SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Students are getting ready to head back to class at Maine’s Community College System, and they will be getting a little break on their bills.
The system’s trustees voted to freeze tuition for the coming school year. More than 17,000 students attend one of the seven campuses in the system. They will continue to pay $92 per credit hour, meaning a year’s tuition for a full time student will cost less than $3,000.
The Maine Community College System vice president told NEWS CENTER the state increased its funding by $10 million over the next two years, which is allowing them to hold the line on tuition. David Daigler said it will help more people to become trained and ready to join Maine's workforce, a serious need for the state.
"So our goal is to keep our students here in Maine. Students from the Maine community colleges tend to go to work in Maine and we want to attract them, retain them and make them productive parts of the workforce," Daimler said.
Students said they appreciate not facing a tuition hike, which for many would mean borrowing through student loans. "It made me happy," said Savannah Barnes of Sabattus, who is earning her second associate's degree this year. "Because I know a lot of students like me struggle paying for school as it is, financially it can be a hassle."
Tuition is the same at all the community college campuses, though some other fees and costs can vary. Southern Maine Community College officials said a full time student pays approximately $3,800 per year in tuition and student fees. Room and board are extra.
The system did raise tuition last year. Meanwhile, the University of Maine System froze tuition at all UMS campuses for the past five years, but this year will see a tuition go up by 2.6 percent.