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Online Colleges in Maine

Most Affordable Online Colleges
Article Sources

Sources:

  1. American Factfinder, U.S. Census Bureau, accessed November 2015, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml? src=CF
  2. Central Maine Medical Center College of Nursing and Health Professions, http://www.usnews.com/education/community-colleges/central-maine-medical- center-college-of-nursing-and-health-professions-CC01162
  3. Civilian labor force and unemployment by state and metropolitan area, Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed November 2015, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/metro.t01.htm
  4. Evening and Online Courses, Eastern Maine Community College, http://www.emcc.edu/enrollment-center/evening-online-courses/
  5. Maine: Things to Do, http://visitmaine.com/places-to-go/the-kennebec-valley/augusta/
  6. May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Maine, Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed November 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_me.htm
  7. Online Degree Programs, Areas of Study, Saint Joseph's College, https://www.sjcme.edu/academics/areas_of_study/online/
  8. Online Degree Programs, Kennebec Valley Community College, http://www.kvcc.me.edu/Pages/Off-Campus-Programs/Programs-Offered-Online
  9. Online Degree Programs, Southern New Hampshire University, http://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/certificates
  10. Online Degree Programs, York County Community College, http://www.yccc.edu/online-learning/online-degree-programs/
  11. Online Learning, Central Maine Community College, http://cmconnect.cmcc.edu/ICS/Students/Course_Info_and_Registration.jnz? portlet=Course_Schedules&screen=Advanced+Course+Search&screenType=next
  12. Programs of Study, Washington County Community College, http://www.wccc.me.edu/academics/programs/programs-study/
  13. Regional Accrediting Organizations 2016-2017, Council for Higher Education Accreditation, accessed January 2017, http://www.chea.org/Directories/regional.asp
  14. Things to do in Portland - A Visitor's Guide, Maine Today, http://mainetoday.com/maine-travel/things-to-do-in-portland-maine-visitors-guide- tourist/
  15. University College, University of Maine system, http://learn.maine.edu/programs/
  16. USM Online, University of Southern Maine, https://usm.maine.edu/online/degrees-certificates#undergraduate
  17. Visit Greater Bangor Maine, http://www.visitbangormaine.com/index.php?id=339&sub_id=282
  18. Finance Authority of Maine - Educators for Maine Program, Accessed April 2017, http://www.famemaine.com/maine_grants_loans/educators-for-maine- program/
  19. Finance Authority of Maine - Maine Dental Education Loan Program, Accessed April 2017, http://www.famemaine.com/maine_grants_loans/maine-dental-education- loan-program/
  20. Finance Authority of Maine - Paying for College, Accessed April 2017, http://www.famemaine.com/education/topics/paying-for-college/
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Lakes, rivers and mountains dot the landscape of Maine, where pleasant living is sure to await anyone who enjoys the brilliant colors of fall foliage or the sweetness of maple tapped fresh from the trees. Maine has many nicknames, including the Border State, Vacationland and Switzerland of America. Two Canadian provinces are located nearby, offering ease of travel to the country's Northern neighbors.

In addition to ease of travel, Maine takes pride in its ease of obtaining education. In many cases, students interested in education in Maine can attend the state's public and private institutions from anywhere in the country by utilizing online programs. All together, the state boasts seven public universities, seven public community colleges and more than 15 private institutions, and quite a few of them offer varied online degree programs. Many online degrees and programs at Maine schools are career-based in fields such as nursing, information technology or allied health.

High school students in the state may be particularly interested in Maine's online education. That's because the Maine Department of Higher Education launched an initiative to let them start pursuing college credit in high school so that they can complete an associate degree within a year of high school graduation. The Maine Office of Adult Education also recently adopted the College and Career Reading Standards created by the U.S. Department of Education. This occurred to ensure a better connection between postsecondary education and workforce careers.

Best Online Colleges in Maine

What follows is a list of what we judge to be the 10 best online colleges in Maine, compiled using 2015-16 data from the National Center for Education Statistics. This list offers details about the types of online programs available at schools, benefits available to online learners and the typical cost of in-state tuition. Details about the methodology used in creating this list are at the bottom of the page.

1

Kaplan University - Maine Campus

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$11,250
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
86.92%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
54
School Type
4-year

Ranked first on our list of best online colleges in Maine, Kaplan University offers associate, bachelor and master's degrees through distance learning. Education, nursing technology and even fire science degrees can be completed entirely online at this university. The opportunities do not stop with these complete degree programs, however. Qualified students may be able to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree through distance education. The university also offers more than 10 degree programs specifically with military students in mind.

Most classes at Kaplan University feature two components: an online classroom and a live seminar. Discussions, reading assignments and quizzes take place through the online classroom, while the live seminars are interactive and typically occur once a week. Additionally, the university's academic resource center provides students with access to one-on-one tutoring, writing workshops and video guides. Education at Kaplan University is not just for those fresh out of high school. More than 60 percent of students in online programs at Kaplan University are age 30 or above.

2

University of Maine

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$10,610
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
28.80%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
22
School Type
4-year

At the University of Maine, in Orono, advisors can answer questions for prospective students considering specific online degrees and programs at the school. The university's online offerings allow students to "Be a Black Bear" from any place they are located, whether they pursue online undergraduate or graduate degrees. Online programs featured at the University of Maine include a Master of Science in spatial informatics; a Master of Business Administration; and a 12-credit certificate in instructional design. Minors and certificates are available online, too.

The university offers more than 500 courses online to include its winter and summer sessions. Online students will find support through the UMaine Online portal. This portal provides access to student services, including the academic calendar, the bookstore, financial aid, the library and the tutoring center. Additional technology support for online students includes access to the Blackboard learning platform, Adobe Connect and tutorials for online learning.

3

Saint Joseph's College of Maine

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$32,620
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
56.95%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
23
School Type
4-year

Saint Joseph's College of Maine, in Standish, founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy, has approximately 2,500 students who are enrolled in online programs. In all, more than 70 programs of various degree levels are offered online. The school features several majors, minors and certificate programs that use distance learning, but that also are 100 percent online. Accounting, business administration, marketing, psychology and social work are all disciplines for which online learning is an option. Additionally, the college offers several theology programs online, including in theological studies, Catholic theology and pastoral ministry.

Prospective students to the college can find opportunities for online tutoring, personal advising, IT help and more, and also have online access to the bookstore, library and the Brightspace learning portal. Online students are assigned a personal advisor to help them understand administrative policies, program requirements and course content.

4

University of Maine at Augusta

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$7,448
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
68.61%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
24
School Type
4-year

Fourth on our list of best online colleges in Maine, the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) offers online courses and degrees, but also distance learning through video conferencing and interactive television. Associate, bachelor's, post-baccalaureate and certificate programs are available through distance education. The most popular online disciplines at UMA Online include business administration, computer information systems, information and library science, and justice studies. Students also can complete minors online in fields like addiction studies, computer information systems, music, web applications and more.

The university offers a plethora of individual classes online through learning platforms such as Blackboard, FirstClass or WebCT. For some classes, students may need to head to one of the university's 25 different physical locations to participate in interactive television or take an exam. The university also regularly features community forums at its Augusta campus, addressing topics such as discrimination and the state's economy.

5

Kennebec Valley Community College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$3,385
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
38.08%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
5
School Type
2-year

Students looking for the best online colleges in Maine may want to consider the programs offered through Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC), in Fairfield. Students can start off by taking the school's online learning quiz to determine whether the format is right for them and then watch videos about Blackboard, the learning platform used for online and hybrid coursework. Currently, four programs at the school are available online while many other programs, in fields like business administration, health information technology and radiologic technology, include online courses.

Video tutorials are available to help students learn to navigate Blackboard while the MyKV student Portal can be used to make payments, view a history of completed courses or to read messages from the school's president. Additionally, online students can use the KVCC library to search journal databases, find films on demand and search through nursing references. Students who need to complete homework or assignments can always head into campus to use one of the college's open computer labs.

6

University of Maine at Machias

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$7,480
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
65.39%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
8
School Type
4-year

Known as Maine's Coastal University, the University of Maine at Machias (UMM) offers online degrees and programs to students who are looking for additional learning options, like completing a degree on their own time. The school launched as a teacher's college in 1909, but now offers online degrees in fields as varied as psychology and community studies and business and entrepreneurial studies. These two degrees give students the choice to pick a concentration as well. Certificates are also available online in human resource management, marketing and entrepreneurship.

Former students who live out-of-state, but who once attended UMM can benefit from the offer of in-state tuition to finish a degree program online. This is available through UMM's special program called "Mainers in Exile." Although UMM students might not ever set a foot on campus, they can still tout the fact that they are part of a school that is known as the Eastern-most university in the nation.

7

The University of New England

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$34,760
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
47.59%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
12
School Type
4-year

At the University of New England (UNE), in Biddeford, students can complete professional degrees entirely online with no on-campus attendance required. These include graduate-level degrees in disciplines like applied nutrition, education, health informatics, public health and social work. Students also can take individual science prerequisite courses online for some degree programs. More than a dozen of these undergraduate prerequisite science courses are offered online in areas like biology, chemistry, nutrition and physiology.

Before starting any program, students take an online orientation. Course delivery is offered through the Blackboard learning system, and students have support through the school's academic specialists and academic success center. All of the graduate level programs at the University are offered through the UNE Online Worldwide Learning (OWL). Students can check out the UNE Online blog to find out more about what is happening at the school, particularly in online education.

8

University of Maine at Fort Kent

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$7,575
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
61.26%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
8
School Type
4-year

The University of Maine at Fort Kent (UMFK) is eighth on our list of best online colleges in Maine. Students interested in online education at the university can pursue associate degrees in fields like accounting, criminal justice and emergency management. The university may even be the only school in the nation to offer an online associate degree program in conservation law enforcement. A handful of online bachelor's programs are also available, such as cyber-security, computer applications-information security and rural public safety administration. In addition to fully online options, some courses may feature blended learning or interactive television.

Students at UMFK have many options for earning credit, and not just through online coursework. The university's Early College Maine Aspirations program offers high school students the opportunity to complete dual credits for high school electives and for college coursework through online courses. Students also may be able to earn credit for prior learning, including for work experience, certifications or particular licensures.

9

Northern Maine Community College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$3,376
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
8.06%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
N/A
School Type
2-year

At Northern Maine Community College (NMCC), in Presque Isle, students can take online courses that meet the same academic standards as on-campus courses. NMCC Online offers access to online learning using a student portal, where students can find their coursework; use shortcuts to email and Microsoft Office 365 online; learn how to complete online homework or tests; and more. Students can even order their textbooks and materials online and have them shipped directly to their home.

Numerous programs are available to high school students interested in attending NMCC. These include a Dual Enrollment program, Early College for ME, and On Course for College. Transfer students, international students and veterans are also encouraged to apply to NMCC; students at this two-year school range in age from 15 to 66, with the average age being 25.

10

Washington County Community College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$3,630
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
20.75%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
N/A
School Type
2-year

Tenth on our list of best online colleges in Maine, Washington County Community College (WCCC), in Calais, offers online coursework accessible through its MyWCCC portal. To help students gain an understanding of the fundamentals of eLearning, a workshop is offered on campus. The workshop is not required, but highly recommended.

This community college offers 20 different areas of study in total, with online courses available in several of these programs. Students can search for online courses using the school's online search tool. Many of the college's certificate, diploma and associate degree programs are available in high-demand technical or career fields. Areas of study include medical assisting, plumbing technology, power sport equipment, entrepreneurship and even adventure recreation and tourism.

Affordable Online Colleges in Maine

If you're looking for the most affordable colleges offering distance education from Maine, you've come to the right place. Here we list some of the most affordable institutions in the state, using their in-state tuition as reported to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

On the other hand, if you'd like to see online colleges of Maine ranked by different criteria, our Top Colleges Tool is available to do just that.

Affordable Two-Year Online Colleges in Maine

College NameTuition & Fees/Year
Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Distance Education Participation
Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Number of Online Programs Offered
Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics..
School Type
Kennebec Valley Community College$3,38538.08%52-year
York County Community College$3,48043.63%32-year
Central Maine Community College$3,75022.12%12-year
Eastern Maine Community College$3,81018.85%12-year

Affordable Four-Year Online Colleges in Maine

College NameTuition & Fees/Year
Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Distance Education Participation
Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Number of Online Programs Offered
Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics..
School Type
University of Maine at Presque Isle$7,30053.22%34-year
University of Maine at Augusta$7,44868.61%244-year
University of Maine at Machias$7,48065.39%84-year
University of Maine at Fort Kent$7,57561.26%84-year
University of Southern Maine$7,79636.09%114-year

Financial Aid in Maine

Maine Loans

The state of Maine offers several student loans to its residents, each of which is provided by the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME). These loans are available primarily for students pursuing degrees in the fields of education and healthcare. You should always look into scholarships and grants before pursuing state, federal, or private loans since scholarship and grant money is "gift aid" that does not need to be repaid. Should you decide to seek federal financial assistance for your degree, keep in mind that you will need to fill out the FAFSA with details about your family's financial situation in order to qualify.

This forgivable loan program is for Maine residents studying in the education or child care fields. Loans are granted based on merit, with eligible candidates earning at least a 3.0 GPA. Students must also intend to work in Maine after graduation.

  • Application deadline:  May 1, 2017
  • Award amount:  Up to $3,000 per year ($12,000 total) for undergraduates
Maine residents may be eligible for this forgivable loan program if they are studying to become a dentist and intend to work in Maine after graduation. However, to receive loan forgiveness, primary dental care must be practiced full-time in an under-served area of the state.

  • Application deadline:  May 30, 2017
  • Award amount:  Up to $20,000 per year ($80,000 total)

Find out more about the process of applying for student loans and what types of loans are available in the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.

Additional Resources for Financial Aid in Maine

  • FAME - Paying for College provides information for Maine students on all of the different ways they can obtain financial assistance for their education.

Featured Cities In Maine

Data for the charts on these featured metropolitan areas is sourced from the 2015 American Community Survey (census.gov).

Portland-South Portland, ME Metro Area

Total Population

520,893

Median salary for high school grads

$28,395

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$45,413

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

27.6%

Median rent

$932

Fun Facts

There are a couple of must-sees when visiting Portland, Maine. One is the Old Port district of downtown Portland, where cobblestone streets are lined with great restaurants, bars and brew pubs. The second attraction is the L.L. Bean flagship store in Freeport, Maine, which has created a vibrant outlet shopping experience for the entire town.

Bangor, ME Metro Area

Total Population

153,437

Median salary for high school grads

$25,562

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$40,952

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

41.2%

Median rent

$734

Fun Facts

Bangor, in addition to being one of the favorite haunts of author Stephen King, is just a short drive from the magnificent Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor on the Maine Coast. The University of Maine is just a short drive away in Orono.

 
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