money will stay in an account until the child goes to college.
Since the scholarship program started five years ago, the college challenge has funded grants for 40 percent of the babies born in Maine.
Based on expected birth rates, The Harold Alfond Foundation expects to pay out six million dollars to fund scholarships for 12,000 babies every year.