Online Colleges in Maine

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Though Maine doesn’t have as many schools to choose from as some states, what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality!

Online Colleges in Maine

Maine has both public and private schools recognized in the US News and World Reports rankings. 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.

Overview of Higher Education in Maine

Student who goes to college online in Maine

Maine is home to 31 degree-granting institutions, according to a 2018-2019 report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Of the 31, 17 are public, 13 are private non-profit and 1 is private for-profit. US News and World Reports’ “Regional College North” rankings include Maine Maritime Academy, University of Maine – Farmington, Unity College, and University of Maine – Presque Isle, all of which rank in the top 30.

The state also boasts a number of top liberal arts schools. US News and World Reports included Bowdoin College, Colby College, and Bates College in the top 25 National Liberal Arts Colleges. To attend one of Maine’s 4-year institutions, the NCES reports that residents will pay an average of $9,930 in tuition and fees. Out of state students will pay closer to $27,735. Both rates are very close to the national averages.

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Residents whose chosen major is not available at a Maine school are invited to enroll in programs at schools in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont at a significantly reduced rate, thanks to the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) and its Regional Student Program (RSP). In the 2019-2020 school year alone more than 9200 New England residents have saved an estimated $63.5 million in tuition because of the RSP.

About Online Colleges in Maine

Student taking online college degree 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 NCES in 2018 showed that 18.5% of postsecondary students in Maine were enrolled in online college courses exclusively. Another 16.9% of students were participating in a hybrid of online and on-campus courses. Today, nearly all of Maine’s postsecondary schools offer some sort of online learning option.

One of Maine’s most impressive resources for online students is the University of Maine system. This system is the state’s largest educational enterprise, and ties together seven universities—some with multiple campuses—located across the state, as well as a law school, an additional 31-course sites, and Cooperative Extension.

Students can access more than 100 degrees and programs taught on-site, via interactive television, videoconferencing, and through online instruction.  Students are able to access a variety of courses not available at their primary institutions, at low or no additional cost. The University of Main system also offers support services such as counseling, scholarship support, job placement, and internship opportunities.

The private schools in Maine also offer online degree programs. Private Catholic liberal arts college Saint Joseph’s University offers online certificate, undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degree programs in fields such as accounting, business, education, and health administration.

Another private college in Maine, Husson University, offers a range of online undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business, healthcare, legal studies, liberal studies, psychology, and technology.

Scholarships and Financial Aid in Maine

Scholarships and Financial Aid in Maine

Before enrolling at a college or university in Maine, you should first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which will give you access to federal, state, and private financial aid.

The FAFSA should be filled out as early as possible. It is available every year starting on October 1st and many funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The application will require you to answer questions about your finances and the finances of your parents (unless you’re considered “independent”). This information will help determine how much and what type of financial aid you receive.

The ideal forms of financial aid are grants and scholarships since these do not have to be repaid. In Maine, the Financial Authority of Maine (FAME) administers the state’s college savings plans, loans, grant, and scholarship programs, and 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 $1500 per year
  • The Main State Grant Program for Adult Learners – Need-based aid for adult learners; Up to $1,500 per year
  • 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, fire fighters 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 and veterinary sciences, and more.

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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:

Scholarship Name Scholarship amount
Mainely Character Scholarship Varies each year
Nell Goff Scholarship $1000
The Maureen D. Keller Undergraduate Scholarship $1000
The Richard H. Pierce Memorial Scholarship $5000 per year

Opportunities like these can be found on scholarship search sites such as Fastweb.com, where you can enter basic information about yourself and be matched with dozens of scholarships.

Also, be sure to 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

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

Husson University

Husson University’s online programs aim to provide online students with the same quality of education as their on-campus counterparts.

All these programs are entirely online, and there are undergraduate and graduate degree options available. 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

Maine College of Art and Design

Maine College of Art & Design offers online courses for students seeking to start a new degree program or continuing 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. 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

Maine Maritime Academy

Students at the Maine Maritime Academy can choose between two online master’s degree programs: an MS in International Logistics Management or an MS in Maritime Management. All courses are completely online and asynchronous. There are several start dates 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

Saint Josephs College of Maine

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine offers online degree programs for busy students. All students in the program 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.

Thomas College

Thomas College

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

Unity College

Unity College strives to give its online students an immersive experience, including extended reality technology.

The school has 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.

University of Maine

Univesity of Maine

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.

University of Maine – Augusta

University of Maine Augusta

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.

University of Maine – Farmington

University of Maine Farmington

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.

University of Maine – Fort Kent

University of Maine Fort Kent

The University of Maine—Fort Kent offers a limited number of degree and degree completion programs online. UMFK allows students to transfer in qualifying credits from other accredited institutions. The school’s 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.

University of Maine – Machias

University of Maine Machias

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.

University of Maine – Presque Isle

University of Maine Presque Isle

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.

University of New England

University of New England

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.

University of Southern Maine

University of Southern Maine

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.

Conclusion

Students from one of the colleges in Maine

The state of Maine is full of top-ranking colleges and universities. And 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.

You can also view our Online Colleges in Louisiana and Online Colleges in Maryland guides for more options.

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Elizabeth Abner
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.