Engineering School

How is the engineering school? Maine has a great program where out of state students pay the tuition of their home flagship university. So California residents pay what we would pay for UC Berkeley. Sounds like a great deal.

It’s decent. However, keep in mind that engineering and computer science are fields where prestige/rankings are pretty much irrelevant. If you’re looking for a new experience and want to live in Maine/New England, it’s a good deal.

Thanks so much!

New member here…My son is a freshman mechanical engineering major. He chose UMaine in large part due to the scholarship program you mentioned. It IS a great deal, especially for an engineering degree! He also happens to like the cold and snow, so that helps…:slight_smile:

@NJparent319 How is your son liking UMaine? I assume you all are from NJ - we live in Baltimore and one of my son’s is interested in Maine. Many OOS students? How do you handle travel for breaks, etc.? Campus life? Any info would be great!

I’m not the person you asked, but perhaps can be helpful since I’ve lived in Baltimore on and off the last two decades and have lived in Maine as well.

There historically haven’t been a lot of out of state students, but that has changed drastically once the school started offering in-state tuition to out of state students. Tickets can be expensive for sure, but cheaper if you book way ahead of time. Southwest flies from Portland to Baltimore, and there are chartered buses that go form Portland to Bangor regularly. If you book ahead of time, the flights can be as cheap as $59 each way (usually it’s more like $139-159 each way).

Maine is VERY different from Baltimore. There are fewer amenities available for sure, and it’s nowhere as diverse. However, if your son likes outdoorsy places and wants to get away from the city for four years, UMaine is a wonderful and affordable option.

@thetransfercoach Thank you for your response - outdoorsy and rural are two of the biggest draws for my son! The in-state tuition offer more than off-sets the additional travel expenses, I was more wondering about logistics, etc. I remember a weird experience when I was in college and visited CT, everyone thought I was a Southerner (which was charming, but nothing that I identify with). Wondered about non-Mainers at UMaine. Looking forward to our visit in April for the Open House.

@JKrazney2 Bit of a late response here…sorry. I was told that OOS students accounted for 30% of the student population in 2016, so I think it’s probably a bit higher this year. As to be expected, most of the OOS students are from from the Northeast, particularly MA, CT, and NJ, but we met families from CA and Puerto Rico at the accepted students day for engineering majors, so they are truly expanding their recruiting reach. According to my son, Maine students are very friendly and helpful, and he hasn’t experienced any weird moments being from OOS. In fact, he has visited and stayed at their Maine homes when snowboarding.

My son is really starting to enjoy the campus. I say that because by winter break, he was glad to be home “to defrost.” By the end of winter break though, he was looking forward to his return. He is enjoying his classes, loves the fitness center, has a good group of friends, and has decided to pledge a fraternity. On an unrelated note, there is an indoor trampoline park in Orono…which the students LOVE.

With regard to logistics, a good number of the OOS students have cars on campus. My son does not have a car there, but several of his friends do. For Thanksgiving and winter breaks, he was able to get rides with a friend from NJ with stops along the way to drop off friends in CT. The students seem to do well at organizing their own carpooling. I don’t have any first-hand knowledge of air travel to/from Bangor, although I’ve been told the prices are somewhat high. Being from Baltimore, you may also want to look into a combination of bus and train. The bus route is very good from Bangor to Boston, which then gets one into NYC and Philadelphia and into a train station at either. Might be more expensive though?

Let me know if you’d like any more information…I’ll be sure to log on more frequently from here on in. Good luck!

@NJparent319 Thank you for the detailed response! We are scheduled to attend the Open House in mid-April and I’m looking forward to the road trip. A UMaine rep came to my son’s school and did a presentation and really got my HS junior interested in attending. He loved all of the outdoorsy offerings, environmental science related majors, etc. I have four kids, three will be in college at the same time, so getting everybody home (logistics)for breaks, etc. is always on my mind.