Maine has over 35 post-secondary institutions, of which 11 offer online programs. A total of six are public four-year colleges or universities and two are public community or technical colleges and three are private colleges, universities, or career and vocational schools. These schools offer 78 online certificate programs, 735 online associate programs, 1,391 online bachelor’s programs, 398 online master’s programs, 500 online professional programs, and 102 online doctoral programs. In these programs, students may study subjects ranging from surgical technology to art to healthcare management.
Maine has an above-average job outlook compared to the rest of the country. As of April 2013, the unemployment rate in the United States was 7.6 percent. In Maine, the jobless rate dipped down to 6.9 percent in April 2013.
The average wage in Maine is less than the national average. Employees in Maine earn an average annual income of $39,470 while the national average annual income is $42,871. The highest paid workers in the state earn over $67,480 annually, while the lowest paid workers earn under $17,920 annually. The median annual income for employees is around $31,780.
Tuition for online college courses varies depending on factors such as the type and location of the institution as well as the program. Public four-year colleges and universities in Maine charged students an average of $6,953 per year. Public community and technical colleges charged students an average of $2,543 per year. Private accredited online college tuition ranged from $21,100 to $28,300 per year.
Each year, college students in Maine received an estimated $3,890,358,489 worth of financial aid to help offset tuition costs. Approximately 36 percent of this aid was in the form of scholarships and grants. The remainder was in the form of loans that had to be paid back. Additionally, an estimated 92 percent of the scholarships and grants consisted of institutional grants.
Online universities in Maine, as well as brick-and-mortar schools with online programs, have received their accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC). The NEASC is one of the largest accrediting bodies in the nation, and programs with their stamp of approval will guarantee a valid degree. Without school accreditation, any classes, programs, or degrees earned there possibly will need to be repeated at an accredited school before obtaining work, getting a license, or furthering your education.
Distance Learning Resources
- Maine Dept. of Education, Career and Technical Education (CTE) provides students with technical skills to prepare them for higher education and/or to enter the workplace.
- Maine Adult Regional Technology Initiative (MARTI) is Maine’s campaign to provide technical assistance training to students and teachers, helping to implement the latest technology in the home and in higher learning.
- Maine Career Center is a state-approved job site for browsing work opportunities throughout the state. This resource is good for discovering which industries are hiring and where within the state. The site also provides information on employment assistance and training programs.
- Maine Library Digital Literacy provides over 770 tests, tutorials and e-books related to workplace skills. This program can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection once you are registered.
- Online Courses at Maine Community Colleges provides a full catalogue of online courses broken down by campuses within the Maine Community College System. Contact information for each school’s admissions office is also provided.
- Maine Economy at a Glance provides labor statistics in Maine, and see which jobs and industries are growing. Labor statistics can also be broken down per city and metropolitan area.
Maine is located in the Northeast region of the United States. With an area of 35,380 square miles, it is the 13th smallest state in the country. Approximately 45°F is Maine’s average annual temperature.
Maine has the 11th smallest population in the nation. It has 17 counties with a reported population of 1,328,361 residents. About 35 percednt of those living in Maine are less than 30 years old. Also, it has one of the least diverse populations in the nation with about 6 percent of the population identifying itself as belonging to a racial or ethnic minority group.
Although Maine’s capital city is Augusta, the largest city in the state is Portland, with a population of 66,194 residents. Of the state’s residents, an estimated 20 percent reside in the greater Portland area. Some of the other populous cities in Maine are Lewiston, Bangor, South Portland, and Auburn.
As compared to residents in other states around the US, Maine residents normally have a higher than average level of education. According to the 2010 Census, an estimated 24 percent of the state’s residents over the age of 25 have completed high school, 4 percent have at least an associate degree, 3 percent have degrees at the bachelor’s level or higher, and 1 percent hold a graduate level degree.