If you dream of studying at a beautiful campus with an inspiring outdoor setting, it can happen at one of the best universities in Maine. Aside from its picturesque scenery and overall low cost of living compared to other New England states, Maine also benefits from some of the best universities in the country.
In this guide, we’ll list the top 10 universities in Maine, with information on external college rankings, tuition fees, and programs. We’ll also offer the top 10 Maine universities ranked based on their graduation rates and overall educational quality. Plus, we’ll discuss Maine’s in-demand industries you can work for once you graduate from one of the best colleges in Maine.
What Are the Best Universities in Maine?
The best universities in Maine are Bowdoin College, Bates College, Beal University, and the University of New England. These universities are the best in Maine because they have the highest graduation rates with excellent curricula. Some other top Maine universities are the University of Maine at Farmington, Husson University, and the University of Maine.
How Many Universities Are in Maine?
There are 38 universities in Maine, plus two state training academies. According to Maine’s official government website, the state of Maine has 10 public colleges and universities, 20 private colleges, eight community college systems, and two state training institutions.
What Are the Biggest Universities in Maine?
The biggest universities in Maine are the University of New England, the University of Maine, and the University of Southern Maine, in terms of the student population. In terms of campus sizes, the University of Maine sits on 660 acres of land while Colby College is among the biggest universities in Maine at 714 acres.
Largest Maine Universities by Enrollment
- University of Maine | 11,741
- University of Southern Maine | 8,022
- University of New England | 7,208
- Southern Maine Community College | 5,789
- University of Maine at Augusta | 4,202
Maine University Rankings: What Are the Top 10 Universities in Maine?
|4||Maine Maritime Academy||Castine||72%|
|5||College of the Atlantic||Bar Harbor||67%|
|6||University of New England||Biddeford||63%|
|7||University of Maine||Orono||57%|
|8||University of Maine at Farmington||Farmington||55%|
How We Defined Maine University Rankings
Our ranking of the 10 best Maine universities is based on the graduation rates of top schools in the state, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). In coming up with our list of 10 best Maine universities, we also consulted rankings conducted by US News & World Report and Times Higher Education, which you can reference in the expanded list below.
The Best Colleges and Universities in Maine, Explained
Below is an expanded form of the list we have above of the top 10 best colleges and universities in Maine. All information below is gathered from each university’s official website and other authoritative sources, such as NCES and US News & World Report.
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Maine University Admission Requirements
The admission requirements to attend a university in Maine are a high school diploma and an acceptable GPA score. Some schools will require prospective students to submit their Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT) scores. Letters of recommendation and letters of intent may also be requested.
Admission Requirements for Universities in Maine
- Complete application form
- High school diploma with acceptable GPA
- SAT or ACT scores
- Letters of recommendation
- Letter of intent
How to Apply to Maine Universities
To apply to Maine universities, students must comply with all the documentation requirements and submit these with their application forms. Most universities process student applications online through their websites. When all requirements are submitted, students will undergo an application evaluation and an interview, and they may need to pay an application fee.
Maine Universities Admissions Process
- Fill out the application form through the university’s website.
- Choose the program you want to enroll in.
- Submit the required documents.
- Pay the necessary application fee.
- Wait a few weeks for an evaluation then attend an interview.
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Why Study in Maine?
You should study in Maine because the state has a long tradition of providing exceptional education and a good student-to-faculty ratio. It is a laid-back state with a very low crime rate, beautiful surroundings, and affordable living provisions. It is a safe and excellent place for university students to study. Below are the main reasons Maine is an ideal place to study.
Ranked Number One Safest State
A 2021 U.S. News report ranks the state of Maine as the Number One Safest State in America, primarily due to its low violent crime rank and low property crime rank. Cumberland is noted to be the safest city in Maine.
Low Cost Of Living
Although not considered the cheapest, Maine is still a relatively affordable state to live in, with the lowest average cost of living in New England. The cost of living for one person renting a home is around $1,976 per month, and $4,573 for a family of four, according to Living Cost.
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Maine has several educational institutions providing world-class education. According to the Maine Department of Education state plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), it puts efforts into evaluating its public institutions and school systems, and provides proficiency-based diplomas to evaluate the skills of its graduating students.
More Maine University Rankings: What Other Universities Are the Best in Maine?
Maine has more to offer in terms of education. Aside from the 10 universities discussed above, there are other schools in Maine that deserve a mention because, aside from the high graduation rate, they also provide high-quality education. Below are further Maine university rankings to help you identify the best school for your needs.
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Top Maine Universities by Major
The most popular majors in Maine include computer science, nursing, engineering, business, and liberal arts. Luckily, these majors are offered by the top Maine universities. Below is a list of the top Maine universities by major.
Tuition Costs for Maine Universities
The average tuition cost when you enroll in a public university in Maine is $20,458 for in-state and $28,523 for out-of-state, including your tuition cost, additional fees, and room and board, according to NCES. It’s pricier at Maine’s private universities, averaging at $54,375 for a total cost of tuition, room, and board. Below are some of the most affordable universities in Maine.
Most Affordable Universities in Maine
- University of Maine at Presque Isle | Tuition: $245/Credit. The tuition fee is $245 per credit for in-state and $392 for out-of-state at this university. It offers a five-month payment plan that is applicable every semester.
- University of Maine at Fort Kent | Tuition: $245/Credit. The tuition fee is $245 per credit for in-state and $392 for out-of-state tuition at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Eligible students can apply for financial aid, as the school offers student loans and scholarships.
- University of Maine at Augusta | Tuition: $245/Credit. The tuition fee is $245 per credit for in-state and $607 for out-of-state tuition at the University of Maine at Augusta. It offers payment plans and financial aid refunds.
- University of Southern Maine | Tuition: $288/Credit. The tuition fee at the University of Southern Maine is $288 per credit for in-state tuition and $788 for out-of-state tuition. The university offers a three-payment installment plan, scholarships, loans, graduate aide work-study, and graduate assistantships.
- Husson University | Tuition: $650/Credit. Husson University is considered the lowest-priced private university with New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) accreditation. Students can fill out a Federal Student Aid application, as the school offers grants, scholarships, and loans.
How to Pay for Your Chosen School Path
Financial Aid Options for the Best Universities in Maine
Below, you will find information on the financial aid options available to those who are planning to study at one of the best universities in Maine. Some of the financing options for Maine university students include Federal Student Aid, Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) assistance, grants, and scholarships.
Financial Aid for Maine Universities: A Summary
- Finance Authority of Maine (FAME). FAME is an independent agency that develops programs to help students in Maine finance their higher education.
- Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA is a student aid application process that the government uses to determine eligibility for educational grants, scholarships, and work-study programs.
- Grants. Maine provides grants for students who are pursuing college or a career school. When a student is awarded a grant, it does not need to be repaid.
- Scholarships. Various scholarships are available for students in Maine, including those from Maine Community Foundation, iGrad Online Scholarship, and Going Merry.
Maine University Eligibility Requirements: Who Qualifies for Financial Aid at Maine Universities?
- You should be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
- You have a high school diploma or a GED certificate.
- You must have a valid social security number.
- You must be currently enrolled in an eligible educational institution.
- You should maintain a good educational standing.
Private Maine Universities With Good Financial Aid
- Bowdoin College. Bowdoin College offers loan-free grants, ranging anywhere from $1,090 to $75,000. The types of aid available include scholarships, work-study programs, and loans.
- Bates College. Bates College requests a single fee, inclusive of tuition, board, and miscellaneous fees, to make payments easier. It provides grants and loans up to $51,099, on average.
- Colby College. Colby Aid offers grants, campus employment, and scholarships, such as the Yellow Ribbon Program and National Merit Scholarships. It also accepts supplementations through private loans, federal loans, or other scholarships.
Universities in Maine That Provide Financial Aid to Out-of-State Students
- University of Maine. The University of Maine is among the schools that are included in the Tuition Break program. It provides up to $17,520 in Regional Student Program (RSP) savings for out-of-state students.
- Maine Maritime Academy. Maine Maritime Academy is also included in Maine’s Tuition Break program. It can provide up to $9,130 in RSP savings for out-of-state students.
- University of Maine at Farmington. The University of Maine at Farmington, similarly, is included in the Tuition Break program and can give up to $5,952 RSP savings for out-of-state students.
How to Apply For Financial Aid and Scholarships for Maine State Universities
- Fill out a FAFSA form (you can request your school for this), and wait for an assessment.
- Inquire and apply for scholarships offered by your school or other organizations.
- Inquire and apply for grants offered by your school or other organizations.
- Visit the Finance Authority of Maine website and search for available financial aid.
- Inquire about student loans through banks and other financial institutions.
Demographics of Universities in Maine
Below are the demographics of universities in Maine to give you a better perspective on the cultural diversity in the area. White people are highly predominant in Maine, followed by Black people, Hispanic people, Asian people, and then other racial minorities, according to NCES.
Diversity Statistics for Universities in Maine
- White: 84.9%
- Black: 4.5%
- Hispanic: 3.6%
- Asian: 2.9%
- Pacific Islander: 0.1%
- American Indian: 0.9%
- Two or More Races: 3.1%
Maine Employment Outlook for University Students
Maine’s employment outlook for university students has been steady over the past few years. However, projections show a slight decline in the labor force in the coming years, mainly due to the higher number of people entering retirement age, compared to the number of younger people easing into the workforce.
If you want to work in Maine, Maine Department of Labor reports show that more people are getting jobs in retail, healthcare, food services, and general office administration work. Those working in management, healthcare, engineering, and computing occupations are also getting higher annual median wages compared to other labor sectors in Maine.
5 In-Demand Maine Jobs
Reports show that jobs in the healthcare services, food industry, business, and urban planning sectors are in-demand in Maine. Here’s a list of five of the most in-demand jobs in Maine with information on salary and job growth.
Is a University in Maine Right for You?
A university in Maine is right for you if you are interested in a career in the healthcare industry or in business. There are a lot of universities and colleges in Maine with a strong concentration in these areas.
Maine is also considered a very affordable place to live by New England standards, and it is ideal for college students who are living off-campus while pursuing a degree. Maine is also ranked by U.S. News as the number one safest state in America because of its very low crime rate.
If you feel that university life is not for you, there are always other learning alternatives, such as short online courses or coding bootcamps offered by these schools or other learning institutions. Many of these universities also offer fully online degree programs, such as Beal University.
How to Get Into the Best Colleges and Universities
Best Universities in Maine FAQ
The hardest colleges to get into in Maine are Bowdoin College, the University of Maine, and Colby College. Basically, if you see a university with a low acceptance rate, it means they have very strict standards in screening students and accepting them into their academic system.
According to U.S. News & World Report, Maine is ranked number 27 in overall education rankings. About 43.2 percent of its population is college-educated. The low cost of living compared to other New England states and its high standards of education makes Maine a very good prospective place to study.
No, Maine does not have an Ivy League school. However, Colby College, Bowdoin College, and Bates College have very good reputations because of their high standards of education and the establishment of pioneering institutions that serve women and minorities.
The largest university in Maine in terms of population is the University of New England. The school currently has a student population of over 13,000 and continues to attract students because of its programs and quality of education.
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