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Online Colleges in Maine

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Maine only has a handful of colleges, but most of the schools in the state provide students with some form of online education. Public and private schools alike offer full degrees entirely online, including the University of Maine, the state’s largest school and flagship campus. Students throughout the New England region can take advantage of Maine’s online offerings through the state’s partnership with the New England Board of Higher Education. As part of the partnership, New England students outside of Maine can qualify for reduced tuition for Maine’s online programs.

But before we dive into our list of best online schools in Maine for 2016, let’s start with the state of higher education and online education in particular in Maine today.


A Brief Overview of Higher Education in Maine

In 2013, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that Maine had 32 degree-granting institutions, broken down as follows: 15 public schools, 15 nonprofits and 2 for-profits. The total number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the ’12-’13 school year at these schools was: 4,251 at public schools, 3,042 at private nonprofits and 42 at private for-profits.

Tuition-wise, the College Board found that, in the ’15-’16 school year, the average in-state tuition and fees for four-year public schools was $9,570, while the out-of-state average was $24,940.

As for the state’s financial aid efforts, the National Association of State Student Grant & Aid Programs (NASSGAP) reported that Maine awarded $12 million in need-based grants for the ’13-’14 school year. Grants make up 4.4% of the state’s total fiscal support for higher education. Over the same period, Maine was responsible for $842,000 in loan assumption/forgiveness and awarded out an additional $1.19 million in conditional grants. While local and state educational grants fell nationally between 2009-2012, Maine managed to increase grant spending per student by nearly 5%.

Maine’s higher education options are highly sought after, which explains their somewhat high out-of-state rates. Yet, it’s refreshing to see just how committed the state is to providing aid, via grants and loan forgiveness, to its students.


The State of Online Higher Education in Maine

The NCES estimates that at least 13.4% of students enrolled in Maine’s Title IV institutions are in fully online programs. Of those, 65.3% were reported to be undergraduates and 62.2% were found to be living in Maine.

University College is the state’s consortium for online learning. The system is made up of seven universities and dozens upon dozens of online courses offered at the various institutions each semester, meaning students enrolled at one institution, as a distance student or otherwise, have the opportunity to choose from a variety of courses not found at their primary institution, with little or no additional expenses. In addition, University College has a remarkable number of services in support of distance student’s experience, including counselors, scholarship support, online learning prep/orientation and job placement or internship opportunities.


Best Online Colleges in Maine

Below you will find our rankings of the best online four-year programs in Maine. Our profiles look at how schools approach online education and then list out their services for distance students and their popular, fully online degrees. After reviewing our best of Maine, explore our state resources, like a database of every college and university in Maine or our index of popular in-state scholarships.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Methodology

To determine the best online colleges in each state, we examined the factors most important to prospective students: Academic quality and reputation, online program strength, and cost and student aid. At the most basic level, we use the following formula to determine the best online colleges: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. Of course, there's more to these calculations than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about the process we use to rank schools.

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University of Maine at Fort Kent

1
University of Maine at Fort Kent
Fort Kent
$7,575
$17,535

An Online Education at University of Maine at Fort Kent

The University of Maine at Fort Kent provides distance learning opportunities like certificate programs and associate and bachelor's degrees. UMFK's online programs can be completed either entirely online or as part of a blended online/on-campus program. Online courses are powered by third party educational software developer Blackboard. Courses are offered on a semester based calendar combined with mini sessions of 4-6 weeks.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Accounting A.A. or B.S.
  • Arts and Sciences B.A.
  • Criminal Justice A.A.
  • Healthcare Administration B.S.
  • Nursing RN-BSN

In addition to UMFK's extensive course offerings for undergraduates, they also offer five certificate programs that include: emergency management and homeland security, healthcare management and information security.

The University is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CHIE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Business programs receive accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. Nursing is accredited by the Maine State Board of Nursing.

Contact Information

23 University Drive
Fort Kent, ME 04743-1292
(207) 834-7500


Acclaim for online programs

  • #37on U.S. News and World Report's Best Regional Colleges (North)
  • #13on U.S. News and World Report's Top Public Schools
  • #12on U.S. News and World Report's Best Colleges for Veterans

University of Maine

1
University of Maine
Orono
$10,600
$27,970

An Online Education at University of Maine

UMaine Online is the University of Maine’s online campus. The school uses FirstClass to facilitate online communication and for students to access lessons and assignments for class. Maine also uses Adobe Connect as a web conferencing platform for meetings, eLearning and webinars. Most online courses at UM are delivered through the Blackboard learning management system.

UMaine Online gives distance learners access to all digital campus services, including advising, the bookstore, library resources and more. Students can also interact with university professionals and watch technology orientations through various webinars. A Tips for Online Success guide and an online practice source are available to online students as well.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
  • Bachelor of University Studies

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Social Work
  • Master of Education in Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (Maine Studies or Peace and Reconciliation Studies)
  • Master of Science in Information Systems
  • Professional Science Masters in Bioinformatics
  • Professional Science Masters in Engineering and Business

Contact Information

168 College Avenue
Orono, ME 04469
(207) 581-1110

Saint Joseph's College of Maine

3
Saint Joseph's College of Maine
Standish
$30,990

An Online Education at Saint Joseph's College of Maine

Saint Joseph's College of Maine offers online education opportunities that include associate through master's programs, across 10 discipline. All of Saint Joseph's online courses can be completed entirely online. Each is powered by the ANGEL learning portal. Courses are offered year round and start each month, affording students the ability to completely control the timing of their education.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Criminal Justice A.S.
  • Business Administration B.S.
  • Health Administration B.S.
  • Master of Science in Education
  • Theological Studies B.A.

In addition to SJC's undergraduate and graduate programs, the school offers undergraduate and graduatelevel certificates and continuing education and professional development opportunities. Certificate programs include Catholic theology, healthcare management and long-term care administration. Professional development and CPE courses range from accounting to education.

Saint Joseph's is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. SJC also maintains more than 30 professional educational memberships, with ties to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Council of College and Military Educators and University Professional and Continuing Education Association.

Contact Information

278 Whites Bridge Rd
Standish, ME 04084-5236
(207) 892-6766


Acclaim for online programs

  • #295on U.S. News and World Report's Nursing programs

University of Maine at Machias

4
University of Maine at Machias
Machias
$7,490
$19,370

An Online Education at University of Maine at Machias

The University of Maine Machias online program is comprised of bachelor's degrees and certificate programs that are conducted fully online. Students can choose from more than 70 online courses in a typical semester. Online coursework at UMM is completed through the Blackboard platform. Students are afforded the flexibility to complete assignments, tests and other coursework on a schedule of their own choosing thanks to the asynchronous format offered by UMM.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Psychology and Community Studies B.A.
  • Business and Entrepreneurial Studies B.S.
  • Bachelor of College Studies B.C.S.

UMM's online course offerings also include certificate programs, including special education teacher certification and a certificate in human resources management.

University of Maine Machias is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CHIE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Contact Information

116 O'Brien Ave
Machias, ME 04654-1397
(207) 255-1200


Acclaim for online programs

  • #204on U.S. News and World Report's High School Counselors

University of Southern Maine

5
University of Southern Maine
Portland
$8,920
$21,280

An Online Education at University of Southern Maine

The University of Southern Maine has developed a group of fully online education opportunities that include certificates and undergraduate and graduate degrees. Online courses at USM can be taken on a year round basis, affording students great flexibility in scheduling. The university's programs are all delivered through the third party education portal Blackboard. All USM online courses are offered on a semester based academic calendar, which includes mini sessions of 4-6 weeks. Class availability may vary from session to session.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Applied Technical Leadership B.S.
  • Communication B.A.
  • Liberal Studies B.A.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Adult and Higher Education M.S.
  • Special Education M.S.

USM's undergraduate and graduate programs are supplemented by certificate programs, like gerontology, creative leadership and global strategy and leadership studies. Certificate programs are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The University of Southern Maine is fully accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CHIE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Contact Information

96 Falmouth St
Portland, ME 04103
(207) 780-4141


Acclaim for online programs

  • #157on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs

Husson University

5
Husson University
Bangor
$15,130

An Online Education at Husson University

Husson University delivers its online courses through the Canvas learning management system. Through Canvas, students have access to assignments, messages, quizzes, discussion boards, web conferencing and other features. The program also allows students to integrate multimedia into assignments and collaborative forums. Canvas is accessible from any computer or mobile device with a compatible browser.

Courses are offered in a flexible format, allowing students to study alongside other priorities while completing their degree. Distance learners can also access Husson's databases, digital library, video tutorials and other academic resources.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Software Development
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Business in Administration (Healthcare or Organizational Management)

Contact Information

1 College Circle
Bangor, ME 04401-2999
(207) 941-7000

University of Maine at Augusta

7
University of Maine at Augusta
Augusta
$7,500
$16,740

An Online Education at University of Maine at Augusta

The University of Maine at Augusta's online distance learning programs are designed to allow students to complete their coursework remotely. UMA's programs include more than two dozen certificates and bachelor's degrees, totaling to over 100 individual courses. Online and hybrid courses are completed using Blackboard, a platform specifically developed to serve as a robust online learning environment. All courses are asynchronous, meaning students can create schedules that accommodate them best.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Applied Science B.S.
  • Computer Information Systems B.S.
  • Public Administration B.S.
  • Dental Hygiene B.S.

UMA also offers students a number of minors to choose from; addiction studies, geriatric human services and psychology. The university's certificate programs include secondary education, child and youth practitioners and human services.

The University of Maine at Augusta is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CHIE).

Contact Information

46 University Dr
Augusta, ME 04330-9410
(207) 621-3000


Acclaim for online programs

  • #40on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs

University of Maine at Presque Isle

8
University of Maine at Presque Isle
Presque Isle
$7,300
$17,260

An Online Education at University of Maine at Presque Isle

In addition to an extensive network of campuses and in-person degrees, the University of Maine system has a considerable selection of dedicated online programs, with the Presque Isle branch representing a particularly excellent selection of fully online undergraduate degrees. In support of these programs, students enrolled at Presque Isle also have access to electives and core courses conducted online by other branches of the U of Maine system, all of which can be quickly assessed via the excellent Learn.Maine.edu site.

MaineStreet, the school's platform for online students, is powered by Blackboard and comes equipped with everything students need to fully engage with their courses remote. The Presque Isle online platform hosts discussions, blogs, wikis, email, messenger services and is where all course tests and quizzes are conducted.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Associate Degree in Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Teacher Preparation Program
  • Bachelor's Degree in English
  • Bachelor's Degree in History
  • Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Studies
  • Bachelor's Degree in Psychology

Contact Information

181 Main St
Presque Isle, ME 04769-2888
(207) 768-9400


Most Affordable Online Colleges in Maine

Below you’ll find another list of the best online colleges in Maine, sorted by tuition rate.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Methodology

Our list of the most affordable online colleges is based on in-state yearly tuition, or annual tuition rates if a school does not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state students. Tuition rates are based on a full course load each semester or term. All colleges on the list offer at least one bachelor's degree completion program available entirely online. Those institutions with the lowest tuition are ranked highest, providing prospective students with a true list of the most affordable online colleges in their state.

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University of Maine at Machias

1
University of Maine at Machias
Machias
$7,490
$19,370

University of Maine at Augusta

2
University of Maine at Augusta
Augusta
$7,500
$16,740

University of Maine at Fort Kent

3
University of Maine at Fort Kent
Fort Kent
$7,575
$17,535

University of Southern Maine

4
University of Southern Maine
Portland
$8,920
$21,280

Saint Joseph's College of Maine

5
Saint Joseph's College of Maine
Standish
$30,990


Scholarships and Financial Aid in Maine

Bowman Travel Grant

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $2,000 See Scholarship

The Bowman Travel Grant is administered by the Council on International Educational Exchange. It is intended to help students who wish to study abroad in Africa, Asia Pacific, the Caribbean, or Latin America. Selection is based on applicants’ personal statement, financial need, economic profile and EFC. Award is up to $2,000.

Dean’s Scholar Award

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $4,000 See Scholarship

The Dean’s Scholarship is available to incoming freshmen at the University of Maine. A GPA of 3.0+ and SAT score of 1200+ or ACT of 26+ is required. Award amount is $16,000 for Maine residents or $40,000 for out-of-state students.

Maine Legislature Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $1,000 See Scholarship

The Maine Legislative Memorial Scholarship is a one-time award of $1,000 given to one student from each Maine county (16) each year. Applicants must demonstrate academic excellence, contributions to community, and financial need.

Maine Metal Products Association Scholarship

Deadline: April 11, 2016
Scholarship Amount $1,000 See Scholarship

Maine Education Services provides $1,000 scholarships to Maine students who have an outstanding academic record and will attend an in-state higher education institution to study a metal working trade. For a list of approved majors, see the scholarship webpage.

Maine State Chamber of Commerce Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $1,500 See Scholarship

The Maine State Chamber of Commerce scholarship is available to Maine high school seniors who will attend a higher education institution the upcoming Fall. Preference is given to students seeking a degree in Business or Education. Applicants must demonstrate financial need.m

Mainely Character Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $5,000 See Scholarship

The Mainely Character Scholarship Fund seeks to reward Maine students who demonstrate a commitment to character, integrity, responsibility, and concern for others. To be eligible, applicants must be entering a postsecondary institution in the upcoming Fall semester.

Top Scholar Award

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Full tuition See Scholarship

This full tuition scholarship is awarded to incoming freshmen at the University of Maine who rank number one or two in their graduating high school class. Applicants must be residents of Maine.


Higher Education Resources in Maine