10 Best Colleges in Maine

What’s Covered:

 

Maine has earned the moniker ‚Äúvacationland‚ÄĚ thanks to its majestic coastline, pristine forests, and craggy mountains. Along with attracting tourists, Maine also appeals to college students thanks to its abundance of excellent colleges. The state is home to world-class liberal arts schools like Bowdoin, Bates, and Colby, along with respected public universities like UMaine.¬†

 

It may not feel like a vacation if you attend one of the 10 best colleges in Maine, but there’s always time to explore the coast, eat a lobster roll, or take in the fall foliage. 

 

Our Ranking Methodology

 

Our list of the 10 best colleges in Maine was constructed with a focus on school quality, outcomes, and return on investment (ROI). It also considers a host of other factors such as retention rate, selectivity, endowment per student, student-faculty ratio, median earnings, and cost of attendance. You can find CollegeVine’s rankings in their entirety here.

 

10 Best Colleges in Maine

 

1. Bowdoin College

 

Location: Brunswick, ME   

Acceptance Rate: 9%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1340-1510

Middle 50% ACT: 30-34

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,777

 

In addition to being one of the best colleges in Maine, Bowdoin is one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country. Bowdoin is also one of the oldest liberal arts colleges in the U.S.‚ÄĒit was founded in 1794, a quarter-century before Maine gained its statehood. In 1969, Bowdoin became the first college in the country to offer test-optional admissions. Given this precedent and the recent pandemic, only 56% of the Class of 2025 submitted test scores with their applications.¬†

 

Learn more about Bowdoin College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

2. Colby College

 

Location: Waterville, ME  

Acceptance Rate: 10%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1380-1520

Middle 50% ACT: 31-34

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,155

 

Like Bowdoin College, Colby is extremely prestigious and possesses a rich history‚ÄĒit‚Äôs the 12th-oldest independent liberal arts college in the nation and also predates Maine‚Äôs statehood. Colby students can choose to pursue one of the 56 established majors‚ÄĒranging from anthropology to statistics‚ÄĒor they can design their own major. Colby‚Äôs Independent Major allows students to design their own course of study and culminates with a capstone project.¬†

 

Learn more about Colby College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

3. Bates College

 

Location: Lewiston, ME   

Acceptance Rate: 14%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1210-1420

Middle 50% ACT: 27-33

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,876

 

Bates College is another of Maine‚Äôs renowned liberal arts colleges, commonly placed among a group of schools known as the ‚ÄúLittle Ivies‚ÄĚ (small liberal arts colleges spread throughout the Northeast that match the academic rigor, selectivity, and history of their counterparts in the Ivy League). Bates has a long and rich history of inclusivity‚ÄĒit was the first coeducational college in New England and has welcomed students regardless of race, gender, religion, and socio-economic background since its inception.¬†

 

Learn more about Bates College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

4. Maine Maritime Academy | MMA

 

Location: Castine, ME

Acceptance Rate: 92%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1030-1180

Middle 50% ACT: 20-28

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,538

 

Maine Maritime Academy is a small public college located in coastal Maine that offers degrees in business, engineering, management, science, and transportation. A unique aspect of MMA is that students fall into two distinct lifestyles: that of a typical residential college student and those who participate in the Regiment of Midshipmen. Midshipmen wear military-style uniforms but are under no commitment to serve after graduation. Those looking to make a greater commitment can join the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), it’s one of just two maritime academies to offer this program.  

 

Learn more about Maine Maritime Academy and what it takes to get accepted.

 

5. College of the Atlantic | COA

 

Location: Bar Harbor, ME

Acceptance Rate: 76%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1210-1400

Middle 50% ACT: 27-32

Undergrad Enrollment: 366

 

The College of the Atlantic is located in Bar Harbor just outside of New England’s only national park, Acadia. COA is known for its small, tight-knit campus; there are only about 350 students and 35 faculty members, and weekly meetings are held where students, faculty, and staff participate in governing the college. All students who graduate from COA receive a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in human ecology, however, students design their own curriculum and are given enormous freedom to take the classes that interest them and put them on a path to meeting their goals. 

 

Learn more about the College of the Atlantic and what it takes to get accepted.

 

6. University of Maine

 

Location: Orono, ME

Acceptance Rate: 90%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1070-1250

Middle 50% ACT: 21-27

Undergrad Enrollment: 9,430

 

The University of Maine was established in 1865 as the Maine College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts; it changed its name to the University of Maine in 1897. In its first year, the college fielded a class of twelve students who were led by two teachers. Today, the college is home to almost 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students‚ÄĒcoming from all 50 states and more than 80 countries‚ÄĒand has an impressive 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The University of Maine is home to the state‚Äôs only Division I athletic program and the school‚Äôs two-time NCAA champion Black Bears men‚Äôs hockey team.¬†

 

Learn more about the University of Maine and what it takes to get accepted.

 

7. University of New England | UNE

 

Location: Biddeford, ME   

Acceptance Rate: 87%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1040-1210

Middle 50% ACT: 21-27

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,244

 

The University of New England is Maine’s largest private college and home to Maine’s only medical and dental schools (the college is the top provider of health professionals in Maine). UNE is focused on experiential learning and cross-cultural fluency. UNE students participate in study abroad at five times the national average and the college has a campus in Tangier, Morocco. 

 

Learn more about the University of New England and what it takes to get accepted.

 

8. Saint Joseph’s College of Maine

 

Location: Standish, ME  

Acceptance Rate: 87%   

Middle 50% SAT: 990-1150

Middle 50% ACT: 19-23

Undergrad Enrollment: 880

 

Saint Joseph‚Äôs College of Maine is a private college located on the shore of Lake Sebago. The college is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and is the only Catholic college in Maine. Despite Saint Joseph‚Äôs College of Maine‚Äôs ties to the Catholic Church, students from all faiths are welcome to attend. Community engagement plays an important role at the college‚ÄĒlast year, students performed nearly 13,000 hours of community service and 64% of students participated in community-based learning (CBL). CBL challenges students to solve problems within their school and community as part of their academic pursuits.¬†

 

Learn more about Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and what it takes to get accepted.

 

9. Thomas College

 

Location: Waterville, ME   

Acceptance Rate: N/A   

Middle 50% SAT: N/A

Middle 50% ACT: N/A

Undergrad Enrollment: ~1,000

 

Thomas College is a private institution that offers over 30 undergraduate majors ranging from accounting to sports management. Experiential learning is an important part of a Thomas College education: students in all majors participate in internships and study abroad. Thomas College is also focused on outcomes and guarantees employment to students who maintain a 3.0 GPA, participate in an internship, and work with career services. Overall, 92% of Thomas College graduates have a job within 90 days of graduation.

 

Learn more about Thomas College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

10. Husson University

 

Location: Bangor, ME

Acceptance Rate: N/A   

Middle 50% SAT: N/A

Middle 50% ACT: N/A

Undergrad Enrollment: ~3,000 (on-campus) and ~800 (online)

 

Husson is a private university that offers more than 100 undergraduate, graduate, professional, and certificate programs. In 2008, Husson became a university, but it has maintained its small-college feel. Husson University is located on a 250-acre campus in Bangor, which offers access to both the state’s mountains and coastline. 

 

Learn more about Husson University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?

 

Curious about your odds of acceptance at one of the 10 best colleges in Maine? CollegeVine can help. Our free chancing engine uses factors such as grades, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities to predict your odds of getting into hundreds of schools in Maine and across the country.

 

Our chancing engine can also help you build a balanced school list of colleges inside and outside of the Pine Tree State. By providing your odds of acceptance, you can strategically assign safety, target, and reach schools and put yourself in the best position to get into a college that fits your needs and meets your expectations. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!


Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.

Don't miss out on the best high school & college admissions resources!

Join thousands of students and parents getting exclusive high school, test prep, and college admissions information.