Survivors and family members of the victims of a mass shooting in Lewiston, Me., in October will be granted free tuition to colleges in the University of Maine system, administrators announced Wednesday.
The Oct. 25 attack by a U.S. army reservist killed 18 people and injured 31. The University of Maine system, which includes seven bachelor’s degree–granting institutions, estimates that as many as 80 people will be eligible to have their undergraduate tuition and fees waived.
System officials are also seeking donations for a new fund that will help individuals impacted by the shooting cover other costs associated with attending college, such as housing and textbooks.
“The tragic shooting in Lewiston impacted the University of Southern Maine community: students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. We welcome this opportunity to provide assistance to those who are impacted by these heartbreaking events,” said USM president Jacqueline Edmondson in a statement. “It is my hope that this scholarship will provide educational opportunities for those who lost loved ones, and it is my wish that they will feel a sense of care and compassion from the many people who will donate to this important fund.”