The University of Maine is aggressively recruiting out-of-state students by offering unprecedented financial incentives.
For example, students from Massachusetts have the opportunity to attend UMaine Orono for the price they would have paid at the University of Massachusetts, about $14,000 in savings.
“We want to attract students from New England who may not have considered the University of Maine, and this grabs their attention,” said Provost Jeff Hecker.
He said these are merit-based scholarships, not tuition cuts. Students need to have a 3.0 GPA and a 1050 or higher SAT score to be considered. They must also be from one of the following states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Pennsylvania, or New Jersey.
Hecker said there are now TV ads and billboards throughout New England to advertise the new scholarship opportunity.
He said increasing out-of-state student enrollment is essential to the future of UMO. Enrollment has gone down, due to Maine’s declining and aging population.
“Each year, fewer students graduate from high school in Maine,” said Hecker, “and of course that, being a state school, was our traditional source for students.”
Hecker said about 25 percent of students admitted to UMaine who opt out of enrolling end up choosing a different New England flagship school, such as the University of New Hampshire or the University of Connecticut. This, the administration hopes, will give UMaine the competitive edge.
“I think it’s really going to put UMaine on the map,” said Karissa Keating, a student from North Andover, Mass.
The deadline to apply for the scholarship is February 1st.