Maine offers free university tuition to Lewiston shooting victims, families

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s public university system is offering free tuition to family members of those who died and to those who were injured in the deadliest mass shooting in state history, officials said Wednesday.

The Lewiston Strong Tuition Waiver program covers more than 80 people. It also creates a fund that the public can donate to that will cover other post-secondary educational expenses. The Oct. 25 shootings left 18 people dead after a gunman opened fire at a bowling alley and a restaurant.

The program was announced by Gov. Janet Mills, University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy and trustees. It expanded on a call from Mills to create a scholarship fund for people affected by the shootings.

“Through their boundless generosity, Maine people are demonstrating that our state will stand by those who were injured and the families of those who were killed in the months, years and decades to come,” said Mills, a Democrat.

The people covered by the program include spouses and biological, adopted and step-children of the 18 people killed, officials said. Officials also said the 31 Maine residents who were injured in the shootings will also be covered.

In-state tuition and fees in the University of Maine System average around $10,200 this academic year.

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