Friday, April 20th, 2018

Study ranks Maine schools by affordability

Posted on April 14, 2015 in News
By Sam Hill

A recent study by financial data and technology company, SmartAsset, explored which Maine colleges provide students with the best deal financially and USM was ranked fourth.

USM finished below Colby College, UMO and Husson University, and just above the University of New England. SmartAsset considered five factors in their study: tuition, student living costs, average scholarships and grant offerings, retention rate and starting salaries of graduates.

According to the study, USM generally provides $5,337 in scholarships or grants to cover its $7,776 tuition and that the average starting salary of a graduate is $41,500 annually.

“With rising college costs and reliance on student loans, many people wonder if higher education is still worth it,” wrote AJ Smith, vice president of content strategy and managing editor at Smart Asset, in an email to the Free Press. “We wanted to look at a more complete picture of the costs (not just the sticker price) and also consider what graduates get in return. We’re looking at the bang students get for their buck in our study on the best value schools.”

Smith said the company only took financial data into account when researching the universities, so qualitative data such as the quality of education, campus living or classroom environment was not a factor.

“It’s important to get a full picture of what a particular university will cost to attend. This includes tuition, room and board, books, transportation and other personal expenses,” wrote Smith. “But some schools also have more generous aid in the form of scholarships and grants, so it’s also a good idea to factor that into your decision.”

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