ORONO (NEWS CENTER Maine) – Students and families across the University of Maine System will have to shell out a little more next academic year after trustees approved a 2.9-percent tuition hike.
It is the second increase in two years after a six-year tuition freeze. Trustees passed a $551.6 million budget Monday for all seven schools across the university system.
Those in support of the increase say the slight hike is necessary to account for inflation and improve infrastructure across the campuses.
The funds will also help invest in programs with growing demand. The University System said it has seen a record number of applicants to its nursing program—something they are hopeful will eventually help address a shortage in qualified nurses in Maine.
The biggest reason for the increase is an effort to raise the amount financial aid as much as $7.5 million for students. Officials told NEWS CENTER Maine that almost 50 cents on every dollar of the increase will go to provide more aid.
Every campus will be affected differently. At the flagship campus in Orono, tuition and fees will total $17,986 a year for in-state students and nearly $38,000 for those from out-of-state.
System officials still boast of the fact that Maine’s schools beat out most of the state universities across New England when it comes to affordability.