The UMS board of trustees has approved a $6.5 million increase in grant and scholarship aid -- a more than 7 percent increase over the current school year.
University system officials also said they have only recently increased tuition by the rate of inflation.
"You might want to be a rural school teacher but you might feel like you need to go to one of the more affluent districts or even out of state in order to bring in the kinds of salaries that allow you to pay that debt. That's not good for Maine," said Chancellor James Page.
Page said the system has been able to increase grant money in recent years thanks to philanthropy, keeping costs down, and reallocating money back to students that may have gone to administrative purposes previously.