Maine Online Colleges & Universities – Top Online Schools for 2016

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Best Online Colleges in Maine for 2015

Distance learning was once an alternative to campus-based education in the form of correspondence schools, but today online education has been embraced by traditional brick-and-mortar universities and colleges. Maine’s private and public online schools offer diverse undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs, as well as continuing education courses. Some institutions stand above the others based on sustained academic excellence and a support network providing student services for distance learners. The following innovators made the list of the Best Online Colleges in Maine for 2015.

RANK COLLEGE Tuition And Fees Enrollment Accredited MORE INFO
1 University of Maine at Presque Isle$7,3002,068YES
University of Maine at Presque Isle offers a versatile online psychology program with coursework in social psychology, cognitive psychology, lifespan, personality development, research methods, behavior and psychological assessment. The program requires 1
2 University of Maine at Augusta$7,4486,656YES
University of Maine at Augusta, also known as UMA, offers online certificate and degree programs in business administration, justice studies, computer information systems, library services and other fields. Like other online colleges in Main, many of UMA's programs be completed entirely online, while other require minimal on-campus attendance.
3 University of Maine at Machias$7,4801,367YES
Online learning at the University of Maine at Machias provides students with a rich learning experience as they work to gain a bachelor’s degree in program areas such as psychology and community studies or business and entrepreneurial studies. The Bachelor of College Studies Program offers online learners a unique option to create a specialized degree program designed for them, by them.
4 University of Maine at Fort Kent$7,5751,769YES
The University of Maine at Fort Kent offers an array of opportunities for online course study. The distance learning program contains areas of study which range from healthcare administration and nursing to broad reaching degrees like general studies or university studies. Online certificate programs are also offered by the university in major occupational areas such as special education teaching and emergency management.
5 University of Southern Maine$7,7769,255YES
University of Southern Maine offers a wide variety of degree programs through USM Online. USM Online students can choose from six online undergraduate degrees, one online undergraduate minor, three online undergraduate certificates, three online graduate degrees and two online graduate certificates. USM Online offers a free demo course for prospective students.
6 University of Maine$10,59410,069YES
UMaine Online, a divisions of the University of Maine, is one of many online colleges in Maine offering a variety of degree programs that can be completed entirely online. UMaine Online currently offers nine graduate degree programs, and 13 graduate certificate programs and more than 300 undergraduate courses every year.
7 Husson University$14,5402,807YES
Husson University is one of the online colleges in Maine that offers a wide variety of business courses online. Husson University students can choose to take a mix of traditional and online courses in order to create a hybrid degree program. Prospective students can take a free virtual tour of the online campus.
8 Thomas College$22,7701,061YES
Thomas College, an option for online colleges in Maine, offers students flexibility while seeking out a college degree through online course study. Based on career-focused concentrations, Thomas College offers associate and bachelor’s degree options in a number of business-related areas ranging from business administration to human resources management, all in addition to its arts and sciences degree program.
9 Saint Joseph’s College of Maine$30,0302,246YES
Saint Joseph's College Online offers a wide variety of accredited courses and degree programs. The college is military-friendly. The online degree programs are designed to be flexible enough for students with other obligations. Students can choose from undergraduate and degree programs in accounting, business, criminal justice, nursing, education and many other fields.
10 University of New England$31,8704,753YES
University of New England is one of the many online colleges in Maine. Prospective students can take a free virtual tour of the online campus. Online programs include master's and doctoral programs in social work, physical therapy, educational leadership, education, public health and osteopathic medicine.

Search Accredited Maine Online Colleges

The Pine Tree State is home to 43 universities, colleges and career schools. Potential online students may flinch when considering the abundance of degree and certificate programs in Maine. The first step is to sort available programs by the most important criteria. The custom search tool below can help filter all the Maine online colleges and programs by cost, acceptance rate, types of degrees and other crucial factors.

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A Guide to Maine Colleges Online

In 2013, 10 four-year colleges in Maine offered online programs, with everything from the occasional class to full-length programs that culminate in a degree or professional certificate. The physical size of the state, and its location in one corner of the country, encourage distance education in Maine. With a relatively small population, Maine is home to both surprisingly sizable towns and tiny hamlets located far from the nearest university.

For online students, Maine features a variety of options, including public and private four-year universities, community and junior colleges, religious institutions and wholly online colleges. Online students still benefit from exceptional professors and tuition assistance, and can even earn identical degrees as those granted on-campus. But, with online programs in Maine, students have the convenience that comes with distance learning as well as a choice of self-paced and accelerated degree programs.

To understand the evolving educational landscape in Maine, take a look at its largest city, Portland. Its traditional campus-based institutions are complemented by a growing number of online colleges offering distance learning options to students both in and outside the city.

City in Focus: Portland’s Higher Education Scene

Portland is a coastal city in southeastern Maine, with a population approaching 70,000. It has won a host of awards for its seafood, outdoor activities and family-friendly atmosphere. The city was also named one of the Top 20 Best Small Cities for College Students by the American Institute for Economic Research.

Because of its size, Portland is home to just four colleges and universities. However, from arts to law school to liberal studies, there’s no shortage of educational opportunities in this small metropolitan area. University of Maine, which has a law school in Portland, was ranked among the top universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. It is the state’s only law school and has an enrollment of less than 300, with student access to limited class sizes and individualized attention.

Students at the University of Southern Maine (USM) in Portland see similar benefits. Listed in 2012 as one of the Best in the Northeast by The Princeton Review, the college counts nearly half of its classes as accommodating less than 20 students. USM offers more than 115 areas of study and 100 student organizations. Opportunities for continuing professional education and lifelong learning and enrichment are also available.

Online Education Opportunities in Portland

Busy professionals and those living on the outskirts of town benefit from distance learning opportunities. USM provides online degrees and certificate programs year-round. Applied technical leadership and organizational studies, communication and business administration are just a few of the fully online bachelor’s degree programs. The University of New England, recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Top Colleges in 2013, offers eight graduate certificates, nine master’s degrees and a doctorate that can be completed entirely online.

Budgeting for College Expenses in Maine

No matter what the state, college costs can be substantial. In-state residents who chose to attend college in Maine in 2012 paid an average of $13,335 per year in tuition, making Maine 35th in the nation for the cost of college tuition. Keep in mind that the tuition can vary greatly depending upon the location, school, program and student residency – those who reside outside the state are likely to pay more in tuition than in-state students do.

In addition to tuition, fees also come into play when planning finances for a college education. Fees might include everything from use of recreational facilities to parking, depending upon the school. Maine students paid an average of $14,700 per student per year in fees in 2012. When added to the average tuition, the typical student paid $15,140 per school year to attend college in the state.

Finally, there is room and board to consider, as well as other living expenses. These costs can add up quickly, so it pays to know what the cost of living is like in a particular state. Maine has a cost of living (COL) approximately 16 percent higher than the rest of the nation. The chart below lists what students can expect for the COL in various areas of the state, with the national average shown as 100 percent.

Urban Area Composite Index Housing Groceries Utilities Transportation Health Care Misc.
Portland 16.5% 43.0% 1.8% 2.9% 11.8% 9.7% 5.5%

Accreditation Standards in Maine

In order to receive financial funds from the federal government, students must attend a college that has been accredited. Those who intend to transfer credits might find that only courses from accredited schools are accepted. Students might also need a degree from an accredited college in order to be taken seriously in their future profession.

Accreditation means that the college or university has met the basic standards of education set forth by the accrediting body, proving that the education is on a par with other schools in the state, region and nation. Students curious about regional accreditation in Maine should check out the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Useful Resources for Online Students in Maine

Want to learn more about higher education in Maine? The state’s Finance Authority website has information about financial aid. Other organizations listed below cover topics like accreditation, veteran’s education benefits, scholarships, college savings plans and more.

Major Maine Educational Resources: