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New Fall 2018 enrollment numbers show surging growth at USM

Image of students on the Portland Campus skywalk

The University of Southern Maine’s just-compiled enrollment numbers show a growing number of new students, a rise in credit hours and a wave of in-state students.

Overall, the university’s student population rose to 8,140, surging past the 8,000 mark for the first time in recent years.

The numbers show a 5.18 percent increase in overall student enrollment since Fall 2015. During that same three-year period, the number of graduate students rose by 10.1 percent.

“From the data and feedback that we’re seeing, the growth is due to the financial aid packages. I think everyone has known that USM has excellent academic programs, we just haven’t been at the right price point to be affordable for some individuals,” said Nancy Davis Griffin, USM’s vice president for Enrollment Management & Student Affairs.  “Another reason is that people from this area are going to graduate school and we have excellent grad programs.”

The student population includes a 5.1 percent increase this year in the number of Maine students enrolling at USM, where the two most popular majors are nursing and business.

Students are also busier than before, with the number of credit-hours increasing by 7.1 percent since 2015.

“Our enrollment increase reflects a growing recognition that USM offers a first-class education and that we are a community engaged institution ensuring job-ready graduates to meet the critical workforce needs of our state,” USM President Glenn Cummings said.

“It further reflects our commitment to being student focused every day, and to offer a welcoming and supportive environment to all who choose to enroll here,” Cummings said.