Strong enrollment projections, Governor’s supplemental budget proposal create an opportunity for University of Maine System to provide in-state students a traditional college experience without a tuition increase.
Orono, Maine — The Finance, Facilities and Technology Committee of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees approved a resolution at its June 14 meeting recommending that the full Board adopt an FY22 budget that would hold in-state tuition rates flat for students of the University of Maine System. The proposed budget would help keep the costs of higher education down for Maine students and families impacted by and working to move past the COVID-19 pandemic.
If adopted later this month, the $578 million spending plan will be the seventh UMS budget in the last ten years to hold tuition rates flat for Maine students, steadily reducing the cost of tuition as a percentage of Maine per capita income since 2013. The Board will consider final approval of the budget on June 25.
In May, Chancellor Dannel Malloy and Trustees delayed passage of an earlier budget proposal that would have included a 2.4 percent inflation-based increase to tuition rates for all students. The delay gave university leaders an opportunity to consider the financial impacts of strong May 1 first-year and transfer deposit activity and a proposal from Governor Mills after the FFT Committee’s May 5th meeting to increase the state UMS appropriation by 3 percent in FY22 and FY23.
“This past year of the COVID-19 Pandemic has exacerbated the economic realities of Mainers living paycheck-to-paycheck. For those already on thin ice, attaining their higher education goals may feel less realistic because of the severe economic consequences of covid,” said Irene Neal a UMFK nursing student and the UMS Student Trustee.
“I have been inspired by how so many people within the university community have come together to continue the mission of providing higher education to tens-of-thousands of students in our State,” continued Neal. “Holding tuition flat for in-state students will strengthen pathways for our Maine residents to a life-changing degree.”
“Our students experience Maine at universities that prioritize student safety and success and deliver a world-class education,” said Chancellor Malloy. “With strong support from Governor Mills and legislators and more first-year, out-of-state students expected at each of our universities, we can provide a more affordable return to normalcy for our Maine students.”
The average, full-time tuition for Maine students attending University of Maine System universities would be $8,572 for the upcoming academic year. Please follow this link for a media briefing document on affordability and proposed tuition rates and student charges as approved by the FFT Committee on June 14.
About the University of Maine System
Established in 1968, the University of Maine System (UMS) unites six distinctive public universities, comprising 10 campuses and numerous centers, in the common purpose of providing quality higher education while delivering on its traditional tripartite mission of teaching, research, and public service.
In 2020 UMS became the first and only statewide enterprise of public higher education in the country to transition to a unified accreditation for the system. Much different than a merger or consolidation, unified accreditation is a new operating model for the University of Maine System that removes the primary barrier to inter-institutional collaboration.
A comprehensive public institution of higher education, UMS serves more than 30,000 students annually and is supported by the efforts of more than 2,000 full-time and part-time faculty, more than 3,000 regular full-time and part-time staff, and a complement of part-time temporary (adjunct) faculty.
Reaching more than 500,000 people annually through educational and cultural offerings, the University of Maine System also benefits from more than two-thirds of its alumni population residing within the state; more than 123,000 individuals.
The System consists of seven main campuses: The University of Maine (UMaine), including its regional campus the University of Maine at Machias (UMM); the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA); the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF); the University of Maine at Fort Kent (UMFK), the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI); and the University of Southern Maine (USM). The System also includes a UMA campus in Bangor, USM campuses in Gorham and Lewiston-Auburn, the University of Maine School of Law, and the University of Maine Graduate and Professional Center.