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USM ranks among most affordable online schools in the nation

A just-released report on affordable online schools has named the University of Southern Maine as its Number 33 school in the nation.

The organization -- Online Schools Report -- compiles practical information for college seekers and publishes its ranking of the top 50 affordable online schools. Its new list includes Indian River State College in Florida, University of Missouri-St Louis and Texas A & M University-Commerce.

University of Maine at Fort Kent was ranked at 42nd and the University of Maine at Augusta was ranked 46th. The three University of Maine System schools were the only New England institutions to make the list.

"In a time of uncertainty, we couldn't be more proud that this national ranking speaks to our seasoned reputation in offering a large portfolio of online courses and programs in addition to our experiences on-campus and through internships," said Jared Cash, USM's vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing. "We know that families are gearing up in the year ahead to be more prudent with their finances. We are committed to ensuring superior affordability, flexible online modalities that offer students to remain close to home, and career-aligned majors that have a proven return on investment in the marketplace."

Online School Report crunches data from a number of sources, including National Center for Education Statistics, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Payscale, and the College Scorecard. Each school's commitment to online education, admission rates, student satisfaction and alumni debt are part of the ranking, the publication said.

"The University of Southern Maine's online degree in leadership stands out from the crowd," read the Online School Report. "At USM, you'll be able to learn the ins-and-outs of guiding groups by pursuing one of the school's bachelor's or master's degrees. Those already accepted into the program can pursue an accelerated degree option to make sure they step into a leadership role as soon as they can."