Community Colleges Seeing Impact from Maine Free College Program

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 12:29 PM EDT
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The Maine Free College Program has had an impact on the Maine Community College system as a whole.

Applications for new students are up 13 percent across the system from last year with 1,400 more applicants than the Fall of 2021 according to data provided by the Maine Community College System. Northern Maine Community Colleges Applications are actually down 23 percent with 155 less applicants than Fall of 2021. NMCC President Tim Crowley says many have inquired about enrollment, but haven’t actually committed to enrolling for this upcoming semester.

“We’ve seen an increase in the number of applicants that are coming directly out of high school. So we have about 35 more students today than we had last year at this time directly out of high school, so it’s having an impact, I wouldn’t say that it’s a big impact. The number of inquiries has been much greater than the number of students that have actually taken the opportunity but we expect in the next two to three weeks those numbers will continue to grow. So it’s had an impact, we’re seeing an increase in enrollment with students coming directly out of high school for free tuition and fees.” - Tim Crowley – President, NMCC

Crowley says that a significant number of students have actually enrolled for non-credit courses, including mechanized logging or truck driving courses. Crowley went on to say that those interested should have their applications submitted prior to August 20th in order to start classes this fall.

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