Major factors include new CBE program and Early College offerings
Through its efforts to provide an affordable and accessible college education to students in Maine and beyond, the University of Maine at Presque Isle has experienced a 6.2% increase in enrollment by headcount—the largest such increase within the University of Maine System from Fall 2016 to Fall 2017. Officials are attributing this increase to the work UMPI does to provide affordable options to its out-of-state students and ease of access to its Early College and adult learners.
“We’ve worked extremely hard in the last few years to ensure that we offer a wide range of courses and programs to meet our students where they’re at and in the ways that work for them to complete their studies,” UMPI President Ray Rice said. “I think the numbers we’re seeing this fall reflect those efforts and we couldn’t be happier to continue and expand such offerings to best meet our students’ needs.”
Within the 6.2% headcount increase UMPI experienced this fall, in-state student numbers are up 4.9% and out-of-state numbers are up 17.3%. A major reason these numbers are up so significantly is due to UMPI’s new Competency Based Education Bachelor’s in Business Administration program, which welcomed 95 students in its very first year. This $2,000 per semester online course was designed to meet the needs of adult learners with some college but no degree and allows them to get college credit for their past learning and work experience. UMPI is the first public university in New England to offer such a CBE degree program.
Additionally, the increase of 17.3% for out-of-state students is due in part to the work the University did three years ago to reduce out-of-state tuition by 40%, a major savings for this student population and one that has attracted many out-of-state students, including a large number of scholar-athletes, to campus.
The University also experienced increases in its credit-hour generation and full-time equivalent (FTE) numbers, two other important enrollment measurements. Both FTE and credit-hour numbers rose 2% from Fall 2016 to Fall 2017, and within those areas, out-of-state student figures were up 23.7%.
One other area of growth for UMPI was with its transfer students. The University increased from 85 to 138 transfer students from Fall 2016 to Fall 2017, a 62% gain. This brought the total new-to-campus number from 280 last year to 327 this year, or a 16.7% increase.
Finally, in terms of the University’s Dual Enrollment/Early College efforts, UMPI has produced more than 2,700 undergraduate credit hours, making it one of the state leaders in meeting dual enrollment needs. The University primarily serves the high schools within its geographic region and President Rice said UMPI sees these schools as “true K-16 partners,” especially the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, the state’s only public magnet school. MSSM’s student body is unique in that the majority of it participates in dual enrollment coursework over their career as students. Dual enrollment allows students to earn credit toward both a high school degree and a Bachelor’s degree for specific courses they take for a greatly reduced price; through its partnership with the State of Maine, UMPI is able to keep the direct costs that students pay to just $15 per credit, a savings of more than 90% over the traditional cost for a Maine resident attending UMPI this year.
“We see our Early College work as incredibly important in helping Maine high school students get a head start on their college experience–ensuring they’re prepared when they graduate and head off to college—while providing them with an incredibly affordable pathway toward a Bachelor’s degree,” President Rice said. “Our job is to keep expanding these offerings, and bringing more efforts online, such as UMPI’s The Way It Should Be program, to ensure that our students make the transition from high school to college to a great job in Maine.”
For more information about any of the new program offerings at UMPI, contact the Admissions Office at 207-768-9532 or firstname.lastname@example.org.