13.9 Percent Out-Of-State Enrollment Growth At Universities
Maine Public University System attracts 5,727 students to Maine as part of the
university’s strategic response to Maine’s workforce and demographic challenges
ORONO, MAINE — Out-of-state enrollment at the University of Maine System for the Fall of 2017 grew 13.9 percent according to student headcount figures in the Fall 2017 Enrollment Report presented at the November 20, 2017 University of Maine System Board of Trustees meeting (page 185). The 590 additional students brings total out-of-state enrollment to 4,846 for the fall semester. Combined with students enrolled under the New England Regional Student Program in which qualifying students from outside of Maine pay 150 percent of the in-state tuition rate, there are 5,727 out-of-state and international students attending Maine’s public universities this Fall.
The increase in out-of-state and NEBHE enrollment to 5,727 increases the number of students who are bringing their talent and energy to Maine, the state with the oldest median age in the country. Non-resident enrollment has increased 36 percent over the last five years and accounts for 20 percent of the 28,997 total Maine public university enrollment.
The Fall 2017 Enrollment Report also reports a 2.5 percent increase in first-time students entering Maine’s public universities and a 2 percent increase in credit hours delivered at a distance, reflecting the work being done at Maine’s public universities to expand access to academic programming and services to all Maine communities.
Maine’s demography is creating challenges in communities and industries across the state as a wave of Mainers approach retirement. There is a projected decline of 100,000 people in Maine’s prime working-age population over the next 15 years and two-thirds of new employment opportunities will require a postsecondary credential.
Among the trends impacting the state’s demographics is a continuing decline in the number of students graduating Maine’s high schools. Increasing out-of-state enrollments brings additional tuition revenue to Maine’s universities and entices new students to Maine as part of the university’s strategic response to the state’s workforce challenges.
“The strength of our programs and commitment to affordability are creating competitive advantages for our universities that are attracting more students to our aging state,” said James H. Page, Chancellor of the University of Maine System. “Overcoming losses in the size of the Maine workforce and addressing the skill and credential needs of Maine’s employers are a critical priority for our public universities. Attracting new talent and energy to Maine aligns with our efforts to expand opportunities for traditional-aged and adult Maine students and create stronger connections to Maine careers for all of our students.”
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NOVEMBER 2017 BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING
12 Percent Growth in National Guard Assistance Program and 1,267 Veterans or dependents attending Maine’s Public Universities: The University of Maine System has received national recognition for the military-friendly culture on its campuses and is increasingly working as One University to recruit Veterans and provide seamless supports to help them transition successfully from servicemember to student to the workforce.
The System proudly serves 102 members of the Maine National Guard attending in the Fall of 2017 on a full tuition waiver, a 12% increase over last year. In addition, 1,267 Veterans or dependents of Veterans using their parent’s educational benefits currently attend Maine’s public universities.
Board Approves World Language Program at UMF to Address Teacher Shortage: The University of Maine at Farmington (UMF), with one course contribution from the University of
Maine, has developed World Language Education programs in Spanish and French (K-12) to address a teacher shortage in Maine schools. UMF’s development of World Language Education programs in Spanish and French will provide an opportunity for students interested in teaching languages in K-12 classrooms to become certified in these content areas and help fill the needs of K-12. At this time, few institutions Maine offer a program leading to the language certification.
“Command of a foreign language is an essential skill for Maine students in a global economy,” said Kathryn A. Foster, President of the University of Maine at Farmington. “This exciting new program will prepare language teachers for service in elementary, middle, and high schools, at once educating Maine’s youth and addressing a critical shortage in K-12 language teachers.”
The World Language Program will launch at UMF in the Fall of 2018.
University of Southern Maine running $3.5 Million ahead of budget: Powered by out-of-state credit hour growth that is 16.7 percent ahead of expectations, vacancy savings, and cost reductions, USM has balanced its budget while investing more than $3 million in institutional financial aid programs that help address individual family need. USM is now projecting positive operating results of $78 thousand as compared to a budgeted deficit of $3.4 million that was projected at July 1, 2017 start of the current fiscal year. See Page 170.
“With five consecutive semesters of enrollment growth, the University of Southern Maine is creating new opportunities for student and stronger pathways into the Maine workforce,” said Glenn Cummings, President of the University of Southern Maine. “Given Maine’s demographic challenges we are pleased with the results of our work to bring new out-of-state talent and energy to our institution and state.”