Tuition and room and board at Maine's public universities could be going up by almost 3 percent next fall. That's according to proposed budget numbers reviewed by the University of Maine System's finance committee on Tuesday.
Under the new budget, in-state students would pay almost $18,000 in tuition, fees, room and board, about $500 more per student than last year. University spokesperson Dan Demeritt says the proposed increase is needed to maintain programs and keep up with inflation across the university system's seven campuses.
Demeritt also says the university system is investing an additional $7.5 million into financial aid next year, including a program to cover tuition and fees for eligible students at four of Maine's small, rural campuses. He says the increased tuition will also help to provide more financial aid.
"Those investments in financial aid are what make that kind of program possible," Demeritt says.
From 2012 to 2017, the university system voted to freeze tuition and fees for students. However, costs increased last year and will likely rise again next fall. Under the new budget, in-state students would pay about $18,000 per year for tuition, room and board.
The University system's board of trustees will vote on the new tuition numbers at their next meeting later this month.
Education reporting on Maine Public Radio is supported by a grant from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation.
This story was originally published May 2, 2018 at 2:42 p.m. ET.