Bucking national trends among many of its peers in higher education, the University of New England has welcomed its largest-ever undergraduate class, with approximately 850 new undergraduate students enrolling at the University this fall.

With students hailing from 33 states, the class is also the most geographically diverse and — in terms of the number and percentage of students — the most ethnically diverse in the University’s history.

UNE President James Herbert attributes the strong interest in the University to several factors, including new majors, growing interest in existing majors, and the University’s distinctive quality as a private university with a public mission.

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Students move into their dorms

Students move into their dorms on the Biddeford Campus.

“UNE has always attracted students with a deep sense of purpose, who want to make the world a better place, and at this moment in history, young people know that the world needs their help.” Herbert said. “Students choose UNE knowing that our academic programs will prepare them for careers making meaningful impacts on the lives and the health of people, on communities, and on the planet.”

UNE continues to experience strong enrollment in its most popular majors: marine sciences, nursing, and medical biology

The University has launched two new majors this fall, criminology and special education, as well as a minor in computer science, and it has experienced growing interest in its psychology and business majors.

Vice President of University Admissions Scott Steinberg said UNE’s consistent ranking on acclaimed “best of” college lists and efforts to reduce barriers to higher education, such as the University’s “test-blind” admissions policy — are a credit to UNE’s success in drawing students from a multitude of backgrounds.

The Class of 2026 poses for a photo in an arranged pattern depicting the year "2026"
Students gather at First Night on the campus quad
Students play a large connect-4 game
Students smile as they move into their dorms
New students pose for a photo

Recently, UNE was named to The Princeton Review’s annual guide to “The Best 388 Colleges” for the eighth consecutive year, an honor achieved by less than 15% of four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. The University has also been named by Zippia as the best college in Maine for landing a job after graduation for the past four years.

“UNE is consistently recognized for its excellence in providing accessible educational experiences for students,” Steinberg stated. “Our test-blind admissions policy and our ongoing development of both face-to-face and virtual engagement opportunities for prospective UNE students are just two examples of how we seek ways to reduce barriers to a UNE education.”

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