The number of new students who have been confirmed for admission at the University of Maine in September is up by 22 percent over last year.

Figures released Monday by the flagship campus in Orono show that 2,447 students had paid the deposit fee of $150 by the May 1 deadline, up from 2,012 at this time last year.

The biggest jump came among out-of-state students, with 1,123 confirmed for admission compared with 731 last year – a 54 percent increase.

Massachusetts is the state with the highest number of new students planning to come to UMaine. The University of Maine Office of Institutional Research reported that 518 Bay State students have been accepted to attend the university this fall, compared to 286 last year – an 81 percent increase.

Massachusetts was followed by New Hampshire, which had 102 students confirmed for fall 2016 admission, compared to 73 last year – a 40 percent increase.

“I am very pleased with the number of confirmed students. Being up 22 percent at a flagship university is unheard of and may very well be the largest increase in the nation,” Joel Wincowski, interim vice president for enrollment management, said in an email to the Portland Press Herald. “I do not believe anyone expected double-digit growth, especially with the demographic decline in Maine and the rest of New England in high school graduating seniors.”


Wincowski said one of the reasons for the surge in out-of-state applications is the university’s new “flagship match” program, which allows students from six targeted Northeast states to pay the same tuition they would pay at flagship campuses in their home states.

The flagship match is available to students from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, all of which have higher in-state tuition than Maine. UMaine’s in-state tuition is $10,610. Its out-of-state tuition is $28,880.

While the number of out-of-state student applicants shot up, the figures showed a 3 percent increase in Maine residents who will attend the university.

Wincowski called the increase among Maine residents “significant” and attributed the surge in out-of-state students to better branding and other recruitment strategies implemented by the university.

Wincowski said UMaine’s Define Tomorrow campaign – a series of television commercials featuring students playing sports, famous graduates such as author Stephen King meeting with President Obama, and students working in their chosen field of study – has helped to brand the university. “It’s really been all about getting our name out there,” he said.

Earlier this year, the university reported that more aggressive marketing and the flagship match program to attract more out-of-state students were beginning to pay off. The flood of applicants prompted the university to start a waiting list for the first time in recent history.

Officials announced in March that the university in Orono had 14,205 qualified applicants for 2,150 seats in the incoming class of 2020. Of those applicants, the university sent acceptance letters to 11,403 students.


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