Out-of-state enrollment at the University of Maine System for the Fall of 2017 grew 13.9 percent.

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That's according to student headcount figures in the Fall 2017 Enrollment Report presented at the November 20 University of Maine System Board of Trustees meeting.  The 590 additional students brings total out-of-state enrollment to 4,846 for the fall semester.  Combined with students enrolled under the New England Regional Student Program in which qualifying students from outside of Maine pay 150 percent of the in-state tuition rate, there are 5,727 out-of-state and international students attending Maine’s public universities this Fall.

The increase in out-of-state and NEBHE enrollment to 5,727 increases the number of students who are bringing their talent and energy to Maine, the state with the oldest median age in the country.  Non-resident enrollment has increased 36 percent over the last five years and accounts for 20 percent of the 28,997 total Maine public university enrollment.

The Fall 2017 Enrollment Report also reports a 2.5 percent increase in first-time students entering Maine’s public universities and a 2 percent increase in credit hours delivered at a distance, reflecting the work being done at Maine’s public universities to expand access to academic programming and services to all Maine communities.

Maine’s demography is creating challenges in communities and industries across the state as a wave of Mainers approach retirement.  There is a projected decline of 100,000 people in Maine’s prime working-age population over the next 15 years and two-thirds of new employment opportunities will require a postsecondary credential.

Among the trends impacting the state’s demographics is a continuing decline in the number of students graduating Maine’s high schools.  Increasing out-of-state enrollments brings additional tuition revenue to Maine’s universities and entices new students to Maine as part of the university’s strategic response to the state’s workforce challenges.

“The strength of our programs and commitment to affordability are creating competitive advantages for our universities that are attracting more students to our aging state,” said James H. Page, Chancellor of the University of Maine.

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