Best Private Colleges in Maine 2022

Best Private Colleges in Maine 2022

Private colleges, unlike large public institutions, can be a great option for students wanting a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Here is our list of the best private colleges in Maine.

Colleges and Universities in Maine

At $9,970, Maine is right on target with the national average, making the state an affordable choice for those looking to receive an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. The 16 public colleges and universities range in tuition from $4,000 to $14,000. The 10 private schools tend to cost more, ranging from $27,000 to $55,000, though the class sizes are often much smaller. The largest private university is the University of New England, with just under 6,000 students, and a tuition of $38,000.

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The University of Maine (UMaine), with just under 10,000 students, is the largest public school, with a tuition rate of $11,000. Based in Orono, the public research university offers degrees in fields like literature, earth sciences, and physics. Stephen King and Bernard Lown are among the influential alumni who attended this school. The cost for higher education in Maine varies, but the state offers loan forgiveness programs for many professions, including dentists, lawyers, educators, health professionals, and veterinarians. The Alfond Leaders program forgives up to $60,000 for residents working in eligible science, technology, engineering, and mathematics occupations.

The northernmost state in New England, Maine is known for its fishing, quaint coastal towns, and of course, lobster. Maine is also home to over 60 lighthouses. Students looking to earn their degree while living in a state that has both ocean beaches and lush forests can choose from 26 private and public higher education institutions.

Come see why Maine is an excellent option for earning your higher education degree and starting a career.


What are Maine’s Colleges & Universities?

Maine’s Best Overall

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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How do we determine Maine's best private colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 8 private universities in Maine. To be included in the list below of the best private universities in Maine, schools must be fully accredited, private, non-profit institution, and must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.

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Best Private Colleges in Maine

  1. #1

    Bowdoin College

    Brunswick , ME
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Bowdoin College known for?

    Bowdoin College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Earth Sciences
    • Physics
    • Religious Studies
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #5

    University of New England

    Biddeford , ME

    Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/24

    What is University of New England known for?

    University of New England ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Education
    • Social Work
    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Literature
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #6

    Unity College

    Unity , ME

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    100%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Unity College known for?

    Unity College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Law
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Medical
    • Earth Sciences

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #7

    Thomas College

    Waterville , ME

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Thomas College known for?

    Thomas College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/21

    What is Saint Joseph's College of Maine known for?

    Saint Joseph's College of Maine’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Social Work
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

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Maine’s Best Private Colleges in Your Area Interest

Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Bowdoin College
  2. Bates College
  3. College of the Atlantic
  4. Colby College
  5. Unity College
  6. University of New England
  7. Saint Joseph's College of Maine
  8. Thomas College