Good news for those attending college here in Aroostook County! The University of Maine at Fort Kent and the University of Maine at Presque Isle unveiled a new tuition structure for out-of-state and international students that offers competitive pricing in those markets and also acts as a catalyst for economic development in Aroostook County.

Starting with the Fall 2014 semester, UMPI and UMFK will be simplifying their tuition structure by offering out-of-state students the same tuition rate extended to students who participate in the New England Board of Higher Education Tuition Break Program.

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For the past few years, the tuition rate at both universities has been $220 per credit hour for Maine residents, $330 per credit hour for residents from the New England states and Canada, and $552 per credit hour for all other out-of-state and international students.

The new change means all students in that third category will also receive the $330 per credit hour tuition rate. For those students, that means their tuition would see a 40% reduction from $16,560 a year to $9,900 a year.

I had a chance to speak with UMPI's Admissions Director, Erin Benson. Here's what she had to say.

Local economic development leaders are welcoming the rate change and what it means for the area.