Accredited Degree Programs, Scholarships and Resources for Top Schools
In recent years, Maine has offered many incentives for people to move to and attend school in its state, such as the Live and Work in Maine program that reimburses visitors their vacation costs if they move there. For those who want to earn a college degree, Maine offers many higher education options, from its coastal towns to big cities and rural areas near the Canadian border. The best online universities in Maine will offer a variety of degree programs, flexibility and employment services to help fuel the state’s growing labor demands. Learn about these colleges and universities, and how choosing an online program in Maine can be the gateway to career success.
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Top Best Online Colleges in Maine 2020
|#1||Saint Joseph's College of Maine Standish, ME|
|#2||University of New England Biddeford, ME|
|#3||University of Maine at Fort Kent Fort Kent, ME|
|#4||University of Maine Orono, ME|
|#5||University of Southern Maine Portland, ME|
|#6||University of Maine at Presque Isle Presque Isle, ME|
|#7||University of Maine at Machias Machias, ME|
|#8||University of Maine at Augusta Augusta, ME|
Best Online Colleges in Maine 2020
State incentives encourage individuals to join the burgeoning workforce in Maine. For example, the Live and Work in Maine program reimburses visitors their vacation costs if they move to Maine. For college students, Maine offers many higher education options in coastal towns, big cities, and rural areas near the Canadian border.
The best online schools and colleges in Maine offer a variety of degree programs, flexible scheduling options, and career services. This guide provides information about schools in the state and how choosing an online program in Maine can lead to professional success.
2- Year Colleges
4- Year Colleges
With dozens of 100 percent online programs available, St. Joseph's College of Maine is a leader in distance learning. Programs range from associate degrees to graduate and post-graduate study; depending upon the program, start dates might be monthly or term-based. Registered nurses can opt for dual degrees, including the MSN/MHA and the MSN/MBA. Personalized services, such as online tutoring and academic advisors, help ensure students make the most of their online experience. Students will complete one course at a time through the Brightspace learning portal.
Online students at University of New England can pursue their master's, doctoral or graduate certificate without ever setting foot in the classroom. Master's programs in education, public health, nutrition, health informatics and social work are available, as well as a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and the unique Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study, which allows students to tailor their own certificate to meet their career goals in education. Most master's programs can be completed in as little as two years, while the doctorate takes three years to finish, including dissertation.
With 12 online degrees and two certificate programs available entirely online, University of Maine at Fort Kent provides flexible options for busy students. Whether choosing an associate, bachelor's or certificate program, students can take advantage of recommended course sequencing to help ensure they complete their degree as quickly as possible. While completing courses on the Blackboard learning platform, students can take advantage of a wealth of services through UMFK, including technical support and library resources.
The well-established online branch of University of Maine, UMaineOnline, is home to undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. Online graduate options are especially robust, with programs in a range of fields such as education, social work and business administration, and more available at the certificate, master's and PhD levels. Blackboard allows students to engage in chat discussions, video learning and asynchronous or synchronous classroom time, while MaineStreet allows for easy access to financial and academic records. Regardless of program format, student services are available, including library resources, writing tutoring, tech assistance, advising and self-guided help modules.
University of Southern Maine offers numerous online degrees and certificates for both undergraduate and graduate students, including programs in business, education, humanities and communication. Depending on the program, students can opt for synchronous or asynchronous options, as well as spring, fall or summer start dates. Generous transfer credit options open doors for military students, as well as those with prior learning or life experience. An online professional academic advisor, as well as a faculty advisor, will help ensure online students stay on track for graduation.
University of Maine at Presque Isle offers the tailored experience students expect from a small school. With online degrees available in English, history and psychology, as well as numerous online courses to complement the on-campus experience, UMPI students can expect the same rigorous education they would find in a campus-based program. Students will use the Blackboard learning platform and have access to robust student services, such as the library, advising and special Student Support Services for those who qualify.
Students seeking undergraduate degrees or certificates online through University of Maine at Machias can choose from several options: bachelor's programs in psychology and community studies, business and entrepreneurial studies and "make your own" college studies are available, as well as numerous certificate programs. Students will use Blackboard to conduct their online learning. Those who were previously UMM students and now live out-of-state can opt for the "Mainers in Exile" tuition, which allows them to complete their UMM degree online at in-state rates.
With robust online degree offerings, University of Maine at Augusta is poised to help students attain a brighter future. Among the most popular options include programs in justice studies, computer information systems, information and library science, and business administration. With options spanning from associate to master's degrees, UMA Online offers a rigorous educational experience through the use of Blackboard, WebCT and FirstClass platforms, through which students learn the same material as their on-campus counterparts.
How Can I Find Which Online Colleges Offer the Degree I'm Looking for in Maine?
Maine institutions offer many online options, and sorting through them can be intimidating. Maine.gov maintains a list of schools in the state that offer online programs. Additionally, you can click the icon below to learn about online schools and colleges in Maine.Search All Accredited Schools in Maine
How Much More Do College Grads in Maine Make?
Earning a college degree can help individuals significantly increase their income. The state Department of Labor projects growth throughout the state in fields such as nursing, management, accounting, and education through 2026. These fields require skilled candidates with advanced degrees. As the table below illustrates, higher education tends to lead to increased earning potential nationwide.
|Less Than a High School Diploma||High School Diploma||Associate Degree|
|Bachelor's Degree||Master's Degree||Doctoral Degree|
Paying for Online College in Maine: Tuition and Financial Aid
The average tuition for in-state students at public schools in Maine costs about $600 per year more than the national average, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The University of Maine offers some of the state's most affordable four-year programs. Private schools often cost more than public institutions, and the average tuition for private schools in Maine is more than $6,000 per year higher than the national average.
Students at any of Maine's higher education institutions can benefit from public and private grants, scholarships, and tuition discounts. The tables below compare the average costs of tuition at Maine institutions to the national averages.
|In-State Tuition||Out-of-State Tuition||National Average|
|$9,664||$26,939||$9,037 (In-State) $25,657 (Out-of-State)|
|Tuition||Out-of-State Tuition||National Average|
Cost Considerations for Online Students in Maine
The figures above do not include the cost of room and board or online learning fees. Additionally, tuition rates and financial aid options vary by institution. Below are some cost considerations for learners attending online schools and colleges in Maine.
- Tuition Agreements
- Tuition agreements allow students in participating states throughout the New England region to access reduced tuition rates at Maine schools.
- Residency Requirements
- Many online programs require campus visits for orientation, labs, or summer programs. Students may incur costs associated with room and board and transportation.
- Specific Degree Cost
- Online tuition rates may vary based on the specific degree and major. Additionally, some programs require fees to cover the use of labs and facilities.
- Enrollment Status
- Full-time learners often pay lower tuition rates than part-time students. Additionally, part-time learning typically delays graduation and can increase the overall cost of earning a degree.
- Work-Study Programs
- Online learners may qualify for federal work-study programs, which pay students for work at their school or in their community.
Qualifying for In-State Tuition in Maine
Students must typically meet residency requirements to qualify for in-state tuition from online schools and colleges in Maine. Generally, to qualify for in-state tuition rates, students must prove that they have lived in Maine for at least one year for a purpose other than education
Spouses and domestic partners of individuals employed in Maine may also qualify for in-state tuition, along with active-duty members of the armed forces stationed in Maine. Online students should contact their school to learn about residency requirements. In some cases, distance education learners may qualify for in-state tuition rates, regardless of their residency status.
Scholarships for Maine College Students
Who Can Apply: The Maine Business and Professional Women's Club offers this scholarship to women over the age of 30. Candidates must be Maine residents attending school part time or full time.
Who Can Apply: This renewable scholarship is available to students who were in the foster care system for at least 12 months, were adopted after age 16, or were orphaned for at least one year before turning 18.
Amount: $2,500 to $5,000
Who Can Apply: Applicants must be members of the Central Maine Credit Union. Either the candidate or their family member must work, live, or attend school in Androscoggin County.
Who Can Apply: Applicants for this publicly funded scholarship must be pursuing their first baccalaureate degree. Candidates must attend a Maine institution and must have taken a gap of at least three years before returning to school.
Who Can Apply: The Maine Community Foundation awards more than 600 scholarships to qualifying Maine residents who plan to attend one of the state's accredited colleges, universities, or technical schools.
Grants for Maine College Students
Who Can Apply: Spouses and children of Maine firefighters, emergency medical service providers, and law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty can apply for this tuition waiver, which is valid at participating public institutions in Maine.
Amount: Tuition waiver
Who Can Apply: This tuition waiver grant supports learners who were in the foster care system or who were adopted. Applicants must plan to attend a public institution in Maine.
Amount: Tuition waiver
Who Can Apply: This state-funded program helps professionals in STEM fields repay student loans. Candidates must work for a Maine-based employer in a qualifying field, such as math or engineering.
Who Can Apply: Applicants for this need-based grant must attend an eligible Maine institution or participate in the New England Regional Student Program. Candidates may attend school part time or full time.
Who Can Apply: Half-time and full-time undergraduate students born on or before January 1, 1996, who attend a Maine institution can apply for this need-based grant. Applicants must have an expected family contribution below a certain amount.
The Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Maine
Accreditation refers to a voluntary process by which schools establish credibility. Many financial aid options are only available to students at accredited schools, and graduate schools typically require applicants to hold a degree from an accredited institution.
In Maine, the New England Commission of Higher Education awards regional accreditation, the most prestigious type of institutional accreditation. Maine institutions can hold several types of accreditation. Learners should ensure that they understand prospective schools' accreditation status before applying.
Most colleges and universities hold regional or national accreditation. Regional accreditation often applies to research universities, community colleges, and liberal arts colleges. Religious and vocational schools may earn national accreditation. All legitimate regional and national accrediting agencies are recognized by the Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Programs and departments can secure subject-specific accreditation. For example, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs evaluates business programs. This specialized accreditation demonstrates that a program meets industry standards and prepares learners to succeed in the field.
Accredited schools typically feature their accreditation status on their website. Learners can contact schools directly to confirm accreditation status. Additionally, students can consult the Department of Education database and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation directory. These resources list all accredited schools and programs in the United States.
Online College and Adult Education in Maine
Adult learners can pursue a variety of education options in Maine. In addition to two- and four-year programs, adult learners can complete ESL programs, job training options, and high school completion courses. The sections below include statistics and information about adult education in Maine.
By the Numbers: Adult Education in Maine
Adult Education Programs for Maine Students
- YMCA of Southern Maine
- With four branches throughout Southern Maine, this YMCA offers programs including English language education for non-native speakers. The YMCA offers free childcare during class time.
- Portland Adult Education
- This educational initiative of the Portland public school system provides English courses, job training, and high school and college classes.
- Maine Adult Education
- This organization manages adult and community-based learning programs throughout the state. Courses cover topics including literacy, business training, college transition, and personal enrichment.
Online College Resources for Maine Students
Choosing from online schools and colleges in Maine can seem overwhelming. However, resources from public and private organizations can help learners make an informed decision. The resources below provide information about accreditation, financial aid, community college options, and potential scams.
- New England Resource Center for Higher Education: This nonprofit organization offers resources for learners throughout New England, including a list of accredited colleges and universities in Maine.
- New England Board of Higher Education: This website provides information about public and private schools in New England. Students can also learn about financial aid opportunities in the region.
- University of Maine System: This state-sponsored website provides information about all of Maine's public institutions. Site visitors can review tuition costs, find information for military and veteran students, and arrange campus visits.
- Maine's Community Colleges: This resource delivers information about Maine's community colleges, including details about online programs, admission requirements, and costs. The website also provides information about workforce training.
- Maine Department of Education: The Maine Department of Education maintains several pages of information about early college opportunities, degree mills, and approved educator preparation programs. Students can also learn about state requirements for online education programs.