By: Troy Daly, Staff Writer
The SR Education Group is an education research group based in Washington state. The group was founded in 2004, with the mission “At SR Education Group, we are motivated by a singular vision: a world where students get the education they need to be successful,” according to their website.
Since 2009, the group has released rankings of the Best Online Colleges. On the list of 2020 Best Online Colleges in Maine, the University of Southern Maine ranks #2.
Oliver LI, a representative of the SR Group explained what the criteria for the rankings, “In order to be considered for our by-state rankings, schools need to be regionally accredited and need to offer at least one fully online degree at the bachelor’s level. The rankings were based on an internal formula that takes into account mid-career median salary data from PayScale and manually researched tuition rates, in order to recognize schools with a positive return on investment.”
Essentially, universities with the best “mid-career salary” for money spent on tuition, will rank higher.
SR Education Group has several resources on their website for prospective students. These include tuition information, scholarship offerings, university reviews, and guides to graduate programs and online schools.
“We do this by making a range of information available, including manually researched tuition rates, up to date online degree offerings, and accreditation.” Li stated. “We also provide job outlooks and projected salaries so people can make the most informed decisions about the possible return on their educational investment.”
According to the USM website, the university has 21 online degree programs available, as well as several certification programs. This includes over 650 online courses. This is part of what sets USM’s online presence apart from other universities.
“USM is helping to meet the needs of working adults, as well as traditional-aged college students… so that they can balance work and life demands.” Director of Admissions Rachel Morales said. “…where students have the support of faculty, and their peers, and are in a learning environment that allows them to work and reach their professional goals.”