Advancing Tuition Strategies to Attract Resources and Talent to Maine

UMS Board acts to reduce non-resident graduate tuition for programs at USM’s Muskie School of Public Service; move follows decision to cut non-resident tuition for Maine MBA.

Orono, Maine — The Executive Committee of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve a proposal to reduce the non-resident tuition rate for graduate programs in the Muskie School of Public Service from $1,141 per credit hour to a far more competitive $695 starting in January of 2020.  The tuition cut proposal is part of an effort being led by Chancellor Malloy to strengthen the competitiveness of University of Maine System programs.

The new non-resident tuition rate of $695 per credit hour for the Muskie School Masters in Public Policy and Management and Masters in Public Health matches the established New England Board of Higher Education rate for USM’s graduate programs.  Graduate tuition at USM for Maine residents is $421 per credit hour.
Non-resident enrollment in the Muskie School is approximately 80 credit hours annually representing four full-time-equivalent students out of a total program enrollment of 136 students.  A USM analysis of the applicant pool suggests that a more regionally competitive price point will yield far more than the three additional non-resident students needed to replace the $35,690 in program revenue that would be lost by reducing tuition rates on existing students.

The Muskie School is affiliated with the University of Maine Graduate and Professional Center which brings together programs of law, business, and public policy to train the workforce of the future and to grow the Maine economy.  The new tuition rates for non-resident Muskie School students matches a move made by Trustees in October to lower the non-resident cost of a MaineMBA credit hour from $1,466 to $775.

As part of its evaluation of the MaineMBA tuition cut proposal Trustees learned that non-resident students make up just four percent of MBA enrollment this semester.   University leaders anticipate non-resident MBA enrollment making up as much as 20% of program totals within two years due to program enhancements and the reduction in non-resident tuition.  Earlier in the Fall the MaineMBA announced a 12% tuition discount for members of any Maine Chamber of Commerce.

“Our faculty gives us a leg up, but we also have to be nimble and strategic if we are going to meet Maine employer needs and grow program enrollments in a highly competitive, higher education marketplace,” said University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy.  “We are acting quickly to advance common sense initiatives that support our students and can attract new talent and resources to our aging state.”

“The cross-disciplinary programming that is at the heart of the University of Maine Graduate and Professional Center is taking shape to serve students and employers throughout Maine, but also beyond Maine,” said James Erwin, Chair of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees.  “Setting tuition rates that are aligned with the New England market is an important step toward making the workforce engagement, curriculum design, and program innovations of the Maine Center attractive to a broad range of potential learners, to ensure that the System and its universities are meeting student and state needs.”

“The national research portfolio of the Cutler Institute and the rigorous undergraduate and graduate programs of study within the Muskie School of Public Service create natural opportunities to attract more out-of-state students to our campus and our Maine communities,” said University of Southern Maine President Glenn Cummings.  “Strengthening our cooperative alignment with the MaineMBA and our competitive position in the marketplace is going to help us prepare more students for work and leadership in our state.”

Additional Background and Links
The NEBHE Resident Student Program enables New England Residents to enroll in out-of-state New England public colleges and universities at a discount.


Distributed 12/3/19