University of Maine System trustees approved a series of tuition increases Monday at a meeting in Fort Kent.

The increases raise costs by 5 percent, on average, at each of the university system’s seven campuses. University officials are touting the fact that it’s the lowest tuition increase in years.

The steepest tuition hike will take place at the flagship Orono campus, where tuition will rise 5.5 percent, to $8,010 for in-state undergraduates. That would boost the total annual cost – including room and board, books and fees – to about $22,100.

At the university network’s three northernmost campuses – Fort Kent, Machias and Presque Isle – tuition will jump 5 percent to $6,330. Total costs of attendance would be $18,600 in Fort Kent, $17,700 in Machias and $17,200 in Presque Isle, according to documents presented to trustees.

The University of Southern Maine will raise tuition 4.8 percent to $7,620; the full cost will be about $22,200. And in Farmington, tuition will rise 4.1 percent to $8,032, with the total cost rising to $20,100.

The University of Maine at Augusta’s tuition will be lowest, rising 4 percent to $6,240. The total attendance cost – UMA has no student residences – will be about $12,000.

“We’ve taken two very important steps in helping to control costs and improve access to programs by having the lowest tuition increase in six years, and by adding three new academic programs,” University of Maine System Chancellor Richard Pattenaude said in a statement.

Trustees approved a master’s degree in professional science at the University of Maine, an associate’s degree in special education at Presque Isle and an associate’s degree in information security at Fort Kent.

Trustees also gave UM-Farmington the go-ahead to hire a new vice president: Roberto Noya, who will work on expanding enrollment.
According to trustee documents, the Farmington campus is predicting a 3.3 percent enrollment drop for the fall, measured by credit hours.

Trustees also approved a new website, OnlineMaine, that will serve as an access point for all online classes offered in the University of Maine System.

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