Why UNE: Return on Investment

The excellence of a UNE education has been recognized by The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report, and many others. That excellence translates into professional success for our graduates: UNE is the Brookings Institution’s #1 Maine college for increasing career earnings. Learn more about UNE's commitment to providing outstanding value for your education investment.

UNE Graduates Thrive

In a world of constant change, UNE graduates are achieving tangible success. Their success is reflected in high graduate employment rates, impressive licensure exam pass rates, and boosted lifelong earnings — as well as in UNE’s prominent national rankings and accolades.

When our talented students experience UNE’s signature approach to learning, special things happen. At UNE, you’ll be well prepared to meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving job market, acquiring the skills of your chosen path or profession as well as the critical thinking and life skills that employers covet.


Illustration of the state of Maine with a #1

in Maine for getting a job

Simple illustration of a briefcase

of undergrads employed or in ongoing higher education within one year of graduating

2016-2022 UNE graduate surveys
An illustration of an increasing graph

Maine college for increasing career earnings

Brookings Institute

Our Approach: Career Skills and Life Skills

From the first day of classes, UNE faculty prepare students with skills and knowledge for their chosen field. Our curriculum is also designed to foster broad skills that support long-term career flexibility: critical thinking and lifelong learning habits, collaboration and communication skills, and a foundation of professionalism.

As a UNE student, you’ll also have access to high-impact learning such as research projects, internships, and experiential learning on and off campus — the kinds of experiences that are proven to enhance academic success and career readiness.

President Herbert: Ensuring a Strong Return on Investment

Recognized for Academic Quality

Best Colleges: National
U.S. News & World Report
Best Colleges
Princeton Review
Best Colleges

Positioning You For Professional Success

The value of a UNE education is apparent in a very tangible measurement: pass rates and test scores for professional licensure exams. From nursing to physical therapy to medicine, UNE’s graduates consistently perform above the national average. This speaks volumes to the quality of our students, professors, and programs.

illustration of a paper report
  • Our Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine students rank in the top 10 for mean score on the COMLEX-USA
  • Our Nursing grads’ NCLEX-RN exam pass rate has been above the national average since 2013
  • 95% of our Nurse Anesthesia students pass their certification exam in one try
  • 100% of our AT students pass the board exam on the first attempt
  • Our PT licensure exam pass rates are three points above the national average

Commitment to Access and Value

We believe everyone should have access to higher education. While tuition is rising around the country, UNE has kept tuition below the national average and 16% below the average for private universities in New England.

We also provide generous financial aid packages, including roughly $47 million per year in scholarships. We work with every family and student to make their education as affordable as possible. Giving more people access to UNE education makes our community more inclusive and vibrant.

President Herbert: UNE’s Commitment to Access and Value


percentage below the national tuition average



of students benefit from financial aid


in institutional scholarships awarded annually

Supporting Your Career Development

Career mentorship is built into UNE’s educational approach. Our Career Advising office is available to support you as an undergraduate or graduate student, recent grad, or mid-career alumnus. You’ll have access to career coaching, resume assistance, employment search guidance, career fairs, and more.

As a graduate, you’ll benefit from UNE’s status as Maine’s largest private university and the #1 provider of health professionals in Maine. You’ll be connected to an extensive alumni network, with contacts in communities across the region and country to help you along every step of your career pathway.

Headshot of Megan DeMorris

Megan DeMorris ’20

Occupational Studies/Pre-OT


The atmosphere and how nice everyone is at UNE really drew me here. I also like how quaint the campus is. We’re right on the water, and just walking around on campus, people hold the door open for you, say hi to you, and don’t ignore you. You’re actually a person here. You can walk up to anyone or walk around the hallways and start a full-on conversation with anyone.

I wanted to be an occupational therapist right out of high school because of an internship where I shadowed OTs, PTs, and speech therapists. As I've started in the major, it's very inclusive of all areas of wellness, and it's a very holistic way of looking at health — I really liked that aspect of it. It’s a person-based major and career path, which is something that's really important as our society is moving away from that.

Beyond the Classroom

I got really involved with Outing Club second semester of my first year. By the end of the semester, I ran for club president and got it. For two years, I was doing that and planning all of the trips. I started our first annual spring break trip, which was really exciting and super successful.

We went out to Utah to Zion National Park with 10 people. I came up with the idea for a spring break trip because we do so many awesome, cool things anyway, I felt like, why not take that extra step? I chose different hikes for different days and found an affordable campground right near the national park. We coordinated to book flights, made a plan for food — then we just went for it.

There were two days that we hiked Angels Landing, which was incredible. Then we did Observation Point, which is an 8-mile roundtrip hike that’s unexplainably pretty. We even saw snow at one point on that trail, but we were also in the desert, so it was really unique. On the other days, we did a bunch of smaller hikes. It was a really good bonding experience — the people from that trip are some of my closest friends.

Set For Success

After graduation, I am going to apply to grad schools. I'm probably going to stay at UNE and go to the M.S.O.T. program. I think the way we’re taught lets you know what to expect and really helps you succeed in whatever program you're going to go into. There are so many resources on campus that help you through the steps of getting into grad school or job searches. UNE also helped me find and assisted me in applying for my upcoming internship with Momentum in Windham.

UNE is the perfect place to go if you are looking for a small school. All of the professors have been absolutely amazing, and I don't think that you find that at a lot of places. The professors and advisors that I have go out of their way to assist me and make me comfortable and a priority. All of them know me by name and have a sense of what I'm doing with my life and my interests and hobbies. They just really want you to succeed. I think that's an important part of going to school.

I think the way we’re taught lets you know what to expect and really helps you succeed in whatever program you're going to go into. There are so many resources on campus that help you through the steps of getting into grad school or job searches.

Occupational Studies/Pre-OT

Financial Stability for the Future

UNE is proud to have had its A+ credit rating extended by Fitch Rating in 2023, one of three credit reporting agencies in the U.S. covering the higher education sector. In the same year, Moody's Investor Service elevated UNE’s credit rating to A2, citing “excellent operating performance and diverse academic offering[s] within high-demand disciplines” that “reflects expectations of continued strong operating performance.”

These ratings reflect UNE’s position as a lasting institution that is managed under prudent financial practices. Of course, our growth plans are central to our prudence. We’re actively investing through strategic capital campaigns to make our student’s experience richer and even more rewarding. 

Moody and Fitch A2

Proving the Value of Higher Education

Looking beyond UNE, evidence consistently shows that a college degree is worth the investment.

  • U.S. adults with a college degree earn about $1 million more during their careers than those without a degree.
  • Graduates are less likely to face unemployment and more likely to report high job satisfaction.
  • Having a college education correlates with living a healthier, happier life across more than 50 different metrics, such as increased likelihood to do work that fits one’s natural interests, voting participation, and volunteerism.

UNE’s unique approach — career-focused training on a foundation of life-skills mentorship — ensures that our graduate outcomes meet and exceed the established benefits of a college education.

A group of undergraduate students sitting in the Alfond Forum
Two students smiling at a Pride event in Portland, Maine