The state capital of Maine, Augusta, is also home to the third-largest campus in the University of Maine system. The University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) began in 1965 as a center for continuing education. A few years later, the campus earned designation as a member of the UM system and quickly expanded its course offerings. Today, UMA offers bachelor’s and associate’s degrees as well as some certificate programs. The university is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
The curriculum at the University of Maine at Augusta is divided into two colleges, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Professional Studies. Each of these colleges offers a wide variety of certificate, bachelor’s and associate’s degree programs.
The Bachelor of Science Degree Program in Business Administration is one of the most popular choices among students at UMA. Students pursuing this degree must complete at least 121 credit hours, including a senior seminar. Degree candidates must hold a minimum 2.0 GPA, both cumulatively and within the major field. Students can select from accounting and management as the focus of their degree program. The general education requirements allow a great deal of flexibility, with students able to tailor their coursework to augment some aspect of the business degree. Students often take their future careers into consideration as they choose elective coursework.
The University of Maine at Augusta is one of relatively few schools to offer a Bachelor of Science in Library and Information Services. Out of the 120 credit hour program requirement, 46 must be within the major. Twenty-five credit hours are entirely elective, permitting the student to build subject knowledge in a specific field. The library science degree from UMA can facilitate entry into a graduate level program in library and information science.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The University College system allows UMA to spread its influence across the entire state. Students can take classes at any one of nine extension centers. These centers feature real-time classroom instruction, interactive television and online courses. Any UMA program can be completed entirely through the portal of a University College outreach center.
The University of Maine system has been a leader in distance education since the 1980s. Online courses allow students to meet the core requirements of nearly any degree program without setting foot on campus. Students wishing to enroll in online courses must contact the Teleservices Office. Distance education entails certain technological requirements, such as high-speed Internet and a personal computer. Students should ensure that they have all the necessary hardware and software before starting an online course.
The University of Maine at Augusta practices noncompetitive enrollment. Over 90 percent of applicants are admitted. Basic requirements include a high-school diploma or GED and proficiency in reading, writing and arithmetic. High-school applicants are encouraged to sit for the SAT test. Prospective students who graduated in the lower quarter of their class must take pre-admission tests in the core areas.
Prospective students begin by filling out a UMA application and paying a small non-refundable fee. Next, official high-school transcripts or GED score reports should be attached to the application or forwarded to the university. It’s important that all documents be complete and accurate. Transfer students must submit transcripts of all previous college work and show at least a 2.0 GPA on all work completed. The Admissions Office will work with each transferring student to determine how previously earned credits will apply to the UMA curriculum.
The University of Maine at Augusta provides federal, state and institutional aid programs so that students can afford a college education. Nearly 75 percent of undergraduates at UMA receive some form of need-based aid. Only U.S. citizens enrolled in a degree or certificate program are eligible for most categories of financial aid. Recipients must show satisfactory academic progress or aid amounts could be reduced. Financial aid generally falls into three groups: scholarships, grants and loans.
To qualify for aid, students must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year. The filing deadline is typically late winter or early spring. Of course, early application is strongly encouraged.
The University of Maine at Augusta provides information for over 20 scholarship opportunities. The awards range from small one-time sums to multiple year payouts. Most scholarship awards are based on a combination of scholastic merit and other factors, such as family history or hometown. General scholarship applications are available in the Financial Aid office during the winter months.
Grants are usually need-based awards that do not have to be repaid. The federal government administers both the Pell Grant and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant for students with demonstrated need. High-achieving students may be eligible for either the Academic Competitiveness Grant or National SMART Grant. The TEACH Grant is another federal program that awards money to student pursuing education degrees and agreeing to work in needed disciplines or areas.
Both the state of Maine and the university also administer grant funds, primarily for financially needy students. Available funds are limited, so early application is again important.
The federal government lends huge sums of money to university students every year. For undergraduates, Perkins Loans offer a low interest rate and a nine-month grace period upon leaving school. The University of Maine at Augusta contributes part of all Perkins Loans awards, and funding varies from year to year. Students in the nursing program at UMA are eligible for Nursing Loans, with terms and conditions similar to Perkins Loans
Federal Stafford Loans have yearly limits based on a student’s academic status and whether they are legally dependent or independent. Stafford Loans are not need-based, however students should bear in mind that all loans must sooner or later be repaid.
Student Financial Aid Details
Nearly 5,000 undergraduates take courses at the UMA campus or online. Three-quarters of these students are women. Most students attend class part-time, reflecting a strong presence of non-traditional students. Only 2 percent of the student body are non-natives of Maine.
Students can access high-speed wireless Internet anywhere on the UMA campus. The Bennett D. Katz Library maintains a healthy physical collection in addition to e-books and e-journals. Much of the library’s collection and services can in fact be accessed remotely. The Katz Library is also control center for the state’s interactive television network. The last major addition to the library was in 1988.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The University of Maine at Augusta competes in the Yankee Small College Conference (YSCC) of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). Sports include basketball, soccer, cross-country, golf and bowling. The school mascot is the Moose.
In 2009, the UMA men’s basketball team won the YSCC tournament, earning a bid to the USCAA National Tournament.
- Petersons Four-year Colleges 2011. New Jersy: Peterson, 2010. Print.
- The Princeton Review. University of Maine at Augusta. 2011. Web. 29 July 2011.
- University of Maine at Augusta. University of Maine at Augusta. 2011. Web. 29 July 2011.
Josh is a full-time professional writer and organic farmer who lives in rural Kentucky.