The University of Maine Admissions Office has received a record number of qualified applications for the fall semester of 2016. Out of the 14,205 applicants, more than a 17 percent increase from last year, only a projected 2,150 students will have a seat in the class of 2020. For this reason, UMaine implemented a waitlist for the first time in recent history.
“Our commitment to providing every first-year student with a quality experience requires that we limit the size of the entering class,” Provost Jeffrey Hecker said in a recent UMaine news release.
While UMaine has used wait lists for specific academic programs in the past, it was apparent early on in the recruitment year that the university would have a significant increase in applicants, thanks to the university’s ambitious new marketing campaign that started last fall.
The campaign was initiated in order to reach more prospective students throughout Maine and New England. UMaine has also started its new “Flagship Match” program, which has gained a lot of attention from prospective out-of-state students.
With this program, out-of-state students from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey and Pennsylvania can pay the same amount for tuition at UMaine as they would at their home state’s flagship university.
The price typically ends up being the same as if they were an in-state student in their home state, but less than most out-of-state students pay to attend UMaine. At the same time, Maine residents are also more inclined than ever to apply to the university because of the low in-state tuition. The university’s board of trustees voted to freeze in-state tuition for the sixth year in a row during their March meeting.
“Our commitment to providing a high-quality education at an affordable price resonates with students and families,” President Susan J. Hunter stated in last Thursday’s news release.
While other public universities nationwide have seen their tuition and fees rise significantly over recent years, Maine’s universities have been recognized for keeping in-state costs relatively low, while working to offer more aid and opportunities for out-of-state students. While university officials wait to see how many accepted students choose to attend UMaine in the fall, they have promised that those on the waitlist will be notified about their acceptance status by May 6.
Admitted students on the waitlist who don’t get into the flagship school will be guaranteed a seat at the University of Maine at Augusta, University of Maine at Presque Isle, University of Maine at Fort Kent, University of Maine at Machias or the University of Southern Maine.
Natalie Doody, an accepted student who braved the snow storm last Monday to attend Accepted Student Day stated that UMaine has always been her top choice.
“Getting accepted was a pretty big deal or me,” Doody said. “It was so exciting knowing that I was going to be given the chance to go to my number one school.”
Doody confirmed that she will be attending UMaine in the upcoming fall semester.
Zack Glenn, a graduating fourth-year student, stated that he was concerned about the rising number of first-year students, citing the housing issues for upperclassmen, which UMaine addressed with the additional rooms on campus.
“Overall, I think they’re fine as long as the school can still do its part and help,” Glenn stated.
University officials expect next year’s number of applications to be even higher than this years, and hope to welcome approximately 2,400 new students onto the flagship campus.