Nestled in the St. John Valley, an international crossroads of Maine, Quebec and New Brunswick, the University of Maine at Fort Kent is a unique learning institution that is a perfect place for people seeking a rural scholastic atmosphere of modern academic standards combined with an eclectic mix of rugged outdoor vistas, world class sports opportunities, and access to cosmopolitan epicenters across two countries.
Students who attend UMFK, whether they are residents on the campus or visit their classrooms using the Internet, discover the return for the time they have invested is far more than simply acquiring the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their goals. The faculty and staff of the university provide one-on-one support that, in addition to helping our students achieve success and overcome obstacles, has the end result of passing to our graduates a creative work ethic that is a reflection of the reputation the people of the local communities have across the state. Employers know that persons with a St. John Valley connection work harder and smarter than any other group in New England.
And we do it without breaking the bank. UMFK has earned numerous accolades from prestigious organizations such as the Princeton Review and U.S. World News and Report which identify us as one of the most affordable universities. In fact, according to a recent report, graduates of the University of Maine at Fort Kent carry the least amount of average education debt upon graduation than any public college or university in the nation.
Students, parents and everyone else should reread that last sentence. The average debt load for a 2011 UMFK graduate was a miserly $9,505.
With back-to-back-to-back national championships in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, some of the nations top athletes attend UMFK to participate in its world renowned sports programs, or studied while also preparing for the Winter Olympic games. Others come to this region and find they have a knack and opportunity to participate in outdoor recreation, from cross-country running and wilderness camping to winter skijouring (using a dog to pull a snow skier) and the international sport of cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship (biathlon).
Yet the college experience is more than gaining a diploma with a prestigious reputation for hard working graduates and fun-filled days in a wilderness paradise. Students have a need to explore the world, and UMFK is a comfortable base from which to gain urban experiences in international metropolises. A couple of hours west of Fort Kent is Quebec City while Bangor and coastal Maine are south. UMFK is at the center of the Acadia of the Lands and Forests, a region where French Acadians maintain and celebrate their cultural identity. Students from UMFK, which has a higher percentage of international students than any other university in New England, immerse themselves in a cultural opportunity that is unique in the world.
The learning opportunities at UMFK have become a model of a "rural university" that other New England campuses attempt to emulate. How do we do it? It's a simple approach. We create pathways to educational opportunity and professional success for rural communities and people by nurturing and engaging our students to become diverse learners and aspiring professionals. Our students take advantage of the most affordable, technologically-enhanced, and professionally-focused educational programs in the nation.
We use our distinctive rural-serving advantage to design and deliver rural education opportunities to provide graduates who are globally prepared and able to provide leadership to rural communities anywhere on the planet. UMFK provides educational access and services, which bring 21st century skills and leadership to people throughout Maine and the United States and from across international boundaries who share the values of rural life and work.