Online Colleges in Maine
While Maine is sparsely populated and doesn’t have as many schools to choose from as most other states, it still has a lot to offer.
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.
Not only do these schools offer renowned academic programs, impressive graduation and retention rates and attractive financial aid incentives, but they also offer online degree programs, a hallmark of higher education in Maine.
Overview of Higher Education in Maine
Maine is home to 31 degree-granting institutions, according to a 2015-2016 report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NES). Of the 31, 15 are public, 13 are private non-profit and 3 are private for-profit.
To attend one of Maine’s 4-year institutions, Collegeboard.org reports that residents will pay an average of $9690 in tuition and fees. Out of state students will pay closer to $25,750.
Non-residents from other New England states have access to Maine’s online programs at reduced tuition, thanks to the state’s partnership with the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE). Maine residents are also able to enroll in programs at schools in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Altogether, NEBHE has more than 800 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to choose from.
About 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.
According to a 2012 report by the NCES, 13.4% of postsecondary students in Maine were enrolled in online courses exclusively. Another 13.1% 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 College. University College provides access to more than 400 University of Maine courses taught on-site, via interactive television, through 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. University College 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, criminal justice, education and health administration. Another private college in Maine, Husson University, offers online degree programs in business, healthcare and technology.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Maine
Before enrolling at a college or university in Maine, you should first till 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:
- The State of Maine Grant Program – Need-based aid; Up to $1500 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 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.
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:
|The Maureen D. Keller Undergraduate Scholarship||High school senior or college freshman; Intend to major in biological or earth sciences; Must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher||
|The Richard H. Pierce Memorial Scholarship||Need and merit based; Renewable if earning 12 credits per semester and maintaining GPA of 2.5 or higher||
$5000 per year
|The Russ Casey / Maine Restaurant Associates Scholarship Fund||Must be pursuing culinary arts or restaurant, hotel or hospitality management||
|Nell Goff Scholarship||Open to juniors, seniors or graduate students majoring in horticulture, floriculture, landscape design, conservation, forestry, botany, agronomy, plant pathology, environmental control, city planning and/or other gardening related fields; Priority to resident of the St. Croix District||
|Mainely Character Scholarship||High School senior; Based on character assessment||
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
|Online Colleges in Maine||Location||Annual Tuition||Accreditation||Application Fee|
|University of Maine – Augusta||Augusta, Maine||$7,448||Regional||$40|
|University of New England||Biddeford, Maine||$35,630||Regional||$40|
|University of Maine – Fort Kent||Fort Kent, Maine||$7,575||Regional||$40|
|University of Maine – Machias||Machias, Maine||$7,530||Regional||$40|
|University of Maine||Orono, Maine||$10,628||Regional||$40|
|Saint Joseph’s College of Maine||Standish, Maine||$33,600||Regional||$0|
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.