UMaine System reconsidering proposed tuition increase

The University of Maine System is delaying consideration of a proposed tuition increase to determine whether a supplemental state budget proposal and strong fall enrollment deposits could allow the system to hold in-state tuition rates flat in the upcoming year.

The system’s board of trustees was scheduled to vote Monday on a proposed 2.5 percent average tuition increase but now expect to push the tuition proposal and consideration of the overall budget into June.

“The pandemic has been hard on many Maine families,” said James Erwin, chair of the board, in a statement Friday. “The governor’s supplemental budget request for the University of Maine System now before the Legislature creates an opportunity for us to bring our Maine students back in the fall without raising in-state tuition costs.”

The supplemental budget proposal from Gov. Janet Mills was announced earlier this month following a May 5 vote by the board’s finance committee to advance the system budget and tuition proposal. The governor’s proposal, which is subject to approval by the Legislature, includes a 3 percent state appropriation increase that amounts to $6 million in base funding support for the UMaine System.

The system is also reporting fall enrollment deposits that are ahead of last year’s pace and 6 percent ahead of the pre-pandemic 2019 admissions cycle. The traditional deposit deadline for fall enrollment is May 1.

With just over 100 days to go before the start of classes, the system has received 5,079 commitments for fall enrollment for first-year and transfer students, which is 648 more than at the same point last year.

This story will be updated. 


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