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Online and On-Campus Colleges in MAINE

Article Sources
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2015-16, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed March 2, 2016, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
  • Most Recent Cohorts (All Data Elements): 2014-15, College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education, accessed March 2, 2016, https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/
  • School pages, accessed May 30, 2017: About UMM, University of Maine at Machias, http://machias.edu/about-umm/; Undergraduate Degrees, UMaine Online, University of Maine, https://online.umaine.edu/undergraduate-degrees/; About UMFK, University of Maine at Fort Kent, https://www.umfk.edu/about/; Degrees, Minors & Certifiates, USM Online, University of Southern Maine, https://usm.maine.edu/online/degrees-certificates; Personalized Learning Changes Everything, University of Maine at Presque Isle, http://www.umpi.edu/personalized/; Online Degrees, University of Maine at Augusta, http://www.uma.edu/academics/online/online-degrees/#squelch-taas-tab-content-0-0; About UMF, University of Maine at Farmington, http://www.umf.maine.edu/about/; Human Ecology Degree, College of the Atlantic, http://www.coa.edu/academics/human-ecology-degree/;
  • Maine Grants & Loan Programs, Finance Authority of Maine, accessed May 17, 2017, http://www.famemaine.com/education/topics/paying-for-college/maine-grants-loan-programs/
  • Articulation Agreements, University of Maine System, accessed May 17, 2017, http://www.maine.edu/transfer-students/current-college-student/mcc-student/articulation-agreements/
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Whether you're hoping to attend a campus in the University of Maine System or one of the state's independent colleges, it's a good idea to know as much as you can about the available options before deciding where to earn your degree. We collected a bunch of info for prospective students, including state-based financial aid opportunities, details of job market projections and a rundown of the state's top degree programs by enrollment.

Each satellite campus of the U of M System was treated as a separate school in our analysis. Students at Maine community colleges can often take advantage of special transfer agreements with bachelor's programs at U of M system schools. Check with a transfer advisor at your school for details.

Best 4-Year Colleges in Maine

Here are the ten four-year schools that made the cut as the best traditional and online colleges in Maine, based on a detailed methodology that looked at multiple data points, including student success rates, affordability metrics and other quantifiable measures of higher education quality

Methodology
1University of Maine at Machias+
ADMISSION RATE
Open
TEST REQUIREMENTS
N/A
APPLICATION FEE
$40
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
8

The University of Maine at Machias ranked well on multiple factors and that gave the school the top spot on our list. Affordability stood out above all at this small institution near the eastern tip of the state. Average net price is a measure of the out-of-pocket cost of college that subtracts expected grant and scholarship aid from the total expense of tuition, fees, room and board, books and other necessities. University of Maine at Machias ranked No. 2 in the state for the affordability of its average net price, for both low- and middle-income students.

Students at UMM also took advantage of the flexibility of online courses at the second-highest rate of any school in the state. More than 65 percent of students enrolled at UMM in 2015-16 took at least some of their coursework via distance education. The school also offered seven of the 10 flexibility metrics we included in our methodology.

Additional Info
2University of Maine - Main Campus+
ADMISSION RATE
91%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$40
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
22

The main Orono campus of the University of Maine is the largest school in the state by enrollment, and students there have access to the largest variety of academic programs available at any school statewide. The 246 programs offered on campus at UMaine provide students with nearly 100 more options than the next-largest catalog on our list. Out of all of those programs, more bachelor's degrees were awarded in 2015 to UMaine students in psychology than in any other major.

The online degree selection at UMaine was also one of the most prodigious in the state. It took the No. 3 spot statewide in 2015-16 and includes a Bachelor of University Studies (B.U.S.) program for which online students are free to design their own degree track. UMaine also awarded students the state's No. 4 proportion of institutional grant aid as a percentage of average tuition and fees.

Additional Info
3University of Maine at Fort Kent+
ADMISSION RATE
89%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$40
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
8

Located up north by the Canadian border, the University of Maine at Fort Kent ranked very well on our flexibility metrics. In 2015, more than 60 percent of its students were enrolled in distance education programs, giving this school the No. 3 ranking in the state for that factor. In addition to offering incoming students credit for life experiences, career-bound students can also take advantage of career counseling while enrolled and job placement services after completing their degrees.

The Fort Kent location also posted strong affordability numbers, for raw as well as aid-assisted cost. Tuition and fees expenses were the fourth-most affordable in the state, and average net price for middle- and low-income students ranked No. 4 and No. 6 respectively Those favorable rankings in average net price likely contributed to the manageable median amount of college debt reported by recent graduates of the Fort Kent institution. Students who left UMaine in 2015 carried an average of $18,500 in student loan debt — good for the No. 1 ranking in that category statewide.

Additional Info
4University of Southern Maine+
ADMISSION RATE
88%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$40
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
11

The second-largest academic catalog in Maine can be found at the University of Southern Maine, fittingly the second-largest school on our list. Students at the Portland school had more than 150 degree programs to choose from in 2015-16. Those seeking an online bachelor's degree in Maine can choose from the state's fifth-largest selection of distance education study plans at USM, including programs in business administration, social science and communications.

On-campus flexibility initiatives also helped push USM into the No. 4 spot overall. It was the only school in our top ten to feature degree programs that could be earned entirely in the evening or on weekends, and students may be able to earn course credit for life experience that applies to their degree plan or the general education core.

Additional Info
5University of Maine at Presque Isle+
ADMISSION RATE
77%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Recommended
APPLICATION FEE
$40
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
3

The University of Maine at Presque Isle features Maine's lowest raw cost of tuition and fees, and average net price amounts for both low- and middle-income students were more affordable here than at all but two other schools in the state. The small upstate school also posted the No. 6 graduation rate among schools on our list.

UMPI students also had access to the school's Personalized Learning initiative, which is designed to allow students to work at their own pace and partake in career preparation activities like résumé development and job interview skills practice. Personalized Learning students aims to empower students to play an active role in their education and allows them to attend class on campus, online or both in the course of their programs.

Additional Info
6University of Maine at Augusta+
ADMISSION RATE
Open
TEST REQUIREMENTS
N/A
APPLICATION FEE
$40
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
24

This medium-sized institution about 60 miles north of Portland was one of the top destinations for online bachelor's degree programs in Maine, according to the NCES. The University of Maine at Augusta took the No. 1 spot in the state for the size of its distance education catalog, which includes programs in computer information systems, library science, cybersecurity and several concentrations of business administration.

Affordability rankings also stood out at UMA. Its tuition and fees expenses were second-lowest in the state in 2015-16, and the average net price paid by middle- and low-income students came in at No. 1 and No. 4, respectively. UMA also features an open admissions policy, which means that applicants can be granted admission regardless of past academic performance or standardized test scores.

Additional Info
7University of Maine at Farmington+
ADMISSION RATE
83%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
N/A
APPLICATION FEE
N/A
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
0

The University of Maine at Farmington, located in a culturally active community, put up respectable numbers nearly across the board on our rankings, giving it the No. 7 spot on our list. The University of Maine at Farmington took the No. 6 spot for tuition and fees affordability, the No. 7 spot for cost of books and supplies and the No. 5 and No. 7 rankings, respectively, for the average net price it charged middle- and low-income students.

UMF landed at No. 7 among schools on our list for its percentage of graduates who paid their student loans off within three years and ranked No. 6 in the state for its graduation and retention rates. It tied for the sixth-largest selection of on-campus degrees in the state and placed seventh for its percentage of students enrolled in online courses. According to the NCES, in 2015 the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology was the most-awarded bachelor's program at the school.

Additional Info
8Colby College+
ADMISSION RATE
23%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
N/A
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
0

This small liberal arts college located between Augusta and Bangor featured a graduation rate high enough to take the No. 1 spot in Maine, but that's not all. Colby College students graduated at a rate that landed just outside the 99th percentile among all 1,649 national colleges and universities in our analysis. The percentage of first-year students who returned for their sophomore study at Colby was also impressively high, coming in at No. 2 in the state.

Colby covered the state's largest percentage of tuition and fees with grant aid at the institutional level and featured the fifth-lowest average net price for low-income students. The median student debt of graduates was under $20,000 in 2015, and more than 90 percent of alumni managed to pay off their loan balances within three years of graduation.

Additional Info
9Bowdoin College+
ADMISSION RATE
15%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
N/A
APPLICATION FEE
$60
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
0

Bowdoin College, a liberal arts and science school chartered in 1794, put up very similar numbers to its counterpart one spot higher in our rankings. The Brunswick school furnished students with the statewide second-highest percentage of institutional grant aid and posted the No. 1 most affordable average net price for low-income students. Bowdoin alum ni also enjoyed the top three-year student loan repayment rate of any school in the state — 94 percent in 2015.

Student success metrics were also hotspots for Bowdoin, according to 2015-16 data. Given the school's 9:1 student-faculty ratio, it's not surprising that its retention and graduation rates placed at No. 1 and No. 2 in the state, respectively, and both landed in the 98th percentile nationwide.

Additional Info
10College of the Atlantic+
ADMISSION RATE
76%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
N/A
APPLICATION FEE
$50
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
0

This tiny island institution off of Maine's southeastern coast had fewer than 350 students on its rolls in 2015, which suggests that those looking for individualized attention from advisors and professors are likely to find it here. Undergraduate study at College of the Atlantic is fairly unorthodox, in that their Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in human ecology is the only named plan in the catalog and students have the freedom to design their own curriculum from the school's list of course offerings.

COA students graduated at the No. 3 rate in Maine and received the third-highest percentage of institutional grant aid in the state. The median student debt of graduates was $19,000 in 2015, good for the No. 2 ranking statewide, and no other school on our list charged students less for books and supplies.

Additional Info

Most Popular Degree Programs in Maine

Every academic year, there are some degree programs chosen by greater numbers of students than others. Check out the most popular university study plans in Maine, according to recent NCES data.

In-Demand Careers in Maine

Knowing what career fields might be most in need of qualified applicants once you're done with your degree can help you aim your education toward an up-and-coming career. Here are a few of the careers that recent employment projections suggest are the hottest jobs available for Maine residents.

Career Title Projected Job Growth Total Employment Annual Salary
Biomedical Engineers55.9%40$76,730
Statisticians28.4%100$102,940
Operations Research Analysts25.3%330$72,600
Nurse Practitioners24.9%1,130$99,140
Cartographers and Photogrammetrists21.6%60$59,450
Forensic Science Technicians19.6%50$45,400
Physical Therapist Assistants19.6%250$49,800
Interpreters and Translators19.4%150$51,570
Physician Assistants19.2%800$104,520
Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Directors19.2%110$52,280
Personal Financial Advisors18.6%410$142,200
Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians18.6%190$61,180
Biochemists and Biophysicists18.3%230$70,800
Atmospheric and Space Scientists18.3%70$75,070
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers18.3%190$70,690
Orthotists and Prosthetists17.1%-$78,140
Web Developers17%300$63,950
Physical Therapists16.7%1,390$75,280
Physical Therapist Aides16.4%90$28,920
Software Developers, Applications16%1,630$85,440
Computer Systems Analysts15.8%1,720$81,220
Funeral Service Managers15.6%50$90,190
Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs15.4%820$25,400
Software Developers, Systems Software15.3%310$88,460
Septic Tank Servicers and Sewer Pipe Cleaners15%200$35,160
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists14.8%260$78,530
Occupational Therapy Assistants14.6%150$48,060
Home Health Aides14.4%2,890$24,690
Occupational Therapists14.2%910$64,620
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists14.1%750$68,830
Source: 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Financial Aid and Scholarships in Maine

The State of Maine makes certain financial assistance programs available exclusively to its residents. Once such program, the Alfond Leaders, provides student debt reduction assistance for Maine residents working in designated science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations. Also, the State of Maine Grant Program awards need-based grants to undergraduate students at eligible Maine institutions.

 
Moody's Mega Math Challenge
Applicant must be a high school junior or senior who is part of a team working to solve an open-ended, applied math-modeling problem focused on a real-word issue in 14 hours. Teams must be comprised of three to five students.
More

AWARD AMOUNT

$20,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

February 17

 

 

 
Provost Scholarship
Applicant must be an out-of-state resident with a minimum 3.75 GPA and minimum combined SAT Reasoning score of 1400 (composite ACT score of 32).
More

AWARD AMOUNT

$20,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

November 15 (Early Action admissions deadline)

RENEWAL CRITERIA

Renewable if recipient maintains a minimum 3.25 GPA and full-time status.

 
Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship Fund
Applicants must be U.S. residents or resident aliens who are permanent residents of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island or Vermont. They must be enrolled in a demanding undergraduate course of study pursuing their first degrees. A GPA of 3.0 or higher is required. Applicants must demonstrate citizenship, character, serious-mindedness and financial need.
More

AWARD AMOUNT

$18,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

May 1

 

 

 
President's Non-Resident Scholarship
Applicant must be an incoming freshman student who is not a resident of Utah. Applicant is automatically considered with application for admission.
More

AWARD AMOUNT

$17,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

Not Available

RENEWAL CRITERIA

Renewable if recipient maintains a minimum 3.6 GPA.

Additional Resources

Article Sources
Methodology

To get our list of the best colleges, we ranked 1,649 4-year colleges and universities in the U.S. Each school was scored on a 100-point scale, using the most recent data available from government sources. Our data points include:

  • The in-state tuition and fees for full-time undergraduates, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • The estimated cost of books and supplies, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • The average net price for students receiving Title IV grant and scholarship aid, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014-15
  • The average net price for low-income students receiving Title IV grant and scholarship aid, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014-15
  • The average amount of institutional grant aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduate students as a percentage of in-state tuition and fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014-15
  • Median debt of graduates, College Scorecard, 2014-15
  • 3-year student loan repayment rate of graduates, College Scorecard, 2014-15
  • No. of degree and certificate programs offered, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • No. of degree and certificate programs offered via distance education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Percent of students enrolled in any distance education classes, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Average retention rate for full-time and part-time students, National Center for Education Statistics, Fall 2015-16
  • Graduation rate within six years, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Flexibility and student services, based on whether the school offers the following services, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
    • Dual credit
    • Credit for life experience
    • Advanced Placement credit
    • Programs of study that can be completed entirely on weekends or in the evening
    • Remedial services
    • Academic and career counseling
    • Job placement services for graduates
    • Guaranteed tuition plan
    • Tuition payment plan
    • Any other alternative tuition plan
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College of the Atlantic
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
105 Eden Street
City
Bar Harbor
State
ME
Zip Code
04609
Website
www.coa.edu
Test Scores
N/A
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Remote
School Type
Private not-for-profit
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
338
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$50
Admission Rate
76%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$42,084
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
160959
Number of Online Programs Offered
0
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
N/A
Bowdoin College
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
255 Maine Street
City
Brunswick
State
ME
Zip Code
04011
Website
www.bowdoin.edu/
Test Scores
N/A
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Fringe
School Type
Private not-for-profit
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
1,799
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$60
Admission Rate
15%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$48,212
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
161004
Number of Online Programs Offered
0
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
N/A
Colby College
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
4000 Mayflower Hill Drive
City
Waterville
State
ME
Zip Code
04901
Website
www.colby.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
630-720
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
640-740
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
630-730
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
29-32
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Remote
School Type
Private not-for-profit
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
1,857
UnderGraduate Application Fee
N/A
Admission Rate
23%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$49,120
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
161086
Number of Online Programs Offered
0
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
N/A
University of Maine at Augusta
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
46 University Dr
City
Augusta
State
ME
Zip Code
04330
Website
www.uma.edu/
Test Scores
N/A
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Distant
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
4,683
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$40
Admission Rate
Open
Offers On-Campus Housing
No
In-State Tution & Fees
$7,448
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
161217
Number of Online Programs Offered
24
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
69%
University of Maine at Farmington
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
224 Main St.
City
Farmington
State
ME
Zip Code
04938
Website
www.umf.maine.edu
Test Scores
N/A
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Remote
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
1,795
UnderGraduate Application Fee
N/A
Admission Rate
83%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$9,217
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
161226
Number of Online Programs Offered
0
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
3%
University of Maine at Fort Kent
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
23 University Drive
City
Fort Kent
State
ME
Zip Code
04743
Website
www.umfk.maine.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
400-480
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
400-500
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
380-480
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
15-19
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Rural: Remote
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
1,559
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$40
Admission Rate
89%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$7,575
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
161235
Number of Online Programs Offered
8
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
61%
University of Maine at Machias
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
116 O'Brien Ave
City
Machias
State
ME
Zip Code
04654
Website
machias.edu
Test Scores
N/A
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Rural: Remote
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
786
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$40
Admission Rate
Open
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$7,480
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
161244
Number of Online Programs Offered
8
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
65%
University of Maine
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
168 College Avenue
City
Orono
State
ME
Zip Code
04469
Website
www.umaine.edu/
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
480-600
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
480-610
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
460-578
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
21-28
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Suburb: Small
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
9,297
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$40
Admission Rate
91%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$10,610
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
161253
Number of Online Programs Offered
22
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
29%
University of Maine at Presque Isle
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
181 Main St
City
Presque Isle
State
ME
Zip Code
04769
Website
www.umpi.edu/
Test Scores
Recommended
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Rural: Fringe
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
1,289
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$40
Admission Rate
77%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$7,300
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
161341
Number of Online Programs Offered
3
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
53%
University of Southern Maine
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
96 Falmouth St
City
Portland
State
ME
Zip Code
04103
Website
www.usm.maine.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
420-550
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
440-550
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
430-540
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
19-25
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Small
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
6,126
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$40
Admission Rate
88%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$7,796
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
161554
Number of Online Programs Offered
11
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
36%
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