Maine’s Best Small Colleges of 2021

Small colleges in Maine are a great option for students interested in a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Whether the focus is on the technical or on the liberal arts, small colleges give you the chance to pursue a well-rounded education while working closely with classmates and professors in a dynamic community atmosphere.

Maine’s Best Small Colleges of 2021

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


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

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

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.

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

The following list of the best small colleges and universities in Maine is composed mainly of four-year undergraduate schools (though a handful also offer graduate programs). We’ve identified 14 small colleges in Maine, 9 of which satisfy our criteria. The list below of the best small colleges in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must have a student body of 5,000 or fewer students.
  4. It must have a graduation rate above 40%.

Best Small Colleges in Maine

  1. #4

    Colby College

    Waterville , ME
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    10%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1450/32

    What is Colby College known for?

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

    • Mathematics
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Biology
    • Economics
    • Philosophy
    • Sociology
    • Physics
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  2. #5

    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
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Earth Sciences
    • Sociology
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  3. Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    2K

    What is University of Maine at Farmington known for?

    University of Maine at Farmington’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Biology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Earth Sciences
    • Computer Science
    • Philosophy
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  4. Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    52%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/24

    What is Maine Maritime Academy known for?

    Maine Maritime Academy’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Engineering
    REQUEST INFO
  5. Tuition + fees

    $39K

    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:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Criminal Justice
    • History
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  6. #9

    Thomas College

    Waterville , ME

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Thomas College known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO

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