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Maine Colleges

Maine Colleges


The state of Maine is, more than any of the other forty nine, also a state of mind.  The rule of thumb there is that you are not a true Mainer unless you were born in the state.  Because it has been a summer haven for one hundred fifty years or more, the state is accustomed to an annual influx of visitors and the summer tourist industry is probably what keeps the state afloat.  But roots are important in Maine, because if you are Maine born and bred you are a survivor.


There is a saying in the state that the four seasons consist of early winter, mid winter, late winter and next winter.  That’s probably a stretch, but it is the most northerly of the northeast states and the weather reflects it.  The state is blessed with an amazing coastline running from New Hampshire’s southern corner to the Canadian border.  There are over ninety islands off that coast and many of them are populated by small fishing villages, artists and just plain Mainers doing a little of this and a little of that. 


The southern interior of the country is agricultural for the most part, although the growing season is short.  The northern half of the state is known as the Great North Woods, a stretch of timberland that actually continues into northern New Hampshire and Vermont.  Northern Maine is as rustic as it gets in this country.  Loggers and potato farmers populate the area and there are long stretches where you will see nothing but wilderness driving the two lane roads that pass through it. 


Portland is the largest city at perhaps 65,000 residents.  Bangor, the capitol of Augusta, Auburn and Lewiston are other cities of note – although they would be of little note in most other states, as they are very small urban centers. 


Maine’s economy has always struggled.  It is not a tax-friendly state, with one of the higher state income taxes and perpetual difficulty in developing a modern industrial commercial base.  The hunters and fishermen are drawn to the states 2000 lakes and rivers while the coastline plays host to summer sailors and the state’s famous lobster trade.  Maine is a major producer of wood pulp products and softwood materials. 


What the state lacks in quantity are industries that are part of the digital, information age economy.  Though the state offers substantial tax incentives, it lacks the educated labor force and has a climate that many people shy away from.  The state planners and economic developers are working hard at drawing some of the tech companies that have overrun Massachusetts north to their outdoorsman’s state.


The University of Maine is in Portland; there are some quality private schools in the state such as Colby College that area also expensive.  Maine is a great state to pursue an online education, simply because you don’t have to face the winter weather every day.  Maine is not as thickly populated with college educated professionals as many states, but neither does it have the employment base to support them.  Maine is a place that you have to want to be, and then will need to figure out how to make a living there.

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