Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, Maine has seven public colleges, 11 private non-profit institutions, and one private for-profit institution.


    Estimates by College Board place the average in-state tuition and fees at $11,030 for Maine residents who attended a public college during the academic year 2021-22.


    Full-time undergraduate students in the United States received an average of $14,800 in financial aid for the 2020-21 academic year.

Our Research

This list features some of the best brick-and-mortar schools in Maine. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included liberal arts colleges and research universities as well as small, midsize, and large institutions. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The colleges on our list are accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), a reputable organization that examines the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of education programs in the northeastern United States.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for on-campus students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

The Top 50 Colleges in Maine

Best Colleges In Maine
Intelligent Pick
Bowdoin College
Best for Liberal Arts
Colby College
Best Private Institution
Bates College
Best Public Institution
University of Maine
Best Healthcare Programs
University of New England
Best Sustainability Focus
College of the Atlantic
Most Affordable
University of Maine at Farmington
Best for Experiential Learning
Maine Maritime Academy
Best Catholic Institution
Saint Joseph's College of Maine
Best Urban Campus
University of Southern Maine

Unity College

Husson University

University of Maine at Presque Isle

Thomas College


What You Should Know About Graduating From College in Maine

To maximize your future earning potential, you should consider future careers when choosing a college and major. In October 2021, the largest five industries for employment in Maine were education and health services; trade, transportation, and utilities; government; goods-producing; and retail trade.

For professionals with a bachelor’s degree, the five fastest growing careers in Maine are data scientists, medical and health services managers, logisticians, operations research analysts, and financial examiners. Selecting one of these professions should lead to a promising career trajectory.

Some of the largest employers in Maine are Hall Erica PA, IAMAW, and Mid Coast Group Physician. There are many other companies and organizations in Maine that employ thousands of people, and many of these employers are looking for college graduates who have degrees relevant to those fastest growing careers.

What’s Next?

When researching different colleges in Maine, investigate what financial aid you qualify for. Here are some of the state and federal resources that you can use to explore grant, scholarship, and financial aid options for undergraduate Maine students.

  • Financial Authority of Maine (FAME). FAME provides information on in-state college tuition along with scholarship and loan opportunities that are available to Maine residents.
  • Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The U.S. Department of Education provides more than $120 billion in financial aid every year. These funds provide students with grants, scholarships, work-study positions, and loans. Find out if you’re eligible via the FAFSA4caster, and apply through the FAFSA online form if you are eligible.
  • CareerOneStop. This organization offers extensive information on grants and scholarships that are available in each state. The site is sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the information is easily sortable according to amounts, qualifications, deadlines, and other filters.