Last Updated: September 27, 2021
Maine - The Pine Tree State
Maine is situated in both the northernmost and easternmost portion of the New England region of the United States. The capital of Maine is Augusta and Portland is its largest city. The state is the least densely populated among the regions east of Mississippi. According to the United States Census Bureau, the estimated population of Maine is around 1.37 million in 2021. The climatic characteristics of Maine vary from pleasant warm summers to cold and snowy winters.
Maine is well-known for its unique and diverse landscapes from its snow-capped mountains, to its bright and sunny beaches. It is said that Maine got its name through French colonists who named the region in honor of 'Mayne", a French province. Some say the name was synonymous with 'the mainland'. Maine got its popular nickname "The Pine Tree State" because of the coniferous forests laden with pine cones surrounding the vast areas of the state. The state flower is a White Pine Cone as well, which is displayed on the state's flag, along with the great seal of Maine.
Major Cities in Maine
With a population of around 67,000, Portland is the largest city in Maine. It is located in Cumberland County and was founded on July 4, 1786. Portland is a major economic center with manufacturing, service, agriculture, and tourism being prominent sectors. Popular tourist destinations in Portland are Stroudwater Village, Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine, Bug Light, Victoria Mansion, Portland Museum of Art, Portland Head Light, and Palace Playland.
Situated in Androscoggin County, Lewiston is the second biggest city in the state of Maine. It has an estimated population of approximately 36,100. It is said that Paul Hildreth was the first permanent settler in this region. Established as a city in 1863, Lewiston is one of the safest cities in the state. Healthcare, food services, manufacturing, and paper production are some of the major industries in this city. Popular sites in Lewiston are Bates College Museum of Art, Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary, Beaver Park, Papermill Trail / Miller Park, Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, and a lot more.
The city of Bangor has an estimated population of around 32,100 and is the third-largest city in Maine. Manufacturing, shipbuilding, finance, retail trade, and services are some of the prominent sectors in this city. It is also popularly known as the Queen City of the East. Bangor is a beautiful city with various fascinating attractions like Acadia National Park, Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway, Stephen King's House, Mount Hope Garden Cemetery, Cole Land Transportation, Bangor City Forest, Mount Hope Cemetery Corp. & Crematory, Darling's Waterfront Pavilion, and Maine Discovery Museum.
With a population of around 26,000, South Portland is the fourth largest city in Maine. Situated in Cumberland County, the city is known for its low crime rates and high cost of living. Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse, Crescent Beach State Park, Willard Beach, Hinckley Park, Bug Light Park, Fort Preble, Eagle Island State Historic Site, etc., are some of the popular sites in South Portland.
- The Pine Tree State has always had a predominant manufacturing industry for timber and lumber wood products. It is an industry that employs many people from the state which is why Maine is also called "The Lumber State."
- The state of Maine also has some of the largest mills for paper production in the country.
- Apart from manufacturing, the state has prominent health care and education sector that accounts for 30% of the total growth in the state's GDP. This is followed by finance, trade, and retail.
- Some of the largest companies located in Maine are J. D. Irving, Idexx Laboratories, L.L. Bean, Hannaford Supermarkets, MaineGeneral Health, WEX, Eastern Maine Medical Center, and Olympia Sports.
- The covid-19 pandemic drastically affected the economic health of the state, making it one of the worst in the US. Even though the rate of economic recovery is slow, the unemployment rate in Maine is at 4.9% which is lower than the national average.
Tuition Fee and Living Cost in Maine
The cost of living in Maine is quite affordable and less than the national average. However, in the more densely populated urban areas of Greater Portland, the cost of living is somewhat higher than in the rest of the region. Transportation costs are the lowest whereas the groceries and utilities are on the more expensive side (higher than the national average). The most expensive cities to live in are Portland, South Portland, Biddeford, Westbrook, Bath. The most affordable cities are Caribou, Presque Isle, Gardiner, Calais, and Belfast. The median household income in Maine is around $58,000.
Educational costs are expensive if one plans to attend the best institutes in Maine. Private institutes are known for their higher tuition costs, but the tuition fees charged by the private universities in Maine are higher than the national average. For instance, considering that the average tuition in a private university is roughly $39,000, the tuition fee in Bowdoin College (Brunswick) is higher at around $52,000. However, there are numerous scholarships and grants provided by the state and its institutions to make education more affordable for students.
List of Few Major Universities/Colleges
- Bowdoin College Founded in the year 1794, Bowdoin College is one of the best private liberal arts colleges in the country. It is situated in Brunswick and is known for its stellar faculty, and its diverse curriculum and student body. With around 1,800 students and close to 200 teachers, the student-to-faculty ratio is 8:1. The college ranks #6 in the list of the best Liberal Arts Colleges nationally, according to USNews. The tuition fee in this college is about $52,000 for all undergraduate students.
- Colby College Situated in Waterville, this is one of the oldest liberal arts colleges in the country that was founded in 1813. It was originally known as "Maine Literary and Theological Institution" and " Waterville College" and was later renamed Colby College in honor of Gardner Colby, the philanthropist who contributed to the college. It is known for offering the best learning experience to its students. With more than 1,800 students and around 170 faculty members, the student-to-teacher-faculty is 10:1. The tuition fee for undergraduates in the college is about $53,000.
- University of Maine The University of Maine at Orono is a reputed public university that was established in the year 1865. It was formerly known as the 'Maine State College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts' and later renamed the University of Maine in 1868. The university is popular for its vibrant and welcoming campus atmosphere and diverse student body. It also offers more than 100-degree programs and several scholarship programs for students. With more than 13,000 and more than 500 faculty members, the student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1. The tuition fee for undergraduate in-state students is around $13,000 and roughly $34,000 for out-of-state students.
- University of New England Founded in 1813, the University of New England is a private university situated in Biddeford. The university is known for its extensive research, quality education, and interactive teaching-learning experience. It also has some of the best healthcare programs. With around 14,000 students and more than 200 teachers, the student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1. The tuition fee for undergraduates in the college is about $41,000.
Scholarships/Financial Aid for Students
There is a wide range of scholarships available for making education affordable for the students in Maine. Before applying for any kind of financial aid, the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) needs to be submitted by all students.
- University of Maine Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship: This is a scholarship program awarded by the University of Maine at Orono to assist high school graduates. To be eligible, the student must have completed high-school education from Maine and must plan to pursue an undergraduate degree from the University of Maine at Orono. The student must take up any one of the Arts majors from the institution. The program evaluates academic merit, overall personal achievements, gender, ethnicity, and perseverance through adversities, to select the ideal candidate. The student must also submit official transcripts, an essay, letters of recommendation, and SAT/ACT scores. The total award amount is $12,000, which is $3,000 per academic year.
- Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship Fund: This is a program for the undergraduate students of Maine who plan to pursue a bachelor's program from an accredited institution on a full-time basis. This program does not apply to students pursuing an associate program. To be qualified, the candidate must have excellent writing skills and maintain a minimum score of 3.0 GPA. The student should also display adequate financial need, actively participate in extracurricular activities and community service, demonstrate qualities of leadership and self-discipline, and submit letters of recommendation along with the application. The award amount ranges from $3,000 to $17,000.
- Mainely Character Scholarship: This is a unique scholarship program that assists students not based on need, academic merit, race, or extracurricular activities, but solely based on character. The candidates will be evaluated based on their day-to-day activities that display "Concern, Responsibility, Integrity, and Courage". The applicants must also write an essay stating how they inculcate and implement these values, and how they are the ideal choice. This will be followed by a personal interview. The award amount ranges from $2500 to $5,000.
- Rainbow Business & Professional Association Scholarship: This is a need-based scholarship program that seeks to assist students who have displayed involvement in community service by helping the needy, especially those from the LGBTQ community. The candidate is required to be a resident of Maine, must actively participate in community service especially toward the LGBTQ community, display financial need, and pursue a degree (undergraduate, master's, or doctoral program) from an accredited institution. The award amount is $3,000.
- UMaine Maine Matters Program: This is a scholarship program provided by the University of Maine for students who demonstrate academic merit. To be eligible for the program, the student must be a resident of Maine, attend the University of Maine, Orono on a full-time basis, and cover a minimum of 12 credit hours. The student should also have ranked in the top 50% of their class in high school, secure a minimum score of 3.0 GPA, and secure a minimum SAT score of 1120 or a minimum ACT score of 22. The award amount is $2,000 which can be used to cover the tuition fees.
Apart from being known as the 'Pine Tree State', Maine has another popular nickname "The Switzerland of America" because of its beautiful snow-capped mountains. The state is worth exploring given that it offers a variety of scenic landscapes for tourists to explore such as its enchanting pine forests, rocky coastlines, and beaches as well. Its beauty truly justifies the state's motto "It Must Be Maine; The Way Life Should Be". It should also be known that this state is ideal for vacation as it was previously known as Vacationland. Some of the best places to visit in this state are Acadia National Park, Marginal Way, and Ogunquit Beach, Mount Desert Island, Old Port and Portland Head Lighthouse, Old Orchard Beach, Baxter State Park, Boothbay Harbor, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Monhegan Island, and a lot more. To completely enjoy the exquisite charm of this state, it is best to visit during the Spring or Fall seasons.
Universities & Colleges in Maine
*UG - Undergraduate
*G - Graduate
*in - In-state Fees
*out - Out-of-State Fees
- Recommended program (Top 250)