Best Online Colleges in Maine
for 2022

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Maine is a state known for hunting, fishing, and lobster, among other things. However, it’s also a vibrant economy that is strong in manufacturing, retail trade, wholesale trade, construction, and more. When it comes to employment, education/health services leads the pack, while trade/transportation/utilities is close behind. While the latter has experienced a slight downturn in employment numbers, the former is growing its payroll. In fact, most industries in Maine are expanding their staff, with some showing double-digit growth, as in the leisure & hospitality industry.

In this positive employment atmosphere, there are lots of opportunities for workers to grow. To help in that growth and development, Maine's colleges and universities have programs that will help every worker achieve their career goals. For those who are busy working, many Maine institutions have online degree options. There are also online certificates available for those who wish to pursue professional, academic credentials while they continue to work.


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Online Higher Education in Maine


The hottest national trend in higher education is online learning, and the state of Maine is no exception. From community colleges clear through graduate degree programs, Maine students can pursue online higher education. Though some degree programs only offer a few online courses, others are online only. Every state is experiencing high rates of online learning, and Maine has nearly 40% of their student population attending college degree programs exclusively via online media. When it comes to graduate studies, over half of Maine's master’s degree students are enrolled in Maine's online only degree programs. In fact, it's increasingly rare to find students who don't take any online classes at all.

When it comes to educational costs, online education can offer some distinct benefits. Some public colleges and universities, for instance, may not charge out-of-state students a premium for tuition, though that is relatively rare. It's also not certain whether online students in Maine pay lower tuition rates or not.

The real savings may come from living expenses. Since an online student can live anywhere in Maine, they can control their costs. That is, it may cost far more to live in Bangor than in an outlying town near the Canadian border. Online students also find that it's easier to maintain their careers while pursuing a distance learning degree online. This also applies to those who would like to spend more time raising their children. They can study their online courses while the kids are napping, in school, or down for the evening. Given the wide range of degree options available online, taking extra time for school might pay off very well in the long run.

Ultimately, the best value in a Maine education comes from the state's publicly funded colleges and universities, where the average cost for tuition and fees is around $7,000. This figure doubles for out-of-state students. Meanwhile, private colleges charge over $35,000 for tuition regardless of student residency. Note that these figures may reflect gross costs and not the net price after any applicable grants and scholarships are applied.

Our School Rankings Methodology


Educational researchers strive to provide information that all students can use. Thus, our team seeks out the most objective academic and other statistics available. For instance, they first assemble a representative collection of institutions that offer online degrees and have a campus in Maine. They then look at statistics such as the retention rate, graduation rate, salary outcomes, and reputation.

The retention rate is a measure of how many first time, full-time students return for their second year. When a school reports a high retention rate, it can be assumed that the institution offers a high value in terms of curriculum, faculty, and campus resources. For the graduation rate, it's common for schools to report a much smaller percentage. However, this number is often offset by the transfer-out rate. Transfer students are often highly motivated students who are transferring to another Maine college or university that offers the particular program they desire. Thus, their original college likely gave them the preparation they need to graduate from a more competitive institution. That first college thus nurtured a college graduate.

What are the Best Online Associate & Community College Programs in Maine?


The best online community college programs in Maine offer students the opportunity to study with greater flexibility than on-campus programs. To determine which online programs are the best, it's valuable to look at the student-faculty ratio, accreditation, and how many students transfer to four-year universities to complete a bachelor’s degree.

While the student-to-faculty ratio is important, the online medium allows all students easy access to their instructors via email. However, with fewer students per course, instructors likely have more time to spend grading and otherwise interacting with individual students. This figure is considered highly important, but not as important as accreditation.

Every community college in our Maine rankings at least has a regional accreditation but our researchers look deeper to see what sorts of programmatic accreditation the schools may have, if any. Some online business degree programs may be accredited by a national agency such as AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE. Likewise, a community college's cyber security program may carry credentials as a CAE from the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Kennebec Valley Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
2,297
Graduation Rate
39%
Net Price
$7,008
Grads Salary
$31,500
York County Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
1,575
Graduation Rate
32%
Net Price
$8,730
Grads Salary
$31,800
Southern Maine Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
5,789
Graduation Rate
22%
Net Price
$10,458
Grads Salary
$35,100
Beal University
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Private for-profit
Student Population
493
Graduation Rate
63%
Net Price
$19,722
Grads Salary
$25,600

What are the Best Online Universities & College Programs in Maine?


Students choose an online college or online college degree program for a variety of reasons. One great reason to choose an online versus campus experience is location. A student may find the very best degree program for them but learn that it's too far away or in a city that has a very high cost of living. They can then stay in their town and complete their college degree online. It's also a great option for working students or those who have other obligations. The flexibility of distance learning means that students can still take care of their family and work obligations.

University of Maine
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
11,741
Graduation Rate
56%
Net Price
$16,365
Grads Salary
$70,000
Saint Joseph's College of Maine
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
1,967
Graduation Rate
59%
Net Price
$27,979
Grads Salary
$75,000
Husson University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
3,473
Graduation Rate
58%
Net Price
$19,342
Grads Salary
$63,000
University of Maine at Fort Kent
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
1,624
Graduation Rate
39%
Net Price
$12,162
Grads Salary
$67,000
University of New England
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
7,208
Graduation Rate
61%
Net Price
$36,474
Grads Salary
$69,000
University of Maine at Presque Isle
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
1,467
Graduation Rate
31%
Net Price
$10,442
Grads Salary
$60,000
University of Maine at Machias
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
NA
Graduation Rate
NA
Net Price
NA
Grads Salary
$56,000
University of Maine at Augusta
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
4,202
Graduation Rate
19%
Net Price
$10,670
Grads Salary
$59,000
Unity College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
931
Graduation Rate
47%
Net Price
$27,070
Grads Salary
$49,000

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