Best Private Colleges in Maine 2023

Best Private Colleges in Maine 2023

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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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

    94%

    Student body

    2K

  2. #6

    Unity College

    New Gloucester , ME

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Unity College known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

    Unity College ’s Online Degrees

    BS in Conservation Law Enforcement
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: None Reported
    BS in Animal Health And Behavior
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Animal Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Captive Wildlife Care
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: None Reported
    BS in Environmental Geospatial Technologies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Environmental Health And Safety
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Environmental Health And Wellness
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Environmental Justice And Social Change
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Environmental Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: None Reported
    BS in Environmental Science And Climate Change
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Environmental Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Leadership And Communication
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Marine Biology And Sustainable Aquaculture
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Sustainable Business Management
    Degree Concentrations
    • Adventure Ecotourism
    • Hemp Industry And Science
    • Renewable Energy
    • Sustainable Food And Farming
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Wildlife And Fisheries Biology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: None Reported
  3. Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    945/22

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

    Saint Joseph's College of Maine’s Online Degrees

    BSBA in Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Banking
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSW in Social Work
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Theological Studies
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Administration
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Information Management
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Long Term Care Administration
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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Maine’s Best Private Colleges in Your Area Interest

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 utilized 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

Check out our directory of private colleges throughout the U.S. for a look at the top private schools in every state.