The Maine Welcome: America’s First In-State Tuition College Dream Completion Program

The Maine Welcome: America’s First In-State Tuition College Dream Completion Program

University of Maine System offers in-state tuition rates and expedited transfer to  successful U.S. college student displaced by a COVID-19-related permanent closure of a U.S. institutions of higher education 

The University of Maine System is launching an in-state tuition college dream completion program providing resident tuition status to any successful U.S. college student or law student displaced by a COVID-19-related permanent closure of a U.S. institution of higher education. The Maine Welcome is a first-of-its-kind national offer of resident tuition eligibility to help college students affordably continue on a path to a quality college or law degree.

The University of Maine System also will extend The Maine Welcome as a component of  teach-out agreements with institutions permanently ceasing operations and seeking reasonable opportunities for students to complete their programs of study.

The proposed average in-state tuition for full-time attendance at a University of Maine System institution for the upcoming academic year is $8,071 for undergraduate students and $23,190 for law school students.  The average academic year is based on fifteen credit hours per semester for two semesters.  The UMS Board of Trustees will act on the proposed tuition rates at its May meeting.

“College instability has never been a bigger threat to student success. The higher education marketplace was in the midst of a disruptive transition before a global health pandemic upended the spring semester and eliminated billions of dollars in campus revenues at colleges and universities,” said Chancellor Dannel Malloy. “Institutions serving tens of thousands of learners will unfortunately close and successful students are going to need a place to fulfill their college dreams.

“The Maine Welcome invites stranded students from all 50 states to finish with us and pay the same tuition as Maine residents at our highly affordable, high-quality public universities.”

In addition to resident tuition eligibility at Maine’s seven public universities, The Maine Welcome comes with a commitment to expedite transfer applications and provide flexibility and accommodations in considering how academic performance has been impacted by COVID-19 and institutional closures.

The UMS Board of Trustees will receive an update and review the program at its May meeting.

Attracting new talent to Maine when it is safe to do so is a critical component of Maine’s 10-year Strategic Economic Development Plan developed under the leadership of Gov. Janet Mills.  University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias President Joan Ferrini-Mundy served on the strategic work team that helped author the plan.

“Attracting 75,000 people to our state talent pool is one of the three overarching goals of Maine’s new Strategic Economic Development Plan,” said President Ferrini-Mundy. “As the state’s only public research university, UMaine has been a leader in the System’s out-of-state enrollment growth.

“We have a place here for successful students whose plans have been upended by a college closure.  Students who join us at the University of Southern Maine and our sister University of Maine System institutions will be valued and have the support they need to complete their academic programs,” said USM President Glenn Cummings.

Maine and its public universities have been national leaders in responding to and managing the health, community, and educational impacts of COVID-19. UMS continues to comply with public health guidance and has announced its intention to welcome students to campus in the fall, if group gatherings and interactions are permissible and advisable at that time.

The System has established a Fall 2020 Safe Return Committee that will be working with university scientists to establish operational plans and protocols that can be adapted to changes in health guidance and medical advances.

About the University of Maine System

The University of Maine System serves 30,000 students annually from seven universities, a law school, multiple learning and research centers, and through fully online and accelerated degree completion programs. Maine’s public universities include:

  • The University of Maine is Maine’s flagship campus, the state’s only public research university and is home to the state’s only Division I athletics program. As a land, sea and space grant institution, UMaine offers students a hands-on, world-class educational experience of limitless opportunity located within one of the most beautiful regions in the country.
  • With campuses in Augusta and Bangor, nine UMA Centers across Maine, and expertise in online and distance learning, the University of Maine at Augusta is considered the university of choice for Mainers who want to receive a quality and affordable education without uprooting their lives.
  • University of Maine at Farmington is the System’s nationally recognized public liberal arts college, offering quality programs in teacher education, human services and arts and sciences.
  • The University of Maine at Fort Kent is focused on health sciences and professional programs.  UMFK provides a diversity of learners the education and development needed to be successful professionals and engaged community members.
  • The University of Maine at Machias is a regional campus of the University of Maine. Its distinctive baccalaureate programs create enriching educational opportunities that prepare graduates for professional success and lifelong community engagement.
  • The University of Maine at Presque Isle is a nationally recognized institution of innovation and opportunity, providing students with an affordable and personalized education, a caring, small-university environment, and life-changing experiences that prepare them to be career-ready graduates.
  • The University of Southern Maine is located in the intellectual, cultural, and economic heart of Maine, leveraging real-world connections for students just steps away from its campuses in Portland, Gorham, and Lewiston.  USM’s dedicated faculty of researchers and instructors provide future-forward baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs that prepare students for service and careers in a changing world.
  • The University of Maine School of Law is the state’s public and only law school. Maine Law is committed to providing an accessible and affordable student-focused program of legal education through a rigorous doctrinal and experiential curriculum.