This college reduce tuition and rethought admissions to develop its scholar physique.

ORONO, Maine — Chris Richards took within the scene round him and breathed a sigh of reduction.

It was the primary day of freshman orientation on the College of Maine, and college students had been arriving in droves.

For Richards, who as vp of enrollment administration is answerable for recruiting every new class, “that is type of a celebration of the arduous work we do.”

It’s been a lot more durable work right here than in lots of different locations. With the highest median age of any state, Maine has seen an estimated 10 percent decline over the past 10 years in its variety of new highschool graduates — exactly the folks Richards wants.

But the flagship college managed to increase its undergraduate enrollment throughout that interval by about 5 p.c.

UMaine has finished this by breaking with long-standing attitudes via which larger training generally alienates relatively than embraces potential candidates, and by luring out-of-staters with in-state tuition costs.

These prices are lower than in-state tuition at some other New England public flagship college — even after charges, room, board and different bills are added in — at a time when President Joe Biden famous in asserting scholar mortgage forgiveness for some debtors that the “ticket to a greater life” offered by a better training “has change into too costly.”

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