The long-term financial trends in Maine are stark. Two-thirds of the University of Maine System’s budget was paid for by state funding in 1989, according to a 2021 report. Now, it accounts for 40 percent. Tuition made up just 22 percent of funding then, and it is now 50 percent of the budget.
Maine has one of highest debt burdens in the country, according to the Institute for College Access and Success. Biden’s proposal could affect up to 177,000 Mainers, according to the liberal Maine Center for Economic Policy.