PORTLAND — The University of Southern Maine will award an additional $1.3 million in scholarships for students who enroll in college for the first time this fall.

The scholarships, which will be for $1,500 to $12,000 per year for up to four years, will be awarded to students in the top 30 percent of their high school class, meet minimums on the SAT or ACT tests and are in need of financial aid, USM said in a press release.

Last year, USM gave $1 million to first-time students – on top of $7 million it awarded in financial aid – which translated to 356 scholarships, USM said.

“Anything we can do to help make college more affordable is a great use of university resources,” USM President Theodora Kalikow said in a prepared statement.

According to the press release, the money for the new scholarships is coming from “reallocations of existing university funds.”

“In addition to helping individual students and their families, these scholarships also help attract great numbers of students to USM, which benefits everyone,” Kalikow said.

Eligible applicants for admission will be automatically considered for the scholarships.

For more information, contact USM’s Office of Undergraduate Admission at 780-5670 or [email protected].