Community colleges are a great fit, for a lot of students.

Is community college really affordable?

Yes! Here’s the deal: Our costs are so low that grant aid – like the federal Pell grant – more than covers the cost of tuition and fees. So if you get a full Pell, not only does it cover all tuition and fees, we cut you a check for the remainder of the grant, which you can spend on books, transportation, child care — anything school related.

That’s the situation for about half of our students.

Some folks don’t get a full Pell, but even partial grant aid covers most, if not all, of tuition and fees. Do the math — Maine’s community colleges are a great deal!

Aside from Pell, there are many scholarship opportunities — over $48 million in grant aid is awarded each year – and generous financial aid. If things get really tough, we even have emergency financial assistance available. No one is dropping out because a car broke down. We’ll make this work.

I’m interested in getting a bachelor’s degree. How will going to a community college help me?

Here’s some food for thought.

Let’s say you know you want to get a four-year degree. You can get the same education for the first two years and take advantage of our block transfer agreement to UMS. And save a bundle along the way: The average cost for a full-time MCCS student is $3,700 each year. At UMaine Orono, it’s more than $11,000 a year. That’s three times more to get the same general education requirements.

Let’s say you want to go to live on campus — five of our colleges have housing. At MCCS, the total cost of tuition, fees, housing and a meal plan is about $13,000 a year. At Orono, all that adds up to $23,000.

I'm more interested in hands-on learning, rather than classroom lectures. What can I expect at a community college?

It all depends on your program, but most of our programs include hands-on learning. When it comes to training for work in a particular field, you’ll learn and practice on the same equipment you’d see on the job.

If you’re in the lineworker program, you harness up and climb a telephone pole. If you’re in health care, you’ll work in simulation labs that look just like actual medical offices and hospital rooms. Precision machining students learn to program and operate collaborative robots, or cobots. Horticulture students are in the greenhouse. Emergency medical services students practice their skills in the back of an ambulance. Wind power students climb a ladder to work on a turbine. Welders, fine woodworking, plumbing – it’s all hands-on.

Check out our Career Pathways info and see what works for you.

Will my credits transfer to a four-year college?

Yes! We have a block transfer agreement with the University of Maine System and agreements with many other colleges and universitites in the region. You can learn on day one what courses you need to take to transfer to the college of your choice.

Do I have to take a test to get in?

No, we don’t require any test scores for acceptance. Once you are accepted, we’ll use your high school transcripts and existing scores for placement, and some programs, like nursing, may have special entry test requirements.

What about math? Do I have to take certain math courses?

No. We don’t require everyone to take a standard math class. We just make sure students take the math they need for their chosen field.