Online colleges in Maine allow students from anywhere in the world to attend some of the highest-ranked colleges. Though the state doesn’t have as many schools to choose from as some states, what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality.
Maine has both public and private schools that are ranked nationally and globally. These schools offer renowned academic programs, impressive graduation and retention rates, and attractive financial aid incentives.
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Most of the schools also offer rigorous online degree programs, a hallmark of higher education in Maine. Indeed, the state of Maine is packed with quality higher education options, including colleges in Augusta Maine and other locations.
Online Colleges in Maine
Whether you’re headed to college straight from high school or going back after years away, online learning can be a convenient and flexible way to earn a degree while maintaining a career, family, or other obligations.
Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) shows that approximately 32% of postsecondary students in Maine are enrolled in online college courses exclusively. About another 25% of students are participating in a hybrid of online and on-campus courses.
Today, nearly all of Maine’s postsecondary schools offer some online learning options.
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Throughout the state, students can access more than 100 degrees and programs taught on-site, via interactive television, videoconferencing, or online instruction. Many private schools in Maine offer online degree programs.
Most schools also offer support services for online students, such as counseling, scholarship support, job placement, and internship opportunities.
Common Online Degrees in Maine
There is a variety of Maine online degrees you may choose to work toward, but here are a few of the most common ones you’ll see.
- Business Administration and Management: This is a multidisciplinary degree that typically covers the fundamentals of running a business, from human resources to finance to marketing.
- Liberal Studies: This program combines a variety of subjects. Common subjects include literature, philosophy, history, and communication.
- Healthcare Administration and Management: Earning this degree can help prepare you for administrative and leadership roles in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other healthcare settings.
- Public Administration: This degree typically explores public policy, effective communication, and other necessary topics that can help prepare you for a role in public service.
- Psychology: This program explores human behavior and how to address mental challenges people face.
Other common programs at online colleges in ME include registered nursing, accounting, information technology, and human services.
Overview of Higher Education in Maine
Maine is home to 29 degree-granting institutions, according to the NCES. Of the 31, 15 are public, 13 are private non-profit and 1 is private for-profit.
The state has multiple colleges that rank among the highest in the country along with a number of top liberal arts schools.
To attend one of Maine’s 4-year institutions, the NCES reports that residents pay an average of $10,377 in tuition and fees each year. Out-of-state students pay closer to $29,061. Both rates are a bit higher than the national averages.
Residents whose chosen majors are not available at a Maine school may be invited to enroll in programs in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont at significantly reduced rates. This is thanks to the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) and its Regional Student Program (RSP).
More than 9,200 New England residents have saved an estimated $63.5 million in tuition because of the RSP.
Employment Outlook for College Graduates in Maine
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 610,600 people are employed in Maine. Some of the top industries for employment are office and administrative support, sales and related roles, transportation and material moving, and food preparation and serving.
The unemployment rate is around 2.9%. Mining and logging, finance, and leisure and hospitality are all industries that have seen an increase in their workforce.
Roles in the medical arena, such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and medical assistants, are becoming increasingly needed in Maine. Software developers and veterinary technologists and technicians may also be promising careers for job seekers.
Careers & Salaries in Maine
When choosing a major at your online college in Maine, it may be helpful to have an idea of what the most popular careers in the state are. If you are interested in any of these, it may be a strategic move to job search in a state where these roles are thriving.
There is a wide range of industries in Maine, but medical careers in particular are fast-growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a few of the fields that employ the most people in the state are office and administrative support, sales, and transportation and material moving.
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Many careers in the medical field, some of which are listed below, are some of the fastest-growing roles in the country. These include nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and speech-language pathologists.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, below are a few popular careers in Maine.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|General and Operations Managers||$86,260|
|Project Management Specialists||$81,220|
|Computer Systems Analysts||$80,890|
|Business Operations Specialists||$76,590|
|Accountants and Auditors||$72,300|
|Veterinary Technologists and Technicians||$44,050|
Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that many of these careers will grow faster than average over the next ten years.
Of course, obtaining a degree does not guarantee job placement or salary. Job availability and salaries are dependent upon a number of factors, including location, work experience, and education.
Maine Online Colleges Admissions Requirements
The admissions requirements you encounter will depend on which school and program you’re applying to, but these are some common requirements for many schools.
- High school transcripts
- SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require them)
- High school diploma
- Personal essay
Depending on which major you’re applying for, you may have to submit additional materials specific to your program. For example, applying to an undergraduate veterinary technology program may require a minimum grade from a high school science class.
ME Online Colleges Accreditation
When choosing a school for your undergraduate education in Maine, it’s important to consider regional accreditation.
When a school is accredited, it has met a series of academic quality standards from a third-party accreditation organization.
Attending a regionally accredited school may help open up job prospects after graduation because many employers consider it important. It may also help your chances of qualifying for federal financial aid because a school typically needs this status to be eligible.
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You can learn more about which schools are accredited and get more information about regional accreditation in general at the U.S. Department of Education website.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Before enrolling in college programs in Maine, you may start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which will determine your access to federal, state, and some forms of private financial aid.
The ideal forms of financial aid are typically grants and scholarships since these do not have to be repaid as long as they are used appropriately.
In Maine, the Financial Authority of Maine (FAME) administers the state’s college savings plans, loans, grants, and scholarship programs. It also oversees outreach and counseling programs to encourage young people to pursue higher education.
FAME administers the following financial aid programs exclusively for Maine residents:
- Maine State Grant Program: Need-based aid up to $1,500 per year
- The Main State Grant Program for Adult Learners: Need-based aid up to $1,500 per year for adult learners
- The Maine Tuition Waiver (Foster Care): Full tuition waiver for students who are in the foster care program, were adopted from the foster care program, or are minor wards of permanent guardians
- The Maine Tuition Waiver (Public Servant): Full tuition waiver for dependent children or spouses of police officers, firefighters, and other first responders who were killed in the line of duty
FAME handles additional grant programs for those going into specific professions, including healthcare, education, veterinary sciences, and more.
Scholarships are the other type of ideal financial aid. Many scholarships are offered based on academic merit, but they may also be awarded based on geographic location, chosen field of study, unique traits or hobbies, and so on.
Here are some of the many scholarships open to Maine residents:
- Mainely Character Scholarship: Varies each year
- Nell Goff Scholarship: $1,000
- The Maureen D. Keller Undergraduate Scholarship: $1,000
- The Richard H. Pierce Memorial Scholarship: $5,000 per year
You can also check with the financial aid office at the college you have chosen. They may be able to tell you about additional financial aid opportunities for admitted students.
Maine Online Education Resources
The following are examples of websites that can support your academic journey in Maine.
- University of Maine System: This organization offers help with school searches and information about scholarships, classes, and more.
- New England Board of Higher Education: The board’s website hosts a variety of links you can use to do research on schools in Maine and look into financial aid options.
- Maine Department of Education: This organization offers state and federal grants to qualifying students and provides resources for career advancement.
If you need assistance with your school search, these organizations may help.
How Much Does It Cost to Go to an Online College in Maine?
Your college tuition in Maine will depend on a variety of factors, including the school and program you choose and your attendance status. Private universities are also typically more expensive than public colleges.
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According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average undergraduate in-state tuition at a 4 year public university in Maine is $10,377. The out-of-state tuition for the same timeframe at a public university is, on average, $29,061, which is significantly higher.
For private universities, the average tuition is the highest at $40,349.
Tuition Breaks for Out-of-State Students
While it may be more affordable to attend college in Maine if you are an in-state student, there are ways you may be able to cut costs if you live somewhere else.
Certain states partner together to offer in-state tuition rates to their sister states, even if students live out of state.
For example, if you live in another New England state, you may qualify for the New England Regional Student Program, which offers savings in tuition for certain schools in Maine. Students may apply for this program when they apply to their chosen school.
These tuition breaks may only apply to public universities, but it’s a good idea to do your research to determine what your school offers.
What Jobs Are in Demand in Maine?
According to the Maine Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Research and Information, these jobs have some of the highest numbers of annual openings for graduates with bachelor’s or associate degrees.
- General and operations managers
- Registered nurses
- Elementary school teachers, not including special education teachers
- Accountants and auditors
Occupational therapy assistants, medical and health services managers, logisticians, and physical therapist assistants also show high percentages of increased job growth.
What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in Maine?
The salary in any given job can vary depending on your experience, skillset, company, and other factors.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many of the careers with the highest median annual salaries are in the medical field.
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Orthopedic surgeons (not including pediatric surgeons) have some of the highest average yearly wages at $231,550. Family medicine physicians are typically paid lucratively as well. This role has a median annual salary of $204,130 in Maine. Dentists are also typically paid well. They make an average yearly salary of $174,640.
Two other typically lucrative careers are judges and magistrates, which have an average annual salary of $141,400, and computer and information systems managers, with an annual median salary of $133,020.
List of Online Colleges in Maine
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Husson University’s online programs aim to provide online students with the same quality of education as their on-campus counterparts.
Husson offers undergraduate and graduate degree options that can be completed entirely online. Undergrads may complete a 4+1 to begin getting their MBA while still in an undergraduate program. The business graduate certificates offered may apply to a later MBA. Other areas of study offered include marketing and nursing.
Husson University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Maine College of Art & Design offers online courses for students seeking to start a new degree program or continue their education.
Some courses are asynchronous, while others have live video meeting components. Standard courses are 4 to 12 weeks long, but some are just a day or a few hours long. Art education is one of the areas of study offered.
Maine College of Art & Design is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Maine Maritime Academy offers two online master’s degree programs: an MS in International Logistics Management and an MS in Maritime Management.
All courses in each program are completely online and asynchronous. There are several start dates offered throughout the year, and either program can potentially be finished in just 15 months.
Maine Maritime Academy is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine offers online degree programs designed for busy students. All students are provided with a dedicated advisor. Some students may be eligible for tuition discounts.
Undergraduate courses are 10 weeks long, and five start dates are offered each year. Graduate courses are 12 weeks long, and there are four start dates offered each year. Areas of study offered include social work, Catholic health leadership, and school leadership.
Saint Joseph’s College is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education, Inc.
Students who have busy jobs, families, and prior commitments may receive an online degree through Thomas College. The school offers fully online and hybrid programs. Students may be able to receive credit for prior work experience.
The school offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in fields such as rehabilitation studies, homeland security, management, and marketing.
Thomas College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Unity College strives to give its online students an immersive experience, including extended reality technology. The school has received many accolades for its online programs. It offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees that can be earned fully online. There are several start dates offered each year.
Areas of study offered include wildlife conservation, animal science, marine science, environmental science and climate change, and adventure ecotourism.
Unity College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Maine received an R1 Carnegie Classification for research, the highest a school can get. The school offers many fully online degree programs and a few blended programs as well.
Online students may pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees. There are two to three start dates offered each year. Areas of study offered include economics and autism spectrum disorders.
The University of Maine is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Maine—Augusta has offered distance learning and online programs for over 30 years. Its goal is to help busy students earn degrees and move up in their careers.
UMA offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through its fully online programs. Fields of study offered include business administration, cybersecurity, and information and library science.
The University of Maine at Augusta is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Maine—Farmington strives to offer all students a rigorous education, including nontraditional students with busy schedules.
UMF currently offers one online degree program: an MEd in Instructional Technology. The program is fully online. Some courses in the program have synchronous components. Students must complete 33 credit hours to graduate.
The University of Maine at Farmington is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Maine—Fort Kent offers a limited number of degree and degree completion programs online. UMFK allows students to transfer qualifying credits from other accredited institutions.
The school offers six associate and bachelor’s degree online programs. Fields of study offered include allied health, business management, criminal justice, and nursing.
The University of Maine at Fort Kent is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Maine—Machias strives to provide online students with an education that is both affordable and flexible enough to fit into their busy schedules.
Online students can pursue associate or bachelor’s degrees or post-baccalaureate certificates. The school’s online programs are fully online, and some are asynchronous. Fields of study offered include business and entrepreneurial studies, education, and environmental geographic information science.
The University of Maine – Machias is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Maine—Presque Isle has several online offerings. Students can earn bachelor’s degrees in English, history, or psychology through the school’s more traditional online program.
UMPI’s YourPace program has six start dates a year. These programs allow students to complete their degrees on their own schedules. Areas of study offered include criminal justice and organizational leadership.
The University of Maine at Presque Isle is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
U.S. News & World Report named the University of New England as one of the best universities for online graduate degree programs.
The school currently offers online programs for master’s and doctorate degrees and graduate certificates. There are several start dates offered throughout the year. Areas of study offered include education, healthcare administration, and social work.
The University of New England is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Students at the University of Southern Maine have a few options for online degrees. Fully online degree programs are either synchronous or asynchronous. Blended degrees are also available. Online students pay a reduced tuition rate.
The school offers online undergraduate or graduate degree programs in fields like business analytics, creative writing, and literacy education.
The University of Southern Maine is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Getting Your Online Degree in Maine
The state of Maine is full of top-ranking colleges and universities. With excellent financial assistance programs and a plethora of online learning opportunities, it’s clear that the state is committed to helping residents continue their education.
To begin your journey, you can start researching accredited online colleges in Maine that offer the degree program you are interested in.