Under the proposed budget, in-state tuition would rise 3 percent while for out-of-staters it would climb 3 percent to 9 percent.
Students mill about on the University of Maine's Orono campus Nov. 3, 2022. Credit: Sawyer Loftus / BDN

The University of Maine System students would see their tuition and fees rise next year under a proposed budget approved at committee level on Wednesday.

After keeping tuition flat last year, the proposed budget would increase in-state tuition by about 3 percent, while tuition for out-of-staters would climb by 3 percent to 9 percent across the system’s campuses.

Trustee Roger Katz said that the increases will enable the system to preserve programming for students.

“But when the cost of everything else is going up significantly in everyone’s lives, I think the alternative would be cutting things, which would negatively impact students, which we all wanted to avoid,” Katz said.

System officials note that, adjusted for inflation, Maine’s tuition and fees have actually fallen by 5 percent over the past five years.

The system’s vice chancellor for finance, Ryan Low, said while that’s good for students, it’s meant less revenue for the seven campuses.

The budget must still be approved by the university system’s full board next month.

The system is facing major budget challenges, led by continually declining enrollment on several campuses.

To make up for some of those deficits, the system is also planning to tap into more than $10 million in campus reserves.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.