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The University of Southern Maine (USM) is a mid-sized institution with 6,000 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students. Located in Portland, USM students love being close to the Atlantic Ocean and only two hours driving time from Boston. They also spend their college years steeping in one of over 300 academic areas for their major, minor, or concentration. Focus areas include business, education, engineering, public policy, and STEM subjects, among many, many more. Students can also take advantage of USM's online portal and reduced tuition costs for online degree opportunities.
Overview of University of Southern Maine (USM)
When they're not studying, USM students don't stop learning and expanding their educational experiences. They can find like-minded fellows in their favorite campus organization, whether it has a social, political, or recreational focus. Students also expand their physical intelligence in the Sullivan Recreation and Fitness Complex, which provides students with opportunities to play basketball, pickleball, ultimate Frisbee, or other sports. The Sullivan center also offers weights, personal trainers, saunas, and much more. Students also love to root on the Southern Maine Huskies who compete with other NCAA teams in a variety of sports.
|Campus Setting||City: Small|
|Student Faculty Ratio||13:1|
USM Acceptance Rate and Admissions
|High School GPA||NA|
|High School Rank||Recommended|
|High School Transcripts||Required|
|College Prep Courses||Recommended|
|TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)||Required|
|Application Deadline||May 1|
|Common Application Accepted||Yes|
USM Tuition Cost & Financial Aid
The University of Southern Maine is a state-funded institution that helps state residents who wish to pursue a college degree. State residents are provided a significant discount in tuition relative to their out-of-state peers. Mainers pay only around $11,000 for a year of tuition, books, and supplies. Meanwhile, out-of-state students have a gross price tag that exceeds $25,000. While some may pause at these numbers, they only represent the gross cost, not the final tally.
Southern Maine's financial aid office can help mitigate costs for their students with generous grants and scholarships. In fact, the average net price tag for a year at USM is under $10,000, including all living costs. That figure falls to $6,000 for USM's low-income students and does not exceed $15,000 for households that earn in excess of $110,000. This makes USM a terrific value in higher education.
|Average net price||2018-2019|
|Average Total Aid||$8,671|
|Students Receiving Financial Aid||86%|
|Room & Board||$9,956|
- Tuition In-State - $9,226
- Tuition Out-of-State - $22,050
- Books and Supplies - $600
- Room & Board - $9,956
- Other - $3,000
The University of Southern Maine has some stiff competition. New England schools are known for academic excellence. While USM is well-regarded for its academics, our research team investigated the statistics to discern exactly that reputation holds up. To do so, they looked at various academic statistics, including the retention rate. This metric measures how many first-time, full-time students returned to the Portland, ME campus for a second year. Their investigation found that 64% of students came back for a second year. Given that USM is a public institution, researchers concluded that this was competitive with other public universities in the nation. They also found that the graduation rate was 34%. While that number may give some pause, our team noted that it was augmented with a 30% transfer rate. Transfer students are often highly motivated individuals who move on to more competitive schools or institutions that have specific programs they desire for their careers. Thus, USM helps upwards of 64% of its students prepare for a diploma, whether in Portland or elsewhere.
A big part of USM's success is due to its small class sizes. The average class size is only 13 students. This helps new students find success when they can easily approach their instructors.
Student Population Total
Most Popular Programs & Majors
(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)
|Health Professions and Related Programs||232 Total Graduates / 22%|
|Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse||147 Graduates|
|Allied Health Diagnostic, Intervention, and Treatment Professions, Other||66 Graduates|
|Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy||9 Graduates|
|Athletic Training/Trainer||9 Graduates|
|All Business Majors||209 Total Graduates / 19%|
|Business Administration and Management, General||88 Graduates|
|Business Administration, Management and Operations, Other||25 Graduates|
|Marketing/Marketing Management, General||25 Graduates|
|All Social Sciences Majors||157 Total Graduates / 15%|
|Social Sciences, Other||69 Graduates|
|Political Science and Government, General||30 Graduates|
|Economics, General||17 Graduates|
|Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs||57 Total Graduates / 5%|
|Speech Communication and Rhetoric||34 Graduates|
|Mass Communication/Media Studies||23 Graduates|
|All Psychology Majors||55 Total Graduates / 5%|
|All Other Diplomas||34%|
Outcome & Salary
Southern Maine's students work hard for their grades and, though their academic costs may not be as high as some, they are still likely interested to know what sort of return they might reap on their investment. While a degree does not guarantee any salary or career, our team reviewed salary information from USM's alumni.
Of the highest earning degrees, USM's mechanical engineering students fared the best with a reported median salary of $71,000. Meanwhile, the fifth-highest earning degree program was found to be marketing, whose graduates reported a median salary of $48,000. Other top earners included alumni from the nursing and accounting degree programs.
|College Grads Early Career Salary||$48,500|
|College Grads Average Salary||$65,085|
|College Grads Mid Career Salary||$79,300|
|Return on Investment (ROI)|
|10 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$650,850|
|20 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$1,443,850|
|Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year||$49,600|
|10 Year Projected ROI||$601,250|
|20 Year Projected ROI||$1,394,250|
|No College Education Salary Comparison|
|National Average Salary||$38,792|
|10 Year Projected Income||$387,920|
|20 Year Projected Income||$775,840|
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